Double Pane Vs. Single Pane Windows: Choosing For Your Home

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Single-pane windows were common in homes at one time, but today we know that they provide inferior insulation and can contribute to energy inefficiency. When you have single-pane windows in your home, it’s important to know the benefits of double-pane vs single-pane windows. It’s also important to know when it’s time to replace single-pane windows.

At Woodland Windows and Doors, we offer a range of glass options for our homeowners, so you can choose the most energy-efficient and effective glass for your home.

What is a Single-Pane Window?

A single-pane window is a window with one glass pane in a frame. Single-pane windows are most often found in older homes that were built at a time when single-pane windows were standard. These windows can be drafty and cold, contributing to energy inefficiency in the home.

house with a single pane window

What is a Double-Pane Window?

A double-pane window is a window with two panes of glass in a frame. Between the two panes is a pocket of gas or air. The pocket of gas or air helps insulate the window to make it more energy efficient. Double pane windows are the most commonly sold windows today because they’re so much more energy efficient than single pane options.

double pane window on a house with blue siding

Pros & Cons of Single-Pane Windows

Single-pane windows have more cons than pros.


Energy Inefficiency

Homes with single-pane windows require the HVAC system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the year, leading to higher energy bills.

Single-pane windows can lower the value of a home, as many buyers see them as an issue that needs to be addressed. This perception may result in lower offers from potential buyers.

In cold weather, single-pane windows can become so cold that frost or even ice forms on them, leading to discomfort and potential damage.

Large single-pane windows, such as picture windows, can cause significant heat gain in the summer, making rooms uncomfortably hot even with air conditioning.

Pros & Cons of Double Pane Windows

Double-pane windows are considered the standard in modern homes for several reasons:


Energy Efficiency

Double-pane windows are designed to be energy efficient. They feature an insulating pocket between two glass panes that shields the home from exterior heat and cold, allowing the HVAC system to run more efficiently and maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Modern double-pane windows often include options like Low-E glass, which reflects heat while allowing visible light to pass through, further enhancing energy efficiency.

Double-pane windows are built to last. They are tightly sealed and, when properly installed, can remain effective for decades. High-quality windows from reputable manufacturers typically come with long-lasting warranties, providing homeowners with peace of mind. They require minimal maintenance to maintain their energy efficiency and provide beautiful views.

Compared to triple-pane windows, double-pane windows are relatively affordable. While they may cost more than those original single-pane windows, homeowners can recoup their investment through reduced heating and cooling costs throughout the year.

Homebuyers expect modern homes to have high-quality windows. Properties with well-made windows from reputable brands often command higher prices than those with inferior windows or single-pane options.

These benefits make double-pane windows a popular choice among homeowners looking to improve energy efficiency, durability, and resale value.

How Long do Window Panes Last?

Typical modern windows can last for 15 to 30 years. Installing new double-pane windows in your home is an investment in your future, and if you buy the right windows, you can expect them to last a long time. This is why many customers come to Woodland Windows and Doors: because we only sell windows made by trusted window manufacturers.

When Should You Replace Your Panes?

Replace your window panes when you’re noticing signs of a problem. If your home has single-pane windows, it’s definitely time to replace them.

What Are the Signs You Should Replace Your Windows?

Plan to replace your windows when you notice these symptoms:

Your old window glass is single-pane

Icy wet windows inside your home in winter

Areas near windows are drafty

You’re noticing your windows are leaking

You’re noticing mold around your windows

Hot spots and cold spots indoors throughout the winter and summer

Your windows need a lot more maintenance than they used to

You haven’t replaced your windows in 30 years or more

Your heating and cooling bills keep going up

Your windows feel hot and cold to the touch during winter and summer

If you’re not sure whether your home could benefit from new windows, contact Woodland Windows and Doors for a consultation to learn more about our window options.

How Can You Tell If You Have Single Pane Windows?

If you have double-pane windows, you should be able to see two panes of glass and a space in between. If you have single-pane windows, you’ll see only one sheet of glass. You’ll also notice the temperature extremes that your home is subjected to in summer and winter, which can be a sign of single-pane windows.

single pane window

Need Help Deciding Double Pane Vs Single Pane? Schedule an In-Home Consultation Today!

Do you want new windows for your home? We offer house and condo window replacement options from quality brands like Marvin, Andersen, and Woodland Signature. We have a wide service area throughout Chicagoland. Contact Woodland Windows and Doors today to get started with your window and door replacement.

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