One of the greatest window innovations is the addition of Low-E Glass and gas filled insulated glass units (IGUs). That improvement happened back in 1981 roughly 35 years ago. So, it’s hard to imagine all these years later that there are still so many older homes with single pane windows that can’t take advantage of this technology.
Upgrade to Low-E and Gas Filled IGUs
Low-E or low emissivity glass coatings slows heat transfer through glass. Low-E glass reflects heat back to its source, keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Filling the air space in a double-pane, insulated glass unit with a low-conductivity gas reduces heat transfer between the insulated glass, further reducing heat transfer through the window.
Why don’t the owners of old homes with single-pane windows upgrade in order to take advantage of such an effective solution to cold windows and cold rooms? The answer that we most often hear is a combination of cost and historical preservation considerations.
Why Upgrade Your Windows?
Homeowners understand that the new high-efficiency, Low-E with gas filled IGUs will likely offer twice the insulation value as their single-pane windows, but the overall savings on their energy bill may not be enough to justify replacing their windows for energy cost savings alone.
No More Drafty Rooms
When these homeowners hear that replacement windows tend to return nearly 70-80% of their costs when they sell their home, they begin to realize that replacing windows isn’t solely about immediate energy savings. It’s also about living in comfort and having conveniences like, no more drafty rooms, no more storm windows, tilt in units for easy cleaning, windows that open and shut easily or never needing to repaint their windows.
Replacement windows can match older homes. Marvin for example, offers an all wood window and the clad aluminum window, with the all wood option you can even replace your window sash only. You can mimic the old units divided light patterns and use high-quality wood windows that fit the original look of your old home.
Comfort and Convenience
In order to take advantage of Low-E and gas filled IGUs you’ll need to replace your existing single pain windows with modern replacement windows. Some homeowners decide they’d rather try to have their old windows repaired in order to reduce air from entering the house or make them easier to use. The reality is that the old sashes weren’t constructed to be air tight, like the new ones, nor could they protected with the sophisticated paint applications available today. By the time you reconstruct your old wood windows, between the labor and materials, your costs may not be significantly lower than the cost of a nice quality replacement window. Maybe you invest in Low-E storm windows. In the end, the decision is about comfort and convenience, maybe it’s time for you to investigate your options for replacing those old single pane windows.