Benefits of Double-Pane Windows

By Beth Krietsch

As the weather gets cooler, it’s prime time to consider whether or not your windows are efficient in keeping warm air in and cool air out. If you’re thinking about embarking on a window upgrade and not sure how to choose, this guide provides some important insight into double-pane windows.

What are double-pane windows?

While traditional single-pane windows comprise just a single sheet or pane of glass, double-pane windows are made up of two separate panes of glass separated by a thin layer of insulating gas. This gas helps to reduce the transfer of heat between indoors and out.

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Benefits of double-pane windows

When it comes to saving energy and money and managing the flow of heat into or out of the home, double-pane windows (or even those with more than two panes of glass) are superior to a single-pane windows, according to Energy Star.

Double-pane windows also help dampen noise from the outdoors, which can be particularly beneficial if you live in a noisy environment, whether it’s a busy street, bustling city, or just loud neighbors. And double panes reduce condensation, which helps minimize mold growth and damage to window sills.

Comfort is a big factor, too. With double-pane windows, you’ll notice fewer drafts while also addressing uncharacteristically warm or cool rooms. You’ll also practice environmental responsibility by lowering your home energy consumption. After all, less air leaking in or out means less wasted energy.

How much do double-pane windows cost?

Most double-pane windows cost between $450 and $800, with some possible extra installation costs. When you’re on a strict budget, single-pane windows may initially feel like the more cost-effective choice, but over time, energy bills will be higher than if you had double-pane windows, and you’ll be missing out on great sound insulating properties.

If you’re concerned about upfront costs, keep in mind that double-pane windows are an investment in long-term cost and energy savings. If you’ve decided to replace your windows, choose Energy Star-certified models, which can save you up to 15% on home energy bills each year.

Check out the Energy Star Rebate Finder to see if any local incentives, savings, or tax credits are available in your area. Sometimes the incentives are great enough to allow you to purchase double-pane windows even when you’re on a single-pane budget.

Remember to choose quality windows and ensure they’re installed correctly. And try to resist the urge to replace just one window rather than all the windows in your home. It’s likely that heat will still be able to escape through the older windows, and overall energy savings will not reach their fullest potential.

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DIY or hire?

Though double-pane windows are largely simple to install, hiring a professional is never a bad idea. You won’t see the same energy or cost savings if the windows aren’t installed properly.

If you’re up for the challenge of getting the job done yourself, be sure to find a good set of directions. Many window companies provide directions online that can help guide you through the process. And before diving in, make sure you have the tools, time, and skills to complete the project.

Read more: GE warranty guide

 
Worker preparing to install new three pane wooden windows in an old wooden house. Home renovation, sustainable living, energy efficiency concept.

DIY or Hire?

HIRE: House Method recommends hiring a professional to install double-pane windows.

DIY

  • Installing double-pane windows is a simple task but does require at least two people to complete the job.
  • If you do decide to take on the installation yourself, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions rather than general installation guidance.

Hire

  • Unless they are installed to exact specifications, you risk voiding the energy and cost savings they offer. A professional can ensure that surfaces are flush and that panes are properly sealed.
  • Because all windows in a home should be replaced in the event of an upgrade, it's best to let a professional handle sliding glass doors, picture windows, and windows that must be reached via ladder.

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