Double Pane vs Single Pane Windows: What’s the Difference?

Double Pane vs Single Pane Windows: What’s the Difference?

December 12, 2017
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door
window installers

Home renovations make 12% of couples consider divorce. If that statistic was enough to make you drop your cornflakes out of your mouth at breakfast, don’t fret. When considering double pane vs single pane windows, a few minutes reading will equip you with all the information you need to not worry about that first statistic.

So what exactly is the deal with deciding which type of windows to buy?

Choosing new windows for your home can be an overwhelming undertaking. When considering double pane vs single pane windows, there are so many options to decide on.

You have style, comfort, how much energy they save in your home and quality of the materials. These all add up to allow you to feel satisfied as a customer.

With all of these things to take into account, this article will guide you through all you need to know about Milgard double pane vs single pane windows.

How Often Should You Replace Your Windows?

Before we jump into the battle of double pane vs single pane windows, it’s worth knowing a few things. Like how often you should be replacing your windows. Also, what are the telltale signs that it’s time for an upgrade?

There is no unified opinion about how many years you should wait between replacing your windows. However, some sources explain the benefits and the reasons for considering an upgrade. suggests that if you have very old or inefficient windows in your home, it might be more cost effective to replace them, instead of trying to improve the efficiency.

Double Pane Windows

In our feature and benefits analysis later on in the article, we uncover some of the benefits replacement windows can have on your homes energy usage.
Of course, you can use common sense when considering replacement windows. If you have warped, damaged or broken windows repair could be an option, but often a replacement is the better option.

Anatomy of a Single Pane Window

Manufacturers produce single pane windows with one piece of glass. The style and material options are usually identical to a double pane window. They are not as efficient at keeping out both noise and the seasonal weather.

Single pane windows don’t use any insulation. With one singular pain of glass, the outside climate and noise will affect the inside of your house a lot easier. The primary benefit of single pane windows is that they are inexpensive.

Anatomy of a Double Pane Window

Manufacturers produce double pane windows with two pieces of glass instead of the one you get in a single pane window. They then split the two panels with a space filled with air.

That space of air traps any cold winter temperatures or hot summer temperatures between the two window panes. This entrapment creates a barrier that shields your home from the heat and the cold.

Due to this design, double pane vs single pane windows usually are significantly more efficient for your energy bills. As the design doesn’t allow air to escape as quickly, you’ll typically find cost reductions by being able to turn down your heating in winter or avoid using your air conditioning in summer.

Features and Benefits of Double Pane vs Single Pane Windows

Now that you understand the difference between the two types of window panes, let’s analyze what option would be best for you to pick for your home renovations.

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficient Milgard Tuscany Windows & Door

Energy efficiency is one of the most talked about considerations when deciding to go double pane vs single pane windows, and rightly so. In a study comparing Energy Star double pane vs single pane windows, the researcher found significant energy savings.

They compared energy savings per region in the US. For example in Atlanta, by switching to double pane vs single pane windows, they saved enough energy for a year and a half worth of hot showers for a family of four.

Windows are usually one of the most significant contributors to energy loss in homes. Double pane vs single pane windows have better insulation and improve the overall efficiency of your home.

Single pane windows are sometimes poorly installed, often old and drafty. Therefore, the cost to heat your home is exponentially higher.

Dual pane windows have the extra layer of glass creating a barrier from the elements; this added efficiency is what often allows people to forgive the additional cost of double pane windows as they can pay for themselves over time with the cost savings.

Noise Reduction

For many, this will be the critical reason for upgrading from single pane windows. If your home is near a busy road or a school, the daily traffic of cars and people can flood your home with unwelcomed noise.

Most windows throughout the USA get classified with an STC rating. Sound Transmission Class is an integer rating of how well a building partition attenuates airborne sound, or in plain English, rates how well your windows block out any noise.

You can use this rating to help tell the difference between how much noise you can reduce. If this is a significant criterion for you, make sure to consider it’s not just the quality of the window but also quality window fitting which creates a perfect seal, stopping any sound and heat from escaping.

Do You Need Storm Windows?

If you’ve had single pane windows before, you are probably aware of storm windows. If not, storm windows are windows that get mounted outside the central glass of your window.

Homeowners use them to provide extra protection in the winter, and they usually remove them when winter has passed. This work can be a lot of extra hassle and one of the downsides and potential additional costs for using single pane windows.

When you compare double pane vs single pane windows, one of the incredible benefits of a double pane window is that you don’t need to have storm windows at all.

Not only does this create less hassle for you, as you don’t need to remove them after winter, it also saves you from buying storm windows in the first place.

Style Choices

Going back a few years, when deciding on double pane vs single pane windows, one of the biggest wins for the single pane window option was style. Initially, double pane windows were ugly.

Luckily, double paned window designs have upgraded, and the style choices for double pane vs single pane windows are almost identical. Whether you want to go for a Milgard double hung window, casement windows or even sliding windows, these options are all now available to you in a double pane option.

Double Hung Windows with Grids

You even find double pane options available in other products using glass such as patio doors. This can be a smart investment considering the size of typical patio doors and how much of a benefit you could get from replacing them.

With having so many stylish choices available in both window panes, it means you no longer have to substitute looks for other features you may want.

How Much Do Replacement Windows Cost?

When considering any home renovation one of the most prominent factors can often come back to cost. One of the most significant questions you may have while reading this article is what the cost difference with double pane vs single pane windows is?

Because every home will be different, you need to get a quote or valuation. US Window & Door offers a free quote for all window replacement projects; therefore, to find out the difference in cost between a single and double pane window for your upcoming project, contact us today.

And the Winner Is…

Taking into account the comparison of double pane vs single pane windows, looking at just price alone many people would consider single pane a cheaper solution.

However, when you look at all the benefits of having double pane windows in your home, you start to paint a different view. Improved noise reduction, the fact that you wouldn’t need to have any storm windows and energy consumption reduction are all huge factors to consider.

It’s worth remembering that, although the upfront cost of double pane windows may be a more significant investment, you could still be better off in the long run. Always to remember to ask about guarantees with any window purchase to ensure quality and give you peace of mind.

Without needing to pay for storm windows and also with reduced energy costs, you’ll find that the investment will pay for itself over time all while enjoying the benefits of the double pane windows.

Time to Get Renovating

With the modern designs of double pane windows and the widespread availability in the US of high-quality fitters, if you’ve not yet upgraded to a double pane window solution, you could be missing out on some fantastic benefits for your home.

To find out some realistic prices and to find out what benefits double pane windows could bring to your home, contact US Window & Door today.