What are the Best Windows for Cold Climates?

You may live in a cold-weather environment, but that doesn’t mean your house has to be one. If your goal is to control the temperature in your home, simply adjusting your thermostat may not be enough. The right windows allow you to minimize the amount of heat or cold that leaves and enters your home so that you are comfortable.

The appropriate windows can help lower utility bills while turning an icebox of a home into a pleasant abode, which is why selecting the best windows for cold weather matters.

Best Type of Windows for Cold Weather

Four window types stand out as being optimal for chilly climates: single-hung, double-hung, casement, and sliding. Each of these windows can and should be paired with double or triple-pane glass for added insulation. Read on to learn more about each window type.

Single-hung Windows

Single-hung windows have one non-moving and one moving sash, the part of the window that contains the glass and frame. These units are more common than their double-hung counterparts because they are inexpensive and easy to clean. Opening a single-hung window can let cold air into areas that may have become too full of heat, providing a balance of warmth and coolness. They also provide resistance to strong winds in freezing temperatures.

a white singe hung window on the side of a white house

Single-hung windows open only the bottom window sash.

Double-hung Windows

Besides having the single-hung’s capability to shut out winds from low temperatures, double-hung windows give you more options to regulate your home’s heating and cooling. The double-hung’s sashes at the top and bottom of the window can be manipulated. When both sashes are open, warm air can exit the top sash while cooler air can enter through the bottom. You typically have more flexibility with this window type because the sashes operate independently. In this sense, you are able to better manage the air flow.

a white double hung window installed in a blue wall

Double-hung windows can open both the top and bottom window sashes.

Casement Windows

Casement windows are hinged on the side and function like small doors — albeit with a crank instead of a doorknob. Many consider this the best window for cold weather due to its tight seal. When closed, casement windows lock in multiple places to prevent air from seeping through.

a brown casement opened outward towards a grassy backyard

Casement windows open outward using a crank.

Sliding Windows

Sliding windows look similar to double-hung windows except they open horizontally. The sash slides along a set of tracks to open on one side while the other side stays stationary. Although, double sliders exist that allow you to open the window from either side. The sliding window’s seal combined with double or triple glass panes is more than sufficient for guarding you and your family from the cold.

a white sliding windows that open horizontally

Sliding windows glide along a track to open horizontally.

Types of Glass to Choose From

There is glass available that may enhance your window’s ability to trap inside heat and block outside cold air. The following glass types come in either double or triple pane, as single pane is not suitable for insulation.

  • Float glass: Has the option to be chemically strengthened to help block out heat
  • Laminated glass: Excellent sound insulator that also provides UV protection
  • Tempered glass: Typically resistant to heat
  • Low-E glass: Can keep heat out while letting natural light in

FAQs about Windows for Cold Weather   

What type of windows will be the most energy-efficient?

Casement windows are generally considered the most energy-efficient type as they have an air-tight seal and lock in more than one place. When installed with insulated glass, this window style provides excellent insulation against heat and cold.

Do I have to use a certain type of glass for windows to be effective against cold weather?

It is advisable that you use either double- or triple-pane glass for your windows. These have extra glass sheets with a layer of gas in between to reduce the exchange of heat or cold into your home when the window is closed. We do not advise single-pane glass for cold weather temperatures, as these have only one layer of glass and do not insulate well.

Our Glass Doctor® professionals can advise you on the best glass and window options before installing your windows. Contact your local glass service professional today at (833) 974-0209 or schedule an appointment online to start the journey of feeling cozy in your own home — even when the temps outdoors are bone-chilling cold.