What’s the Difference Between Single and Double Pane Windows?

Making the choice to upgrade the windows in your home is a smart and cost-effective move.

If you’re in a home with single-pane windows, you are likely dealing with hassles such as poor insulation and subsequently higher energy bills. Replacing your single-pane windows with double-pane is a logical choice for saving energy and creating a more comfortable environment for yourself and your family.

But what are the benefits of double-pane windows over single-pane ones, and is it truly worth it to upgrade?  

The difference boils down to the number of glass layers each window type has. Single-pane windows have one, and double-panes have two layers with krypton gas or argon in the middle. While single and double-pane windows may look similar, they are very different in terms of cost and energy efficiency.

Cost of Single Pane vs. Double Pane Windows

Window prices vary based on size and other factors, but in general, single panes cost $50–80 per window, while double panes average $450–960 per window (excluding labor).

The huge gap in price is well justified when considering the benefits that each offers. Single-pane windows are made of a single sheet of glass designed to protect homeowners from the bare minimum outdoor elements such as dirt particles, debris, rain, and snow. However, they do not offer much protection against outside temperatures or noise due to their inability to insulate well. In many geographical areas, single-pane models are no longer allowed to be sold since they are not as eco-efficient as their double-pane counterparts.

The extra blanket of glass in double-pane windows ensures that your home is at least partially insulated from cold air, excess heat, and outdoor noise.

Be aware, however, that if you want to reap the maximum benefit of upgraded windows, you should purchase them for all the windows in your home. At $450 or more per unit, this initial cost adds up but will be well worth it in the long run.

Which One is More Energy Efficient?

Energy efficiency is a primary benefit of dual-paned windows.

A home’s ability to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature is often determined by its windows. The solitary glass sheet in single-pane windows allows heat to easily seep in and out of a room. In colder climates, this means using the heater more often to compensate for the loss of heat. In a hotter environment, the air conditioner may need to run longer to offset the departure of cold air.

The increased insulation in double-pane windows doesn’t allow outdoor heat or cold to penetrate a room as effortlessly. Installing this type of window throughout your house conserves energy and helps lower your monthly energy bills.

FAQs about Single Pane vs. Double Pane Windows

Is it worth it to replace single pane windows with double pane windows?

Yes. Even though double-pane windows cost more up front, you’ll spend less on your energy bills each month. Keeping your existing single-pane windows may seem to make financial sense, but you’ll wind up spending significantly more on energy bills in the long run. In addition, dual panes provide you with more security, the ability to better manage the temperature in your home, and a more tranquil living experience created by noise insulation.

How can I tell if my windows are single or double pane?

The easiest way to determine this is to check the number of layers your glass window has. Examine the inside corner edge of your window. If you notice two panes of glass with a small space (the gas layer) in the middle, your windows are double pane. If there is only one sheet of glass, your windows are single pane.

Are single and double pane windows the same as single-hung and double-hung windows?

No. Although the names are similar, they have different meanings. Single-pane refers to the number of glass slabs a window has. Single-hung and double-hung deal with the way a window opens.

Can I replace single pane windows with double pane?

Yes. The cost of this varies though, since it’s largely dependent on the number of windows being replaced and the size of them. We help homeowners all year round with window replacement and would be glad to give you a free estimate.

Find Home Glass Professionals in Your Local Area

Your local Glass Doctor technician can replace your windows, adding warmth and comfort to your home. Call us at (833) 974-0209  or schedule an appointment online to get a head start on creating a home that benefits your lifestyle and wallet.