Written By: Brittney Phillips | July 8, 2022
Although single-pane windows are not common in modern homes and businesses, many older buildings still have them. If your property is one of those that still has single-pane glass, you could be saving yourself tons of money on your monthly utility bills by replacing it with custom double-pane glass units.
Single-pane windows are made with a single layer, or pane, of glass. They were once the industry standard, but they became less and less used in new construction starting around the latter part of the 1970s, because of initiatives to make windows more energy efficient.
Double-pane windows are made with two layers (panes) of glass, with a space between them. Double-pane windows come in all the same styles as their single-pane predecessors, but they are much more energy efficient.
Custom double-pane glass windows are referred to as “units” because they consist of several major components that work together to provide a high level of energy efficiency. These components are:
The two panes of glass in double-pane windows are what gives them their name, but the space between the panes is what really makes these windows so energy efficient.
Because air is a poor conductor, the space between the two surfaces of glass acts as invisible insulation. It greatly reduces solar heat gain, or the transfer of heat from the sun through windows, and helps prevent warm air from heating systems from escaping through windows.
For even better insulation, the empty space in double-pane windows can be injected with gas, usually either argon or krypton. These gasses are more dense than air, so they slow down the transfer of thermal energy even more.
Custom double-pane insulated glass units come in just about any size and style you could want, so they are appropriate for a wide range of residential and commercial properties. They can also be built with added features if you have other aesthetic or performance goals for your new energy-efficient windows.
Depending on how old and inefficient your existing single-pane windows are, you could be losing 20, 30, or even up to 40 percent of your heating and cooling energy through your windows.
If you find that you’re constantly running your building’s AC to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures when it’s hot out, or you just can’t seem to keep spaces warm when it’s cold out, single-pane glass may be the culprit.
When you upgrade single-pane windows to double-pane ones, you notice and feel the impact right away. You should instantly start noticing that you’re running HVAC systems less, and you’ll definitely see the difference on your next monthly utility bill.
For large homes with many windows, upgrading to double-pane insulated windows can save you hundreds of dollars a year on energy bills. Businesses and commercial facilities can save in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, depending on their size and how much window glass they have.
When building your new custom double-pane windows, there are design options you can choose to provide even more benefits than just improved energy efficiency. For example, custom insulated glass units can:
Double-pane windows can be tinted with different types of window film to add varying degrees of privacy.
For example, a reflective tint can create a one-way mirror effect for added daytime privacy. Dark gray tints also add privacy when the light outside is stronger than the light inside.
For businesses with ground floor offices or high-end homes with large windows, adding privacy with tinted insulated windows is a great alternative to blinds and drapes, so you can continue to enjoy natural light and views.
Simply adding an extra pane of glass to your windows makes them more secure than single-pane windows, but you can also use special types of security glazing to drastically improve the impact resistance of your windows.
For example, you could choose for one or both panes of your new double-pane windows to be made out of polycarbonate security glazing to provide virtually unbreakable impact resistance. This upgrade means your windows will protect against forced entry, burglary, smash-and-grab theft, rioting and looting, storm damage from flying storm debris, and more.
Using security glazing in double-pane windows instead of traditional glass doesn’t change their appearance or hurt their energy efficiency, so you still get all the regular benefits of insulated glass units.
Because double-pane windows are available in so many styles with different materials and tints, you can use them to give an old property a contemporary facelift. This can be particularly beneficial for outdated commercial buildings, such as large glass office buildings.
Replacing clear commercial single-pane glass with reflective or colored double-pane glass can instantly bring your decades-old building into the modern era. The improved aesthetics and curb appeal can even translate into financial benefits, as prospective building tenants and clients will see your property in a whole new light.
Many property owners put off window replacement for years because it can be expensive up front.
However, if you’re replacing single-pane windows with double-pane units, the benefits make it an investment that can pay for itself in just a few years.
Not only are there the energy savings and reduced utility bills, but you may be able to receive tax rebates for making energy efficiency improvements to your property.
Energy-efficient insulated windows can also increase property values and allow you to raise your lease rates for new tenants if you rent out office spaces and the like.
At Riot Glass, we are experts in insulated glass units, security glazing, and everything window and door related. Contact us today for a free double-pane window replacement consultation.
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