The modern double pane windows goes back to C. D. Haven in the 1930s – but took until 1952 to enter the market. Since then there have been a variety of styles and manufacturers – but before we can pinpoint the best double pane windows, we must first understand what they are.
What is a double pane window?
Unlike single pane windows, double panes have two sets of glass in one frame. There is a small slice of space between these two panes, creating an air pocket. Double pane windows come in multiple forms and have many advantages over traditional single frame units.
What are the different types?
According to Your Window Connect, a Long Beach windows and doors service by Coastal Windows & Doors, Double pane windows come in many varieties as other windows – from classy looking double-hung to simple single-hung ones. You can also find more unusual variants like sliding, accent, and basement windows in this double pane form.
Why a double pane window over a single pane window?
These type of window have many advantages, the biggest probably being better insulation from outside temperatures. Double pane windows can also help resist condensation build up and provide an extra layer against sound.
How do these types of windows do this?
The air between the window panes is usually filled with argon, a powerful insulator. Metal spacer where often used on the bottom and top of the frames, with things like foam barriers now being used because they are better at resisting temperatures and noises.
What about the value of my house?
Any new construction to a house can boost the value of the property – new double pane windows included. While the housing market can be volatile at times, the typical rule is that a double pane upgrade can add about 50% above the cost of the window.
What is it like to install a double pane window?
Installing a window isn’t necessarily difficult if you are a little bit handy. Before you start, you need to make sure you have all the necessary equipment such as a ladder, screws, a drill, a knife, caulking, and of course the window!
It seems to difficult for me, should I get someone else to install?
If you feel it is outside of your skill level you should absolutely get some help. While prices can vary from state to state, especially the permit fees, the cost for installing a double pane window is usually tied to the quality and style of the window.
What about repairing?
Repairing a double pane window is actually a fairly simple process, as all you’ll need is a replacement pane, the required seal, along with a few tools.Typically the underlying problem isn’t a fractured pane, but rather just a broken gasket, tape, or caulk seal.
Wait, what about warranty?
While warranties can vary dramatically depending on the manufacturer, oftentimes window companies cover replacement panes for one year or more. All you need to do is keep track of the warranty sticker found on the inside of the frame.
So, what is the best double pane window?
This can depend on what you want and need. When in the market for a new double pane window you must have a conception of what your budget is, the style you want, and what type of manufacturer you prefer to go with.
What are the best window manufacturers?
While there are many great manufacturers out there, I would give Andersen and Pella my top picks – with both organizations in the market for around a century or more. Both companies specialize in window and door manufacturing and lead the industry because of their high quality.
Should I be concerned about the frame?
Absolutely! Metal frames are some of the strongest and lightest but are poor insulators. Fiberglass has some of the best thermal resistance, while composite frames are great against humidity and decay. Wood has a great rustic look but has a tendency to expand in humidity.
I’m specifically trying to save money on my electric bill, what do you recommend?
According to Energy Star, you can save hundreds of dollars replacing single pane windows in your home. To further increase these saving you can purchase Energy Star certified windows along with tinting – cutting approximately 22% from your heating and cooling bill.
Is there anything better than double pane?
There are triple pane windows. These windows have all the advantages that double pane has over single, just with an added layer. In all honesty, I find these to be superfluous, as these upgrades are only necessary if you live in extremely cold or hot climate.
Anything else I should know?
Double pane windows can be great investments, with the best ones depending on your tastes and needs. While they aren’t particularly difficult to install, there thousands of installers across the country that can get it done for a reasonable fee.