Learn More About Double Pane Windows

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Double Pane Windows

Nearly all replacement windows sold today are double paned windows. They come in a wide variety of materials (vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, composite and wood clad frames) and offer far superior energy efficiency compared with the single pane windows of old. Let's go through the basics, costs and energy efficienct qualities of double paned windows.

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The Basics

Double pane windows consist of two panes of glass within the IGU or insulated glass unit (as opposed to the single pane of glass from several decades ago). The advantage of having two panes of glass has to do with reducing the amount of heat and/or cold that is transfered from one pane to the other. By reducing this energy transfer, these windows keep the home warmer in the winter by trapping the heat inside and not allowing the cold air from outside from entering. Conversely, the windows help keep the home cooler in the summer by trapping the air conditioning inside and reducing the amount of heat from entering from the outside.


Double pane windows are certainly more expensive than the single panes of yesterday, but they offer much better long term value for the consumer. They can cost anywhere from $200 to $1200 per window fully installed, depending on the frame material, the style of window, the glass package, the upgrades, the hardware and the type of installation you require. (Explore double pane window prices in more detail here.) The main reason that double panes offer better long term value is the cost savings to homeowners each month on their energy bills. While the savings may seem small on a month-to-month basis, they can add up to pretty significant cost savings over 20 years.

-- Price Range: $200 - $1,200 Installed --

Energy Efficiency

One of the big pushes towards energy efficiency windows came with the Federal Government's Energy Star Program that required more efficient household products and appliances. Today, many of the top replacement windows have the Energy Star sticker that lets consumer know that the window meet certain energy efficient benchmarks.

The double paned glass is an important part of these energy efficienct windows, but not the whole story. Today's window manufacturers use advanced glazing and sealing techniques, improved spacer systems and better gas fills to help reduce the heat and/or cold transfer from one pane to the other. Low-e windows that use a reflective tinting also help to make modern residential windows far better than the home windows of old.

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