Window insulation increases your home’s energy efficiency to help keep your living space comfortable throughout the year. Since they are more expensive, you might be wondering if insulated windows are worth it. This guide can help you decide whether you should install single- or double-pane windows on your property.
What Does Insulated Windows Mean?
Insulated glass windows feature two or more panes that reduce heat transfer to or from a building. Metal or foam spacers separate the glass pieces, and some manufacturers put argon or krypton gas between them for extra thermal protection. The frame around your window can also help insulate your property.
Consider the following benefits of insulated windows to discover how they can add value to your house:
- Safety and security: Since double-pane windows are thicker than standard ones, they’re more durable against impact damage. Instead of worrying about break-ins from burglars or flying baseballs smashing through your windows, you can keep your family safe with insulated models.
- Energy efficiency: Insulated windows control heat transfer into and out of your home, allowing you and your family a more comfortable atmosphere throughout the year. With the ability to regulate temperature, insulated windows take some strain off your HVAC system. Since heating and cooling make up about 41% of your home’s energy expenditure, it may be helpful to cut your monthly bills by investing in double-pane windows.
- Noise reduction: Besides controlling the transfer of heat, insulated windows also reduce sound transfer. The thick glass traps sound to keep the noise from your neighbors outside and your private conversation inside. Consider getting windows with insulated glass if you live in a high-traffic area — they can help you sleep better at night and be more productive in your home office.
- Sunlight damage prevention: Double-pane windows reduce the sunlight coming into your home. If you have furniture or flooring that can fade in direct sunlight, insulated windows can help maintain their color and integrity.
- Eco-friendliness: Insulated glass windows reduce your home’s energy consumption, facilitating fewer carbon emissions to have less of a negative impact on the planet.
In light of the advantages of insulated windows, you may also want to think about the drawbacks:
- Higher cost: Installing double-pane windows can cost significantly more than single-pane ones.
- Greater risk of fog: As the window’s seal loses its integrity over time, the gap between the glass can trap moisture. When you notice a significant buildup of condensation on your windows, the only solution is to replace them.
- More modern style: The typical design of insulated windows tends to complement modern homes better than traditional ones. Even though you can customize your replacement windows’ style, it may take away from your home’s aesthetic.
- Less natural light: Energy-efficient windows tend to allow less sunlight into your home. This feature could be an advantage if you’re trying to keep the sun from fading your furniture or getting in your eyes, but you’ll need to rely more on artificial light.
Which Windows Are the Best for Insulation?
Energy-efficient windows can reduce your home’s overall heat loss by about 25%. When shopping for replacement windows, look out for the Energy Star® and National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label. Energy Star® certifies that the window meets current energy efficiency standards, and the NFRC label tells you how well the window prevents heat transfer and blocks sunlight.
You’ll find these ratings on your window’s NFRC label to show its energy efficiency:
- The U-factor: Your window’s U-factor determines how much heat transfers through it. A lower U-factor means the window is more energy efficient because it’s more effective at preventing heat loss.
- The SHGC: A window’s solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) measures the amount of sunlight that can come through it. If you live in a warm climate, consider getting a window with a low SHGC rating to reduce your home’s heat gain.
Besides considering the type of window, it’s also essential to hire a professional to correctly install it. Even if you invest in energy-efficient windows, if the installer leaves gaps between the window and wall, air can leak inside and affect your home’s temperature.
As an alternative to double-pane windows, you could also consider installing non-insulated, single-pane windows that only feature one pane of glass inside a frame. These windows are available in various colors and styles, so you can find one that complements your home’s aesthetic.
Consider the advantages of a non-insulated window to discover if they’ll add value to your property:
- Lower cost: Single-pane windows have a lower upfront cost than double-pane ones.
- More natural light: If you enjoy the outdoors, you might like having the extra sunlight in your home that single-pane windows bring.
- Versatile design: Single-pane windows tend to enhance a wider variety of aesthetics than double-pane models. You can customize the color, style and size of single-pane windows to complement your home’s design.
On the other hand, you may also want to think about the drawbacks of installing non-insulated windows on your property:
- Higher energy bills: A single-pane window can protect your home from outside weather conditions, but they’re not as energy efficient as double-pane ones. As a result, you’ll most likely pay more money in energy bills.
- More outside noise: If you live in a busy neighborhood, you’ll probably still hear outside noise if you install single-pane windows. Consider how this drawback may affect your quality of life if you have trouble sleeping or work from home.
How to Choose If Insulated Windows Are Right for Your Home
Non-insulated windows may be a better option for your property if you plan on selling your house soon and don’t have the money for insulated windows. However, insulated windows are a much better long-term investment, especially in the following conditions:
- You plan on staying in your home for a long time and want to take advantage of energy savings.
- Your energy bills have increased and you want to lower them.
- You want to protect your home from sunlight and outside noise.
- You live in a noisy neighborhood and want to sleep better at night.
- You want to replace all the windows in your house.
Contact Wize Home Direct for Your Insulated Window Needs
No matter which type of replacement windows you decide to install on your home in Hickory, North Carolina, we’ll walk with you through the customization process from start to finish. Our team of professionals at Wize Home Direct will help you find the best types of energy-efficient windows to help you save money on your energy bills and be comfortable in your living space. For more information, you can contact us online or call 828-212-0580.