Replacing Single Pane Windows

Replacing single pane windows can drastically improve the look of your home, not to mention save you money in utility bills. The interesting thing is that almost half of U.S. homes still have old-fashioned single-panes. With innovations in window technology, many builders of newer homes and homeowners replacing single pane windows opt for double or triple panes because one layer of glass doesn’t offer very much protection against heat or cold. However, a single-glazed window with clear glass allows more daylight to pass through it than any other type and some people still prefer the traditional look of single panes.

Replacing Single Pane Window Cost

Single pane windows are not only less expensive to purchase, they’re also generally simpler and less costly to repair because a broken window usual means replacing just one pane. On the other hand, many single- or triple-paned windows come as a complete unit, so broken glass means replacing the entire pane.

Saving Energy When Replacing Single Pane Windows

On the down side, with single-pane windows heat loss or gain can definitely be a problem. In cold climates, there a number of steps you can take to you save energy, ranging from elementary to more elaborate:

Install tight-fitting, insulating window shades.
Close your curtains and shades at night and open them during the day.
Keep windows on the south side of your house clean to let in the sun.
Apply a tightly sealed, heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months.

Install exterior or interior storm windows. Storm windows can reduce heat loss through the windows by twenty-five to fifty percent. Install low-e storm windows to save even more energy. A low-e coating works like an invisible mirror to reflect selected portions of the light spectrum back out or back in through windows. Low-e coatings are microscopically thin layers of metallic oxide bonded to the surface of a window’s glass that prevent heat and ultra-violet rays from passing through the glass. A window with low-e glass keeps heat in during the winter and out during the summer.

In warm climates, you can:
Install white window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.
Close curtains on south- and west-facing windows during the day.
Install awnings on south- and west-facing windows.
Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing windows to reduce solar gain.

Wooden Frames

Another consideration is care and maintenance of the window frames. It is important that frames be properly taken care of to ensure that weather and the elements do not splinter, warp, or decay the wood. Any damage to the wood will diminish its life expectancy, mar its appearance, and decrease the insulation integrity of your home.

To begin with, make sure your wood window frames are treated with at least one layer of a wood-protecting weather treatment. Then paint one base coat of all-weather paint on the frame of the window, covering all surfaces completely. If any portion of the frame remains unprotected, water can seep into the wood and rot your frame, threatening the security of your single-pane window.

Glass Care

It is important to clean and maintain your glass every six months for proper and prolonged protection. Because your single-paned windows do not have the added protection of a second-layer, you must be careful to clean away cobwebs and dirt, which can speed up the decay of the window.

Do not use oil- or petroleum-based products when cleaning your windows. Instead, choose cleaner with a high proportion of alcohol. The alcohol will not only help to clean away dirt and dust right down to the surface layer but will also dissolve any bacteria. Most importantly, alcohol will not erode the glass. Finally, wipe off the cleaner with newspaper to provide an extra sparkle to the glass’s shine. The chemicals in the ink mix well with the chemicals in common cleaning agents and leave your windows streak-free and glistening.

There’s a saying that a boat is a hole in the water that you throw money into. To some extent, a window is a hole in the wall that you throw money out of. While single pane windows will increase the amount of money that escapes in energy costs, there are still ways to cut your losses. Available in a wide range of styles and sizes, replacement windows with single-window pane thickness, contrary to popular belief, have not yet gone the way of the dodo bird or the dinosaur. They are still popular with many who value their traditional appearance and take measures to increase their energy efficiency.