Single vs double pane windows, real life pros and cons

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Single vs double pane windows, real life pros and cons

Postby Dan O. » Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:44 am


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Postby Dan O. » Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:02 pm

It would appear that double panes are popular in the colder areas of the country but how about hearing from the California contingent (where I'm from)? Other states surely scoff at what we consider "cold" weather but it still cost money to maintain a comfortable level of warmth in a dwelling where there's enough of a temp differential to cause heat to escape through the glass. My current place (an apartment) has 6'-12' wide floor to ceiling jalousies/solid pane combos in every room, once the heat is turned off it escapes pretty rapidly; I'd imagine this situation would be just as bad or worse in a house with a greater glass area (even w/o jalousies). My hypothetical situation would be something like a Cliff May (with plenty of glass), surely double panes would help with heat retention, or would thermal drapes do just as well?

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Postby googieagog » Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:02 am

For what it's worth, double panes are historically accurate as well. The product that came to be known as Thermopane started development in 1930, went on the market in 1937 and was used in buildings throughout the country, especially modern homes. This is from "Your Solar House," a neat little 1947 book put out by Libby-Owens-Ford glass company.

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Go for it!

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Postby rockland » Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:10 pm


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You'd think

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Postby wwilber » Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:21 pm

Here are a couple of vintage ads from Alwintite featuring one of the homes in my subdivision (the middle image) and the windows that are original to our home Image

Image

All of our windows are single pane and the insulation in the house is original. We have had some qotes for new windows which were not inexpensive, of course. I have yet to determine if it would be beneficial to replace based on cost and how long we expect to be here. A couple of things we have done to overcome the temperature inside: 1) replace ductwork with new insulated version and adjust dampers to provide maximum air flow to rooms used most. 2) automatic thermostat to improve heating/cooling cost by automatically regulating it 3) bought an electric blanket for our bed.

Of course, we still "feel cool" at times in the winter, especially in certain areas of the house even thought the indoor temp. is comfortable, but these were easy fixes (and far less expensive than replacement windows) that have helped a lot. The only complaint that I have left is that the windows fog like crazy when you cook dinner, but that is just temporary.

I also have to remind myself that even though I might save a little on the utilities, I still can't be spending half of what it costs to heat and cool a 4500sf McMansion! Plus I just like the way our windows look.

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Double Pane Window

Postby Josquin » Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:15 am

Last edited by Josquin on Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby lasquirrel » Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:04 am

We have all our original single pane windows. We had to add a few original looking windows and it was very obvious the difference in windows. So, our thought was to go single pane because 1 double paned window wasn't going to make that much of a difference. We decided to make the difference up with our heating. We don't turn up the heat as much as we'd like, we shut the vents and doors to rooms we don't use. We don't have air conditioning so that's not an issue. We WILL insulate the roof as much as possible when we have to redo the roof. For us, we couldn't afford to take out all the doors and windows and it really looked odd to have 1 double paned and the rest not. That's a California comment. If we were in a colder area I don't know what we'd do. BTW had ICE on my windshield for the past couple of days... ugh... moved from MI to avoid scraping! :evil:
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Postby Izzy » Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:45 pm


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Commercial Glazing

Postby cadman » Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:32 pm

Izzy,

You can get commercial glazing, but prices can vary wildly from shop to shop (2, even 3x in this area). Be prepared to shell out the bucks. A friend of mine has been building a place that's a 70's contemporary plan that includes a double-height sunroom (kitchen below, balcony off the bedroom above) on the corner that uses not only commerical storefront extrusions for the south and east walls but also the roof!

The one advantage is that the extrusions are custom made and anodized to your specs. The disadvantage is the thickness (the lites drain down the insides and out the bottoms of the uprights). Cost. And if not a perfect install, some leaks.

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Postby rockland » Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:13 am


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Postby MonezMod » Sat Dec 15, 2007 6:22 pm

We replaced all of the windows and doors in our house - big ticket item but totally worth it. Single best investment in terms of comfort for the house. Not only do they make the house more comfortable in winter, they help with the solar gain (we face due west and are on a hill so we get blasted). Solar shades on the outside also make a huge impact.

Talked about what we did in past threads, but we went with anodized bronze aluminum frames for all operable windows and put insulated glass units (no frames) in the fixed glass spots and used wood stops to hold them in place, thus maintaining the original look. Make sure your installers (or you) do a good job of sealing (caulking) the IG units in place if you go this route.

The difference in comfort is remarkable and I would highly recommend replacing single panes with low e dual panes.

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Postby bananabobs » Sun Dec 16, 2007 9:34 am


The benefit of Low-E, it cuts the UV that does so much damage in a house.

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Postby redneckmodern » Sun Dec 16, 2007 9:48 am

i've posted before, but we're in the process of replacing all of our sliding windows (not doors or plate-glass windows) with milgard's aluminum sliders. imho, the aesthetic difference b/w these and the originals is minimal (save the fact that you can't get single panels as big as you used ot and we now have 3 section windows rather than 2) and all-in-all they look quite "modern". from a performance POV, the rooms with the new windows are the warmest in the house. while not as efficient as vinyl, they're tons better (and cleaner and not broken) than the originals.

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Postby johnnyapollo » Sun Dec 16, 2007 11:53 am

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Postby scandimod » Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:58 pm


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Postby kjansma » Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:28 pm


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Postby egads » Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:29 pm


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Postby scandimod » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:48 pm


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Postby deagna » Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:13 am

We have recently been thinking of replacing the floor to ceiling windows in our Cliff May with double pane. Breathing is an awful thing here ($400 gas bill last month). We were thinking of building them ourselves so they look identical from the outside (except not operable because we don't want to install screens and worry about leaks) and just building up the section to make them thicker toward the inside. We'd install the insulated glass with a stop on the inside rather than points and glazing which is a burglar's dream. I just don't know what the cost might be for custom-sized insulated glass. I haven't checked around yet.

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Postby googieagog » Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:47 am

[quote="deagna"] We'd install the insulated glass with a stop on the inside rather than points and glazing which is a burglar's dream. [quote]

All windows I've ever worked on have an outward-facing lip against which the pane rests -- essentially the same thing as a stop. Points and glazing go on the outside of the pane. (Disregard for now the very thin bed of glazing that goes between the pane and sash, for sealing and cushioning.) This setup makes it impossible to push the pane inward -- though it's still easy enough to break. If your windows have points and glazing on the inside, perhaps the sashes were installed backwards?


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