Before discussing whether or not double-pane windows are genuinely worth the money, the first thing to consider is the difference between single and double-pane windows and exactly what one is buying for each.
While single-pane windows have a single layer (your regular old-fashioned glass window), double-pane windows are made up of two layers of glass, with a space in between that can be filled with a certain type of gas (usually argon or krypton) in order to insulate the temperature inside the house.
Single-pane windows are the more affordable option when assessing up-front cost. However, when looking at the savings in energy costs one will receive by investing in double-pane windows, it’s true that by paying that extra money at first, homeowners can save big long run. According to Steve Poitz, member of the Canadian Window Standards Subcommittee and an engineer specialized in energy-efficient windows; double-pane windows can save up to 24% of energy in cold climates during the wintertime and up to 18% in warm climates during the summertime.
Not only that, but by reducing energy consumption it also means that the house burns less fossil fuels and creates fewer greenhouse gas emissions, so double-pane windows actually contribute to fighting climate change. Moreover, due to the fact that double-pane windows have two panes instead of one, they significantly reduce outside noise pollution and can be incredibly helpful, especially around dense urban areas. So really, the answer to the question, “Are Double Pane Windows Worth the Money?” is a no-brainer.
Not everything is perfect when it comes to double pane windows.
A huge precaution to have in mind when replacing a single-pane window for a double-pane window is that, in order to show a significant reduction in energy, you absolutely must upgrade the entire house. Replacing a single window won’t have a noticeable impact on your energy savings. If you have a home that was originally built with single-pane windows and can’t afford the very expensive investment of changing all of them simultaneously, it’s better to keep the original windows for now and save up for double-pane windows in the meantime.
And of course (like anything involving construction): QUALITY MATTERS. A poorly fabricated double-pane window will most certainly cost more than what it saves in the long run. From failed seals, to incorrectly spaced panes and shoddy manufacturing, being cheap when buying a double-pane window may cost way more than you bargained for. Quality is fundamental for double-pane windows to work properly.
Nevertheless, after reviewing the pros and cons of double-pane windows, the answer is YES! If one takes the precautions necessary to buy good quality windows, double-pane windows are absolutely worth the investment.