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Pros, Cons, and Costs of Installing Double-Paned Windows

There are plenty of repair and DIY tasks that people can often take on themselves, but some should always be left to the professionals. Replacing windows is a big, complicated job, so it’s not something you should tackle if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.

Even the best quality windows don’t last forever. If yours are getting a bit worse for wear, you may be thinking about replacing them. When doing this, you can change to a different type of window to what you currently have, and it’s worth exploring these options.

There are various pros and cons in opting for double-paned windows. Let’s take a look at these so you can decide if they’re the best choice for you.

Pros of Double-Paned Windows

There are many benefits to installing double-paned windows. Some you may notice immediately, while others are more long-term.

Wonderful double-paned windows draped with curtains and a cool potted plant on the windowsill.
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Energy Efficiency

It seems as though energy costs are always on the rise, so being able to reduce your bills is always a good thing. Upgrading to more energy-efficient windows will help with this.

The two panes have a pocket of air between them which helps provide much better insulation than single- pane windows. They’ll help keep the cold out during the winter and maintain a cooler temperature in the summer.

You won’t need to rely so much on your HVAC system throughout the year. This will save you money every month on your bills, and over an extended period, this will add up to quite a lot. On top of this, it will help you reduce your carbon footprint, and therefore, your impact on the environment.

Improved Comfort

You should be able to relax in your home, and upgrading your windows can help with this in several ways. If your current windows have any damage or gaps in the seals, you may experience increased airflow.

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Replacing your windows can eliminate this issue. Double-paned windows are more durable, and as such, you’re less likely to experience this problem again in the future.

More Secure

Home security should always be a priority, and windows can be a noteworthy security risk. A single sheet of standard glass isn’t too difficult to break through, so criminals could get into your home without too much 

Double-pane windows are significantly stronger. They’re far from invincible but it can be enough to make a difference. If you really want to keep your home and family as safe as possible, you can consider opting for laminated or toughened glass.

Eliminate Condensation Issues

Single-pane windows can be prone to condensation. As they don’t insulate so well, the glass can get very cold. When warm, moist air hits it, condensation forms.

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This may not seem like a major issue, but moisture can lead to mold growth and other dampness issues. This can potentially compromise other elements of your home and may even present a health risk to you and your family.

Improved Sound-Proofing

Double-paned windows offer significantly better sound-proofing properties than single-paned windows. You’re less likely to be disturbed by outside noise. If you live on a busy street or near a railway line, for example, this can be a major benefit.

Cons of Double-Paned Windows

Despite their multiple advantages, double-paned windows may not be the best choice for everyone. They also have some disadvantages, so you should consider these when making your choice.

All or Nothing

Perhaps the biggest drawback is that installing double-paned windows is an all-or-nothing job. To get the benefits such as better energy efficiency and improved security, you really need to replace all of your windows.

If you just replace one (which may be ideal if a window gets broken, for example, that individual window may be stronger, but the rest won’t have any of the associated benefits. It can often be a lot more expensive to change the type of window than to replace an old one with one that’s identical.

If you’re not doing a full overhaul and only want to change some of the windows in your home, you may be better off sticking to the same style.

High Installation Costs

In most cases, there will be a higher window installation cost if you’re upgrading from single-paned windows to double-paned. This is in part because you’re paying for superior window quality and twice as many panes of glass. The frames also tend to be more complicated.

It’s a good idea to figure out your budget before you start looking at quotes. It’s also important to note that the energy savings you’ll experience will help offset the installation cost in the long term.

Not Suitable for All Homes

While there are different design and style choices available, double-paned windows tend to have a more modern appearance. If your home is a bit older, you might not want to take away from the original feel. Some double-paned windows can look a bit out of place, and others will have a huge impact on the overall aesthetic.

If you have a historical house and don’t want to compromise the appearance, you still have options. It’s

possible to have windows custom-made so you can get an appearance that works well with your home. Bear in mind, however, that this can be a far more costly solution.

A modernly constructed high-rise with installed double-paned windows featuring anti-glare coating.
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Difficult to Repair

As we’ve mentioned, double-pane windows are far more durable than single-pane options, but they can still break and degrade with time. Gaps in seals can lead to condensation issues between panes. This may also result in a drop in your windows ability to insulate your home.

Unfortunately, repairing them is typically more expensive. In some cases, you may need to replace an entire window.

Factors That Impact the Cost of Double-Paned Windows

It’s safe to say that replacing the windows in your home is no small job. With that said, the overall cost can vary significantly. Several factors will affect the final price of your windows.


One of the biggest factors that determines the cost is window size. As you may expect, smaller windows are typically cheaper than larger ones. A small bathroom window, for example, will be far cheaper than a large garden window.


There are various style options to choose from. At the cheaper end of the scale are casement windows, which have a simple hinge to be swung open.

Double-hung windows can be opened at both the top and bottom making them more flexible. These are a mid-range option.

Bay/bow windows are among the most expensive available. These have three panels and extend out of a building. They’re a popular choice for living rooms among those who are happy to pay for them.


Naturally, the more windows you get for your home, the more expensive it will be. With that in mind, you can typically get better rates for larger projects, so more windows will be more cost-efficient. It’s also important to note that some window installation companies have minimum installment requirements, so you should look into this early on.


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Labor costs can make up a large portion of the final price you’ll need to pay. Installing larger windows can be far more labor-intensive, so they can push the price up. Some companies provide a flat rate for the installation including both labor and materials, so this may affect your decision to some degree.

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The price can be influenced quite a lot by whether you’re replacing just the glass or entire windows. If you already have double-pane windows and the frames are still in good condition, you could opt to only replace the glass.

When doing this, you need to consider the fact that there could be some downsides to this. It may be tricker

for the installers to fit new glass to old frames than it is to fit new custom-built frames. Additionally, you’ll be more likely to experience problems with them sooner.

You should consider these two options alongside your budget to help you make your decision. A window installation company should also be able to inspect your current window frames and advise you on the best

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