Single Pane Window Energy Efficiency
October 11, 2010
Single pane windows are generally considered to have the least effective energy retention of any windows. Windows with more than one pane of glass or that are laminated to make them soundproof provide substantially more energy efficiency than single pane windows. Single pane glass isn't a problem in temperate zones but does make it more expensive to heat and cool a home or building where temperatures are extreme.
The energy efficiency of single pane windows depends on the thickness of the glass and the location of the window. Heat loss occurs most readily when the window is exposed to wind. The interior heat of the room is conducted directly through the glass and outside air movement simply whisks it away. Air conditioned air suffers the same fate and the result is higher energy costs.
Other factors that affect the single pane windows energy efficiency rating is whether the window is properly framed, protected by shrubbery, and exposed to direct sunlight.
Increase the Energy Efficiency of Single Pane Windows
Single pane windows are made more energy efficient by laminating the window or by the addition of laminated glass. This provides an additional barrier between heated or air conditioned air and the outside temperatures.
Adding a layer of plastic sheeting is another way to improve energy efficiency. This creates a somewhat stable layer of air that acts as insulation. Plastic doesn't possess the insulating qualities of a dual pane window but does help in energy conservation.
Use curtains to control air flow around the inside of the window to help minimize the loss of heat during cold winter months and air-conditioned coolness in the summer. This is another way to create a layer of air to act as insulation between the single pane window and the rest of the home.