G2G Insulation Twin Falls
Attic Insulation

Home Insulation and the Truth About Windows

Some of the most expensive components in the construction or remodeling of a home are fixtures and windows. Kitchens and baths can easily end up costing 25% of your total construction / remodel budget and windows and floor coverings could easily be the same. The way you approach your home insulation and the truth about windows may shock you, it shocked me.

I have been involved in the construction and remodeling industry for over 20 years (way over but I will not disclose how much over) and I have always sworn by double pain windows. For about the first 10 years it was because I thought that installing windows that cost almost twice as much must be twice as good, especially for the insulation factor.

When I found out that the (insulation) difference between single and double pain windows was about the same as, well about the same as the amount of energy it is taking your brain to read the word "Window" I stopped using them in my personal life totally.

I still believe in double pain windows but that is only because everyone else does. You cannot sell a home without double pain windows in today's market and for some unknown reason they add a very large amount of money to the value of a home.

A much more effective way to insulate your windows from both heat loss and heat penetration is to make your own window insulation panels and spend much less money on buying much better looking single pain windows.

Lets start from the beginning and evaluate this from a financial and insulation performance point of view.

A single pain window has an R rating of about R-.9 (just less than R-1). A double priced, double pain window has an R rating of about R-2 and a triple priced and triple pained window has an R rating of about R-3.

If you staple a sheet of plastic inside and outside your window this will give you about R-3 also and it will cost about the price of the staples and plastic (maybe 20 cents per window maximum).

A very nice do it yourself project is to make your own triple pain windows. You can do this with either glass or Plexiglas Lexan (Lexan is easier to work with, but it does get cloudy over time and scratch).

Using a 1 X 2 inch piece of wood, simply measure your window and a frame that will fit in the window frame or over the window frame from the outside. We want the 2 inch side to be the spacer between our 2 sheets of plastic.

Drill holes through the plastic sheets and screw them to the wooden frame with a layer of silicon between the wood and plastic to ensure an air tight seal.

Just like that, you have a triple pain window. The glass installed plus a removable double pain glass cover that is removable and reusable.

If you want you can use spray adhesive to glue sunscreen material to the inside of the outer pain of plastic before installing the second piece of plastic (this is for hot weather and solar heat blockage).

For a cold weather application you will not want the solar blockage on the outside of your windows, you will want the sunscreen or tinting inside your home to collect the heat.

For hot weather, a simple awning that blocks the sun from hitting the window is more effective than a triple pain window that is not shaded. Of course a triple pain window that is also shaded is the best application, it is just not the most aesthetic or cost effective approach to saving energy especially if you are concerned about the environment. Glass and aluminum production take a heavy toll on our environment and doubling or tripling up cannot be very environmentally friendly.



Home Insulation and Windows