If you have single-glazed windows and want to replace them with double-glazed windows, that decision can help to boost the energy efficiency of your home. However, in most cases, you cannot do a straight swap with these two types of windows. Here are some ideas to consider:
1. Widen the channel in the sash to fit in two panes.
The difference between single- and double-glazed windows is that the former have one pane of glass while the latter have two panes of glass. As a result, a window with just one pane of glass has a channel in its sash that is just wide enough to accommodate a single piece of glass. However, a double-glazed window has a large-enough channel in the sash to hold two pieces of glass with a bit of air in between them.
In some cases, if you have a large sash, you can make the channel wider. This requires a precise approach, but if you have a wooden sash and experience with woodworking, you can widen the channel and replace the single pane with two panes of glass.
2. Commission the creation of a new sash.
In most cases, however, the existing sash may not be able to handle the widening of the channel. In particular, this happens if the sash is vinyl, if it has old wood that may break with too much work on it or if it is too narrow to support a wider channel. In these cases, however, you can work with a window professional.
They can design a new sash for you that fits into your existing window but that is double-glazed. If you want to learn whether or not your windows are a good candidate for this type of change, you may want to consult with a window designer.
3. Explore other options.
If you are trying to upgrade from single-glazed windows to double-glazed windows to improve the efficiency of your home or to reduce energy loss, there are other options you may want to explore. For example, if upgrading your windows to double-glazed is too expensive, you may want to explore these ideas:
Try adding new energy-efficient window treatments such as curtains to your window. Alternatively, hang a storm window outside the window to provide better insulation, and make sure that you add a bit of caulk around the existing single-glazed pane so it's as weather tight as possible.
Want more guidance? Contact a window professional today. They can help you figure out the best way to replace or improve your single-glazed windows.