Tag Archives: double pane windows

Single-Pane Windows

Single-Pane Windows

When I was first in the post frame (pole barn) building industry almost 40 years ago windows were hardly ever a chosen option, and when they were, they were always single-pane windows.


Because the buildings were probably never going to be climate controlled and the single-pane windows were cheap. And, as we found out, single-pane windows were difficult to ship and have them arrive at jobsites without breaking.

With more and more post frame buildings being climate controlled, it truly only makes sense to use double-pane windows.

I was surprised when I read this on the website of another company which provides pole barn kits: Even windows can be insulated. In an insulated pole barn, you might consider installing double pane windows.  They are more expensive than single pane, but increase energy efficiency and help keep the area climate controlled.”

It has been at least three decades since I would even have considered providing less than a double-pane window to a client.

Single-pane windows are made with a single layer of glass. They come in all of the same styles and materials double-pane windows do, but they are not as efficient at keeping out noise or seasonal temperatures. Their initial cost is less, but over time, energy bills will be higher.

Single-pane glass treatments have no insulation. When you have only one pane of glass, outside temperatures and noise will affect the inside of your post frame building more easily. However, the costs of heating or cooling down your pole building are directly related to the type of window you choose.

Double-pane windows come with two panes of glass. These panes are separated from each other by a spaced filled with air. This air traps winter’s colder temperatures or summer’s heat in between the two windows and forms a barrier which blocks the heat and cold from affecting your pole building. The energy savings over single pane windows can be as much as 24 percent in cold climates during the winter and 18 percent during the summer in hot climates. This results in lower energy costs and less noise, which can be an important consideration in high traffic areas.

These window treatments do initially cost more than single-pane windows do, since they use double the glass material, but the insulation and strength they offer can make them a much better buy. In fact, with double-pane windows you won’t have to use your air conditioner as often and your heater can be set at a lower temperature because the air temperature inside your post frame building will be more consistent.


Double Hung Windows

True confession time….. (‘most everyone loves it when I fess up to something, don’t they?)….

Double Hung Pole Barn WindowI have never sold a double hung window to a client, installed one as a builder, or owned a building which had double hung windows.

Whew – I feel so much better having gotten this off my chest.

There are lots of choices to make, when it comes to deciding upon windows for a new post frame building. Often times it comes down to the two Bs (not B.S.) – benefit and budget.

The style of the window is going to play a large part in the Bs. Sliding windows and single-hung are going to be very similar in price per square foot of glass.

For a traditional style with many other benefits, consider double hung windows. Double hung windows are designed to open from the top or the bottom. The top sash slides down and the lower sash slides up. Single hung windows look similar, but only the lower sash opens. Due to more moving parts, double hung windows will cost more. For a fairly standard size, such as three foot wide by four foot tall, this cost difference is about $50 per window. The versatility of double hung windows provides for a wide range of ventilation options, but the benefits don’t stop there.

Most modern double hung windows are designed for ease of cleaning. Both the upper and lower sashes tilt in. This means that you can clean the outsides of upper story windows from the inside, eliminating the need to hassle with ladders, scaffolding, or long-handled tools.

My wife’s experience…she tells me she had double hung windows in the last house she lived in, and LOVED them.  She said she could clean the windows totally from the inside, and didn’t have to run outside, and drag a ladder around to clean the outsides. If the weather was cold, windy, same thing…cleaning from the inside went faster and with less hassle.  She also could reach the interiors of the window frames much easier.

Modern double hung windows are designed with double or even triple panes with an air pocket sandwiched between. This provides for energy efficiency without the trouble of putting on storm windows or plastic sheeting.

There are some valuable features to look for when choosing double hung windows. One of these is low E glass, which restricts ultraviolet rays. In warm climates, heat-absorbing glass may be desirable. Look for a specially designed balance system (such as the Silver Line® 3000 Series) which eliminates the weights and pulleys of older double hung windows. For just a few extra dollars double pane windows can be filled with inert argon gas instead of plain air. Better manufacturers offer a limited lifetime warranty on their windows, valid as long as the original purchaser owns the pole building.

For opening windows on the second floor of a pole barn, double hung certainly appears to be a choice worth considering.

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