A Second Layer of Windows?
(guest post courtesy of Carlo Chatman)
This is a tough time for keeping energy costs down. Everywhere, it seems, prices are on the rise. People everywhere are looking to trim costs wherever they can.
It makes sense—and cents—to explore options that naturally reduce one of the biggest expenses most families have—home heating and cooling costs. The numbers are staggering. According to the Energy Information Administration, a division of the US Department of Energy. This winter, 2022-23, heating with natural gas will cost 28% more this winter adding $931 to the family nut, heating oil is going up 27% which translates to $2,354, propane has an increase of 5% leading to an extra $1,668 in costs and electricity charges, on average are going up 10% or more depending on the region adding about $1,359 in expenses to the deficit column. Unfortunately, the price forecasts predict continued increases along with the temperatures during the spring and summer when most places need air conditioning to keep cool.
One obvious place to recoup some of those increased costs is through energy conservation. Heat loss mitigation is a good place to take action, and a home’s windows is one area where money and heat could actually be flowing out the window.
Heated air finds its way outside through old, cracked, or even non-existent insulation surrounding windows. Single pane windows may not be thick enough or fitted well enough to keep the heat in. And even double paned windows may not do their job properly, resulting in precious heat escaping outside. Another culprit is the patio door, which is essentially a very large window. If it is not sealed properly, it can be the source of cold drafts in the winter and loss of cooled air in the summer.
Remedying the problem can seem monumental. Replacing windows and patio doors is expensive, disruptive and not a prospect that anyone wants to get into in the winter. However, there is an alternative solution. A second set of windows and doors can be installed on the inside of the house. This second layer of protection can make a profound difference in keeping the heat inside during the winter and the heat outside during the summer. The second sliding patio door has even greater insulation value due to its greater surface area.
“Having another layer of windows and patio doors makes a big difference,” says Randall Brown, president of Soundproof Windows, Inc, a national manufacturer of window soundproofing and energy-efficiency products headquartered in Reno, NV. “You are creating an additional physical barrier between the most porous part of the exterior of the house. This can reduce heat loss by 77% or more for single paned windows, and heating/cooling bills by up to 30% while stopping air infiltration for further energy savings and greater comfort.”
This technique of adding a second window or patio door layer was created by looking at the methods sound studios used to produce soundproof spaces. Since soundproofing involves reducing air flow and meticulously sealing any place where sound can travel, it is an excellent way to also reduce drafts and heating or cooling loss.
The way it works is that the second window and second patio sliding door are matched to the original ones. Each window can be installed in just a few hours and does not involve heavy construction so there’s very little clean up. The glass is laminated. It has an inner layer of polyvinyl, a product used to beef up car windshields. An air space pocket between 2 to 4 inches is kept between the inner and outer windows. This serves as an additional barrier to air leakage and provides significant noise reduction by eliminating sound vibrations.
Spring-loaded seals on the new, second window frame keeps the panels in place and secure. The addition of the reinforced glass also acts as a robust security system, making it difficult for anyone to break into the house.
“One of our customers contacted us specifically because of the second window sound-reduction capabilities since he lived in the downtown of a city with a busy night life,” says Brown. “He was very pleasantly surprised when he realized that his now quiet home was also much less costly to heat and cool. He went from using 550 gallons of healing oil in the winter before the second set of windows was installed, to using 300 gallons—that’s 250 gallons less during the winter after they were installed. He calculates that he saved almost $1,000 that winter. Not only is his home insulated from the shouts of rowdy nighttime crowds walking near his house, but he is insulated from the cold air outside.”
Adding a second set of windows may be the easiest way to reduce energy costs while getting the added benefit of a quieter and more peaceful home.
Editor's Note: For more information, contact Soundproof Windows, Inc. at 4673 Aircenter Circle, Reno, NV 89502; call 1-877-438-7843; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit http://www.soundproofwindows.com