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The Difference Between Double Paned Windows And Window Inserts

  • Window Guide

Many homeowners replace their windows and doors in order to improve the comfort of their homes and save energy. When you start shopping for replacement windows, you will likely have to choose between one of two options: window inserts and full-framed windows.

Window Inserts

The vast majority of window replacement projects require the removal of an old and damaged window frame with its sashes, and replacing it with a new window. Many homeowners prefer window inserts because they are user-friendly, are relatively easy for DIYers, and leave the exterior and interior trim undisturbed.

Window inserts are essentially full-operational windows that are placed within the existing window trim and sill. You can personalise your replacement window inserts with regard to their design and energy efficiency so the colour, style, and design match your room decor. The window inserts are also virtually maintenance free after installation.

Double Paned Full-Frame Replacement

If you are looking to upgrade your old windows to more energy efficient double paned windows, you should consider a full-frame replacement. To accommodate the window design, you need to replace the windowsills and the interior and exterior trim.

During the installation, you need to remove the complete window, including the sills and trim, so the opening resembles that of a new construction. This option presents a great opportunity for owners to upgrade very old windows with a damaged or severely deteriorated wooden window frame. Post-installation, you will need to paint or stain the interior trim to complete the look and styling, so it complements your interior decor.

Which One Is Right for You?

Both options face similar shortcomings in terms of window quality and installation that may reduce or negate the desired energy savings. For instance, replacing individual windows using inserts or complete removal as opposed to upgrading all the windows in your home may not deliver the intended energy savings and comfort level.

Old frames may still let in cold drafts, while poorly spaced glass or failed seales can lead to new problems such as condensation. So, quality is key when looking to replace windows and doors.

That said, a full-frame installation is usually recommended for very old and drafty windows. The replacement windows may cost between 20 and 25 percent more than window inserts because of the additional materials and work required. On the other hand, window inserts are custom designed to match your home’s trim and colour, and fitted in the existing frame, allowing you to preserve the original architectural styling while improving its efficiency.

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