The Pros And Cons Of Window Inserts

Old single-pane windows are drafty and provide almost no insulation from the noise outside your window. But replacing all of the windows on a residential home is an expensive investment. For a complete window replacement with vinyl double-hung windows with double panes, the average cost is between $500 and $900. That adds up quickly. Fortunately, there are simpler and more cost-effective solutions like window inserts, custom panels that slip in front of your existing frames and panes to improve heat and noise insulation. Here are a few of the pros and cons to consider.



Because window inserts require less material than a full window replacement and are easy to install, they are much more cost-effective than a full window replacement. The insert fits over your existing window so there are no window removal costs either. A typical custom window insert averages around $250 and that can provide significant savings when compared to a full window replacement.

Energy Efficient

With a window insert, you get all the added benefits of new windows without the hassle, including increased energy efficiency. One of the major reasons people choose to replace their existing windows is because of the draftiness of their old windows. Window inserts with low-E glass can solve that problem by reducing heating transmission. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, the emissivity of uncoated glass is about 0.84 and that can be reduced to 0.16 with low-E glass inserts.

Noise Reduction

Another major benefit of window inserts is that they provide significant noise reduction. Tired of hearing every barking dog, squealing brake, and revving engine? Window inserts are an easy and cost-effective solution to getting some peace and quiet in your home.


Won't Work For Everyone

One of the major drawbacks of window inserts is that they're not an option for every homeowner. If your existing window frames are made of bulky vinyl, window inserts typically aren't an option. However, if your window frame material is slimmer, such as those made of fiberglass or wood, you can have custom window inserts made that will fit snugly over your existing frames and panes.

Loss of Visibility

Another drawback of window inserts is some loss of visible space in your window opening. Because you're adding an additional layer of material over your existing frames and panes, you're also increasing the amount of material between you and your view of the outside. This can be a deal-breaker for some homeowners.

To learn more about window inserts, contact a company like Pat's Doors Inc.