Glass windows - single or double paned?

jennholly(tx 8)May 14, 2009

I am building a greenhouse out of reclaimed windows.

I have heard conflicting information about using single or double paned (insulated?) glass, but I haven't been able to find any information pertaining to greenhouses.

Which would you recommend, and why?

Our summers get very warm and our winters are "relatively" mild, with a few freezes which are usually brief.

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I'm in zone 4/5 and my GH is single pane. I checked out double pane for the insulation value, but the cost was way too much for me. In addition to the glass itself, the weight is significantly heavier so the GH structure needs to be sturdier, which also adds costs.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 2:22PM
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If you are building the GH yourself and plan to frame it with lumber, the weight of double panes shouldn't be an issue and in an area that experiences mild winters but very hot summers, insulation is as important as it is where winters get bitterly cold.

In fact, it's a lot easier to keep a GH warm in winter than it is to prevent it from becoming an oven in summer and the plants will grow as well under double panes as they do single.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 8:24AM
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jennholly(tx 8)

Thanks! You both have given me a few things to think about. The frame base will be the frame of this shed, with a few modifications:

One thing I did not mention in my original post was that I don't really plan to run electricity out to the greenhouse - will that make a difference in the pros/cons of single or double?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 3:57PM
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huisjen(z5 ME)

Build it with what you have. Single should be fine for you. Look into heat-activated, non-electric, pneumatic openers. I think I saw that the Chinese Consulate, um, I mean Harbor Freight has them for about $20. There are also solar powered attic vent fans available at places like Home Depot for a bit more. If you go with single but find that you want more heat retention in the winter, look into preventing heat loss by air infiltration through small gaps in the walls and around the door and windows, insulate your north, east, and west walls, and consider temporary plastic over the windows to raise their R-value.

I assume that in the heat of the summer you'll be leaving the place empty.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 8:55AM
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Double pane windows are only good for 5-7 years and then they start to fog up thats crap, i have double pane insulated glass it will last longer than that. 30 years and more. i make custom entry doors and if i had to replace glass that often i would be out of buisness.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 12:12PM
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I was able to use double paned sliding glass doors thanks to Habitat for Humanity's Restore at around $70/set. That is six feet of tempered glass, frames and screen. Since then, I have been given two sets of doors to use for future projects once folks see how they are being used. It saves energy, is safer and pretty inexpensive. I did use pool cover for the roof and another layer for the ceiling.

If you want to use it in summer, it helps to have two doors (thanks forum folks for the suggestion) for cross ventilation. That's where the screen doors of the sets came in handy.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 12:24AM
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