I found this study on the performance of window treatments on historic homes.
It turns out the rebuilt single pane wood window with an insulated frame storm window has more than twice the R-value of a new PVC double glazed window.
Also included is a discussion of low E films. These had a slight performance improvement in cooling dominated climates and no noticeable effect in heating climates.
I disassembled a fire damaged house a couple of years ago and saved all the windows. They were wood frame and to keep them up when open was just a simple thin aluminum strip folded in half like a sharp v shape. On both vertical sides, just enough to give resistance. The windows also had custom fit storm windows making them somewhat double paned like a thermal window. I've always liked the wood frame and sash and they have better R rating than wood or vinyl. The storm windows of course have aluminum frames. The wood needs some resto but will make nice units when done. The storm windows can come off for spring and fall when windows tend to get opened a lot.
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
If not now, when?
We love vintage windows, and when completely restored to original working condition, and fitted with proper window accoutrements, they perform as well or better than modern windows very often. They are beautiful.
Silicon rubber weather strips are added where the old weatherization was non-existent. They have a fin that fits into the 1/8" groove cut by a special router. If you don't have a router like this, the tubular strips can be purchased without the fin and set into silicon caulk. After re-installing the sash, then install the parting bead, which is a small board that separates the upper and lower sash. To remove or install the parting bead, the upper sash must be lowered completely.
My house is 95 years old, with the original windows. There are aluminum storm windows outside of the wooden ones.
I can see how rebuilding my wooden windows could really help with drafts. I am worried about disturbing lead into my environment(I have a 7 year old).
The aluminum storm windows seem trashy, and perhaps not worth saving.
No money or time for either right now, but thanks for the breakdown of how they can be rebuilt,it makes it seem possible.