Triple pane windows will reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home, especially when you compare them to single pane windows. However, they are not always a better investment than double pane windows. Let’s take a look at the differences between the three.
Types of Window Glass
The type of glass in your window is what makes it more or less energy-efficient. Make sure that the type of glass in your window is the right one for where you live. The three most common types of window glass are:
Single pane windows are self-explanatory and obsolete in many places because they don’t comply with modern energy codes. Double pane windows have two panes with an inert gas (argon or krypton gas) sandwiched between them. The gas is odorless and colorless and acts as insulation. A triple-pane window has the third pane in the middle with two layers of argon or krypton gas on either side so it has more insulation than a double pane window.
Double Pane or Triple Pane, Which is More Efficient?
Homeowners looking for the best possible ROI on windows may choose triple pane windows over double pane ones in the belief that three panes will provide greater energy savings in the long run. This is not always the case; it all depends on your local weather conditions.
If you live in a location with mild winters, you probably won’t get the full benefit of a triple pane window. In relatively warm states like Texas or Florida, factors like a window’s R-value are not as important as they would be in colder locations like Michigan or Vermont. R-Value refers to a window’s ability to resist heat transfer. Other properties like a triple pane window’s insulating ability (U-factor) and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) — how well a triple pane window blocks solar rays — are wrong for milder climates. While triple pane windows do have a higher R-value, the difference won’t be meaningful in warmer winters so energy savings are unlikely to be significant.
Triple Pane Windows and Noise Reduction
Double pane windows are known to provide effective insulation from outside noise, so a third layer of glass should provide even better insulation, right? Not necessarily. It turns out that there is not a lot of difference between two and three panes as far as noise insulation goes. The problem is that the third pane narrows the gaps for gas in the windows, which makes it easier for sound waves to pass through the window. While a double pane window has a single large gap for the gas, triple pane windows have two smaller ones. The result is that while three panes do provide better insulation from outside temperatures, any noise reduction benefits are minimal.
The Pros and Cons of Double Pane Windows
Double pane windows are easy to find and come in numerous sizes and styles.
Windows with two panes are often made with low-E glass so that they reflect heat and radiation but let sunlight in.
With a double pane window, more light will enter your house than through a triple pane window.
Double pane windows will keep 90 percent of solar heat outside, and in winter it will keep 90 percent of indoor heat inside.
Broken panes can be difficult and expensive to fix.
The Pros and Cons of Triple Pane Windows
A triple pane window will better thermal insulation than a double or single pane window.
Triple pane windows retain more heat than double pane windows. They retain 97 percent of indoor heat.
Three panes are stronger two. Triple pane windows are robust and can stand up to harder impacts than double pane windows can. If you live in an area were tornadoes or hailstorms are frequent, you may want to consider the impact resistance of a triple pane window
Triple pane windows are more expensive than double pane windows. They usually cost about 25 or 30 percent more than double pane windows.
Because they are heavier, triple pane windows may require that you make structural modifications to your home before they can be installed.
Both double and triple pane windows will offer better insulation when compared to single pane windows.
Now that you know some of the differences between windows with two panes and windows with three, you can decide which is best for your home. If you need more information on triple pane windows, use our contact form to get in touch with us.