Shopping for windows can be difficult. How do you choose what type of window to use in your home? Look at factors such as durability, energy efficiency, and cost. These can help to differentiate between double and triple pane windows. In this article, we’re going to compare a few of the differentiating factors between the two.
Double Pane Windows
Double pane windows are also known as double glazed windows. They offer up to a 50% reduction in heat loss over single pane windows. That reduction can be further decreased if a fiberglass frame is used. The main advantage these windows have over triple pane windows is the cost. Depending on the manufacturer, the price difference can be anywhere from 15% to 40%.
An important factor in the energy efficiency of a double pane window is the spacer. If the wrong spacer is used, the gap between the two windows can be either too great or too small, which will lower the window’s energy efficiency. There is also an option to fill the gap between the two windows with an inert gas such as argon or krypton. This can add to the window’s energy efficiency. Argon is most often used instead of krypton because of its lower cost.
Triple Pane Windows
Triple pane windows have all the benefits of double pane but come with an extra pane of glass and an extra spacer. These windows are much heavier than double pane windows. Fortunately, the extra weight shouldn’t be a problem in the day to day functioning of your window.
The main advantage of the triple pane window is the increase in energy efficiency. There is a considerable improvement over a double pane window in terms of U-value and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. It can be up to 20-30%. The two spacers of triple pane windows allow for an extra layer of argon or krypton to be used for a considerable increase in energy efficiency. Unfortunately, due to the increased cost of the third panel of glass, it may take up to 30 years for the window to pay for itself.
Finally, the extra glass improves the window’s protection from noise but not noticeably more than a double pane window. Don’t buy triple pane just to improve sound transmission. It won’t be worth it. Triple pane windows are also more resistant to condensation because of the extra pane of glass which makes them a good choice for colder climates.
Are Triple Pane Windows Worth the Extra Investment?
If you live in a climate with extreme weather, triple pane windows will be much more effective than if you live in an area with a very mild climate where the extra glass will not be as necessary. In the latter case, you might be better off buying double pane windows. Otherwise, the extra 15-40% investment will pay for itself in the long run. Contact a professional to decide for sure if triple pane windows are the right choice for your home.