In need of replacement windows and wondering if triple pane windows are worth the money? The philosophy that “more is better” truly does apply to windows when you are comparing triple pane styles to traditional double pane models. Whether you are considering energy efficiency, weight, or sound deadening properties, the additional layer makes a difference.
Comparing the Construction
Double pane windows are two pieces of glass with an argon or krypton gas filler in between; whereas triple pane models have three layers of glass with two layers of gas between them. Argon gas is less expensive while reducing temperature transfer. Krypton is denser than argon, so it does an even better job reducing temperature transfer and maximizing energy efficiency; it is used in most triple pane brands.
Depending on the brand of window you buy, the product will have a spacer system then keeps the glass the proper distance apart and provides a tight seal so that the gas does not escape. The insulation also makes for a quieter home.
The extra piece of glass makes triple pane windows thicker and heavier. They are usually 1″ thick, while double panes models come in 3/4″, 7/8″, or 1″ thicknesses. As long as the window properly fits in a sturdy vinyl or fiberglass frame, the thickness and weight have no impact on the average user.
Better Energy Efficiency with Triple Pane Windows
Where the extra glass makes a difference is in performance. Windows have a sticker on them from the NFRC that note characteristics such as:
- R values, the resistance to heat.
- U factors, the amount of heat that is transferred to a material.
- Low E, or low emissivity, indicates that the window has been treated with a metallic coating that reflects and radiates heat energy.
- SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficients), the ability of the window to control solar heat gain, the amount of solar energy that passes through.
- VT values (Visible Transmittance.), the amount of sunlight in daylight that flood through the window, even when the window is tinted.
The best windows, often considered ENERGY STAR-compliant, have a mix of high R-values, low U-values, low E coatings, low SHGC, and high VT.
Double pane windows can reduce heat loss by 50%, while triple pane windows offer a 20-30% additional improvement in thermal conductivity and have a lower u-factor. While both double and triple pane windows have a low emissivity, or low-e, metallic coating that reflects and radiates heat energy, the triple-glass models have two coats of low-e material. As a result, the home will be a bit darker inside, but more comfortable.
Are Triple Pane Windows Worth the Money for your Next Remodel?
Not surprisingly, triple pane windows cost more than double pane ones. When working with a reputable window company, you might expect to pay $100 or so more per window. The cost differential has come down considerably, but when deciding between the two types, you should factor in the purchase price, the potential energy savings, and the amount of time you plan to be in your home.
Contact Mountain States Windows & Siding to find out if triple pane windows are worth the money for your next remodel.