In today’s property market, most buyers are on the lookout for energy-efficient homes. Energy-efficience raises the comfort of your home and reduces costs incurred trying to maintain a constant indoor temperature. Your windows play a crucial role in heat transfer and energy management in the home. Windows form a primary point of contact between your home and the exterior, so energy-efficient windows can help significantly reduce your energy bills. The most common technique for improving energy-efficiency in windows involves constructing them with multiple glazing. These windows are made using either two or three panes with a filler gas in between for insulation. As a homeowner, you could be wondering whether to choose double or triple-pane windows. This article compares these two options to help you make the decision.
Double vs. Triple-Pane Windows: What Makes the Difference?
While it may seem straightforward that triple-pane windows are a better option, this is not always the case. While they offer improved energy-savings, they could be an unnecessary expense depending on where you live. Double-pane windows feature two glazing panels separated by an inert gas (Argon or Krypton), creating a barrier that discourages heat transfer between your home and the exterior. Just like double-pane windows, triple-pane come in three glass panels separated by inert gas layers. This makes them more energy-efficient, but they aren’t a new construction standard in the property market as they are considered a luxury product. To help you decide whether you should use double or triple pane windows in your next window replacement, we compare the energy-saving characteristics of the two.
Windows often come with Low-E (low Emissivity) coatings that improve their insulation properties. In double or triple-paned windows, this factor is usually scaled up due to the use of multiple panes. Low-E glass coatings reduce the amount of solar energy that is transmitted into your rooms through your windows. The extra pane in triple-pane windows allows for the use of additional low-emissivity coatings. Triple pane windows, therefore, make your home more energy-efficient and comfortable by reducing the amount of Infrared Energy that radiates into your home.
The insulation properties of a window are given in terms of the “R” Value (and its inverse, the U-factor). The R-value is a measure of your window’s resistance to heat flow. Double-paned windows typically have an R-value between 3 and 3.8. this means that they reduce heat loss through the panes by about 30-40%. Triple-paned windows typically have an R-value of between 7 and 8. This means that triple-pane windows are up to 50% more efficient at reducing heat transfer compared to single-pane windows.
Triple-pane windows are better at reducing condensation than double-pane windows. When water collects on a cold surface as droplets, condensation occurs. Condensation on your windows could lead to structural damage and requires plenty of heating to eliminate. Triple-pane windows have better insulation properties. This means that the glass panes will always be at a higher temperatures, reducing the likelihood of condensation. With triple-glazed windows, you will need very little heating to get rid of condensation, reducing your energy bills.
To see whether you should invest in double or triple pane windows, its best to compare their performance against their costs. Triple-pane windows are about 20% more energy efficient than their double-pane counterparts. Triple pane windows, on average cost 10%-15% more than double-glazed units. This difference could run into several thousand dollars if you plan to replace all the windows in your property. It is estimated that using triple-pane windows in place of double-pane windows will save you 2-3% on your annual energy bills. It would, therefore, take between 20 and 25 years to recoup your investment on triple-glazed windows.
Double or Triple Pane Windows: Which One Should You Pick?
If you are stuck making the choice between double or triple pane windows, you would want an option that offers clear savings and improves indoor comfort. Before you decide on one, you should consider the weather patterns and the condition of your home’s structure. While they offer unmatched energy-efficiency benefits, triple-pane windows are costlier and heavier. Only go for triple-pane windows if you plan on staying in your property for over two decades. You also need to be sure that your home can handle the additional weight.
Ready for Your Next Window Replacement?
The great news is, whether you go for double or triple pane windows, you will realize numerous energy-saving benefits of new windows. Let Aspen Home Improvements help you get the most comfort in your home. We perform renovations in Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland. With over 25 years of combined experience in window, door, and siding installation, our team will recommend the best products for your budget. Call us or contact us online for a free consultation and quotation for your next project.