Comparing Double-Paned Windows & Triple-Pane Windows

Comparing Double-Paned Windows & Triple-Pane Windows

Double-paned windows comprise two panes of glass separated by a layer of gas. This layout can help to reduce sound transmission and keeps the home more comfortable than old-fashioned single-paned windows. Some producers have taken this concept a step further, with the introduction of triple-paned units containing three individual sheets of glass. Before you splurge on triple-paned windows, consider how they compare with double-paned units in terms of efficacy, sound transmission and cost.

Request About R-Value

The R-value of a window measures its ability to resist heat flow. A window with a higher R-value is much more successful at blocking heat transfer than one with a very low R-value. To keep your home warm throughout the winter and keep expensive heat from escaping through the window panes, look for units with the highest R-value possible. Double-paned windows have an R-value ranging from 3 to 3.7, according to the Arizona Public Service Co., while triple-paned windows have an R-value of around 5, making them more effective at blocking heat flow. It follows that replacing double-paned units using triple-paned windows can decrease heating expenses. It also usually means that residences with triple-paned windows will stay warmer during winter power outages because less heat will escape through the windows.

Compare Solar Heat Gain

Along with R-value, in addition, it is important to comprehend how well a window blocks solar heat gain. This information is revealed from the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), which ranges from 0 to 1. A low SHGC usually means that the window does an excellent job blocking heat-producing solar beams, though a high SHGC way more solar heat gain into the home. In northern climates, a high SHGC may be desirable because it helps keep the home warmer. Homeowners in southern climates should look for windows with a low SHGC because it helps to keep cooling bills lower during the warm summer months. In general, triple-paned windows have a lower SHGC than double-paned units. Check the specs on each and every unit while looking for windows to verify SHGC.

Evaluate Costs

Triple-paned windows cost 10 percent to 15 percent more than double-paned ones on average. The increased efficacy of triple-paned windows may cut heating bills by 2 percent to 3 percent per year in very cold places but may not save buyers far in much more moderate climate zones. Onofrio Construction Co. warns that for many buyers, the higher cost of triple-paned windows will be not likely to be offset by lower heating costs over the whole life of the window.

Consider Sound Transmission

Beware of sales representatives who boast of the sound-deadening properties of triple-paned windows. Facilities Net, a construction operations management website, reports that triple-paned windows give little advantage over double-paned units in regards to blocking sound.

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