When designing your new home, choosing windows might not be the first thing on your checklist. But don’t make the mistake of underestimating the long-term effect of a great window on a new home. While there are tons of great window styles for every home, picking the right one for your home type and climate could mean the difference between a well-insulated, protected house, and a vulnerable one. When it comes to choosing the right window panes, the difference between double and triple panes might not sound like a lot. But when you start to look closer, you’ll see that when it comes to insulation and protection, the two choices have a world of difference between them. If you’re caught choosing between double and triple pane windows, here’s what you need to know.
Double Pane Windows Offer Great Insulation
Decades ago, when energy efficiency wasn’t the top priority for most homeowners across the country, single-pane windows were the approved standard when it came to residential homes. Today, however, because of advances in technology and new sources of greener, cleaner power, single pane windows are rarely used and double pane windows are considered the gold standard of energy conservation and insulation. Triple pane windows are, of course, a natural extension of this idea. By using three panes of glass instead of two, triple pane windows are considered to have better insulation and soundproofing value. However, the standard of double pane windows is considered to be so high that oftentimes double pane windows can offer the same standard of performance as triple pane windows for a much lower price. Triple pane windows are also incredibly bulky and hard to move and install. However, because triple pane windows are high grade, the price of installation will more often than not be included in the purchase of the materials themselves.
Triple Pane Windows are More Expensive
Because triple pane windows are nearly twice the material of double pane windows, they’re more expensive to produce, handle, and install. Triple pane windows also, because of their third layer, house a section of insulating gas in between for an incredibly high level of heat retention. These types of windows are most often seen in climates that are cold year-round, such as in Alaska and parts of Canada. For homes located in more moderate climates, triple pane windows offer more a benefit in terms of soundproofing. When summer rolls around, triple pane windows can be hard to remove and replace with screens and offer less protection against heat than cold.
Triple Pane Windows are Better for Soundproofing
For houses that are located on busy streets or even rooms that need to be shielded from sound, triple pane windows offer a perfect barrier against background noise. For rooms of the home that are noisier than others, such as studios or even home garages, triple pane windows can also be a huge benefit. For homes with an extension unit or guests house attached, triple pane windows can be perfect for both insulated the unheated areas and protecting privacy. However, if noise protection isn’t a concern, double pane windows are considered to be the highest standard for the most competitive price. Even if you’re living in a cold climate, choosing double pane windows can give you a lot more choice and versatility during the warmer months than bulky, hard-to-install triple pane windows.
Both Windows Increase Home Energy Efficiency
If your main concern is heating your home and lowering your energy bills, both triple pane and double pane windows are a fine choice. The added advantage of triple pane windows makes much more sense for homes located in noisy urban areas, or homes that require extra privacy and protection. When it comes to keeping a home insulated and protected, the choice between the two often comes down to pricing. If you’re a homeowner who truly wants to make an investment, creating a space that’s private and that will allow you to reap the long-term benefits of energy savings, triple pane windows could help you get there. However, at an added cost of about 15% upfront, the savings you see in the beginning could take up to 30 years to equal the money you’ll save on buying a double pane window to begin with. If you’re looking for a great amount of protection and insulation on a budget, double pane windows can give you the same effect for less. Just be sure to check with your retailer to make sure you’re purchasing the highest grade materials available for your window before purchasing.