Double Pane Windows VS Triple Pane Windows
If you have ever gone 'window shopping,' you must have pondered upon the thought of whether you should get double pane windows or triple pane windows.
Just like doors and ceilings, there's a lot more to windows than most of us think. And, no, it's not just about opening or closing them.
The right kind of windows can help you keep safe, regulate inside temperature as needed, and increase the energy efficiency of your home or any building.
But, which one does it better; double pane or triple pane windows?
Let's compare the two windows to know which one you should get for your home or workplace.
What are Double-Pane and Triple-Pane Windows?
Double-pane windows, sometimes known as dual-pane or double-glazed windows, feature two panes of glass, with insulating argon gas between the panes in most cases. The extra layer of glass and the small insulating gap work together to curtail noise and improve energy efficiency.
As the name suggests, triple-pane windows feature three glass panes and are often known as triple-glazed windows. Since these windows have one additional glass layer and more space for inert gas, their noise reduction and energy efficiency are better than double-pane windows.
Besides noise reduction and energy efficiency, both windows allow easy customization and can house blinds, shades, or grilles between the glass planes. Since blinds or grilles are installed between the panes, they stay safe from dust and impact.
Moreover, the outer surface of the window isn't deformed at all. This allows for better cleaning and overall maintenance.
Now, let's compare different aspects of double and triple pane windows to see which one is better.
Windows contribute a lot to a building's overall energy efficiency. In fact, some statistics say they have a 15 to 26% effect on a house's savings in terms of energy efficiency.
So, let's see how it works in double and triple-pane windows.
First of all, these windows usually feature Low-E glass, which reflects the sun's ultraviolet rays better and ensures effective heat control throughout the year. However, since triple pane windows have an additional layer of glass, they have an additional Low-E glass and insulating gas to boost their energy efficiency.
Secondly, windows have an R-value or rating which essentially represents their insulating value. The higher the R-value, the higher the insulation. Now both double and triple pane windows feature an inert gas as insulation, so both have a high R-value.
However, the R-value for double-paned windows ranges from 3 to 3.8, while triple-paned windows have up to 7-8 R-value. This makes triple-pane windows clearly more effective and better at blocking heat flow.
Similarly, air leakage also plays its part in a building's energy efficiency. In fact, most house owners in cold areas worry about heat loss a lot. Double and triple pane windows have less air leakage than single pane windows, allowing less heat loss.
But again, triple pane windows get an extra security layer to keep the heat inside and ensure the house owner saves on energy bills.
Now, let's see how both window types fare in terms of noise reduction.
Windows are entry points for outside sound. This could be random street noise, kids shouting, traffic horns, neighbors' loud music, etc.
But, with good windows, you can have a peaceful environment inside your home or workplace without worrying about all the noise from outside.
So, how do double and triple pane windows fare in this department?
Given that both types of windows have an extra layer of glass and some space for insulation, they're both great at curtailing noise. But, there is a legitimate way to see which one is better.
STC (Sound Transmission Class) rating is used to measure a window's noise reduction or sound isolation. Windows with better noise isolation have a higher STC value, while those with less effective noise reduction have a lower STC value.
Now, both double and triple-pane windows can't offer perfect soundproofing, but both offer a decent level of noise reduction. As mentioned above, their additional glass layers and the insulating gas work together to block sound from passing through.
So, quite obviously, triple pane windows tend to have a better STC rating than double pane windows. However, the difference is insignificant, and both window types offer decent noise reduction.
This is one of the most important considerations for any building owner or house owner.
Energy efficiency, noise reduction, and other features are great, but if a window type is too expensive, it is difficult to justify the investment.
Now, double and triple pane windows cost more than a single pane window, but the question is: should you spend more and buy triple pane windows instead of double pane?
Well, it depends on the cost and benefits.
Triple pane windows cost almost double the price of double pane windows. But do triple pane windows offer as many benefits?
The answer is no.
While they offer some benefits like higher energy efficiency and noise reduction, the difference is not that significant to justify the additional cost.
So, if you're looking for a more affordable option, then double pane windows are the way to go.
But, if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions or your main concern is energy efficiency, triple pane windows are a better investment in the long run.
This is one aspect where triple pane windows have a clear advantage over double pane windows.
As mentioned earlier, triple pane windows have an extra glass layer, making them more difficult to break. This extra layer of security can be useful in deterring burglars and keeping your home or office safe.
On the other hand, double pane windows are easier to break and offer less security.
So, if security is a major concern for you, then triple pane windows are the way to go.
Both double and triple pane windows have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Double pane windows are more affordable and offer decent energy efficiency, while triple pane windows offer better security and noise reduction.
So, the choice of window type depends on your specific needs, requirements, and budget.