One of the most-asked questions by customers shopping for new windows is if triple-pane windows are the new standard for windows in Canada. There are many arguments in the triple-pane vs double-pane debate, from efficiency over savings to the actual cost.
Window insulation is an important factor in both summer and winter. In the summer, you want to keep the heat out, and in the winter, you want to keep the cold out. There are two main types of window insulation: Double Pane and Triple Pane glass. Let’s compare triple-pane windows to double-pane windows and see which one is better.
Double Pane Window
Let’s first define what a pane is. Simply put, a window pane is a sheet of glass that separates the inside and outside of your home. A double-pane window consists of two sheets of glass within a sealed unit, creating an additional barrier of insulation that increases the efficiency of the window. Often Argon or Krypton gas is used to fill the space between the panes for additional efficiency. It is sometimes also referred to as a double-glazed window.
Triple Pane Window
Just like with double-pane windows, a triple-pane window consists of a sealed unit with an additional pane, where the gap between the panes can again house an insulating gas. A triple-pane window’s additional air space results in even better energy efficiency and noise reduction.
The Difference Between Double And Triple Pane Windows
There are several key differences between double and triple-pane windows that are important to consider when making a decision about which type of window to install in your home.
Double-pane windows are two panes of glass separated by a spacer with sealed edges. The spacer acts as an insulator, preventing heat transfer between the two panes of glass. This makes double-pane windows more energy-efficient than single-pane windows.
There are two types of double-pane windows: those with gas filling and those without. Gas-filled windows have argon or krypton gas between the panes of glass to further reduce heat transfer. These windows are even more energy-efficient than those without gas filling.
Triple-pane windows, on the other hand, have three panes of glass. The construction of these windows is such that there is an outer pane, a middle pane, and an inner pane. There is also a spacer between each layer of glass to provide added insulation and limit the transfer of temperature from outside to inside the home.
Between each piece of glass is a layer of gas, typically argon or krypton. The air spaces serve as insulation against heat transfer, while the gas helps to reduce heat loss further.
There is a cost difference between double and triple-pane windows. Double-pane windows typically cost 15-20% more than their single-pane counterparts. Triple-pane windows can cost approx 20% more than double-pane windows. Approximately an average-sized double-pane window can cost $650, while its triple-pane counterpart can cost $800 per window.
The increased cost is due to the fact that double and triple-pane windows are made with two or three panes of glass, respectively. The additional panes of glass help to insulate the window, which can lead to savings on heating and cooling costs. In addition, double and triple-pane windows typically come with argon or krypton gas between the panes of glass, which further increases the insulating properties of the window.
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The main difference between double and triple-pane windows is the number of layers of glass. Double-pane windows have two panes of glass, while triple-pane windows have three. The additional layer of glass in triple-pane windows provides more insulation, which can lead to increased energy efficiency.
A house that needs higher heat retention can use a double or triple window pane, depending on their level of heat preference. If your house is quite big and you want to keep the temperature warm as quickly as possible during a winter storm, you can invest in a triple-size window pane. This will definitely increase heat retention throughout the house. But if you prefer a moderately warm temperature, you can switch to a double-pane window type. For those areas with longer summer or winter seasons, it is advised to purchase a triple pane window as it will surely increase heat retention for longer hours.
If triple window panes are highly significant in their energy-efficient feature, it is not that impactful in terms of soundproofing. This is because triple-pane windows have lesser in-between spaces, which means lesser soundproofing can be made. Unlike triple-size window panes, double-pane windows are likely to provide higher soundproofing levels which evidently increases sound reduction. That is why homeowners in urban communities or located in noisy residential areas install double-pane windows rather than triple-pane window glass. With lesser noise from the outside neighbourhood, you are able to concentrate well on your activities and lessen the chances of anxiety.
Double vs. Triple Pane Windows: Which is Better?
When comparing double vs triple pane windows, the answer is clear. Adding a pane to a sealed window unit adds another insulating barrier to the window. It increases the window’s efficiency against the loss of heat, reduces condensation, and also improves the noise reduction feature of the unit.
Another advantage of a triple-pane window is that it allows for the utilization of additional low-emission coatings. Almost all double- and triple-pane windows manufactured in Canada use these types of coatings to increase the efficiency of the window unit. When combined with the additional insulation a third pane provides, these features result in even greater efficiency and savings.
When discussing triple pane vs double pane, the R-value and U-value of windows are often used. The R-value refers to the amount of heat resistance a unit has, while the U-value is the amount of heat transference that the glass allows. So ideally, you want a unit that has a high R-value and low U-value for high levels of insulation as well as a low transfer of heat for the best balance between the two values.
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Another factor to consider is Energy Star-certified windows, which use international standards to guarantee efficiency in different climate zones. Energy ratings can vary between different manufacturers, so it is important to ask our specialists about the differences to make an informed decision.
Double Pane and Triple Pane Windows Cost
The cost of windows strongly depends on the style of window you choose, but on average, the cost for a triple-pane window unit is 10-15% higher than for a double-pane window, so it is an important factor to take into consideration when budgeting for renovations. They are generally also heavier and larger than double-pane windows, which may affect the installation to ensure structural integrity.
Should You Get Double or Triple Pane Windows?
The decision if a triple-pane window is right for you depends on various factors. While the initial cost for the windows is higher than for double-pane units, the potential for savings due to the higher energy efficiency is considerable. Especially if you live in an area with a very warm and/or cold climate, triple-pane windows can not only increase the comfort of your home but also save on utility bills for both heating and cooling. Windows are responsible for about 40% of energy and heat loss in homes, and by ensuring that much of the summer heat stays outside while avoiding losing precious heat in winter, triple-pane windows can greatly reduce this number.
Another advantage of triple-pane windows is reduced noise and sound transmission due to the additional air barrier between the panes, which can make a big difference, especially if a window faces a busy street.
These units also increase your protection from moisture entering your home. Over time, moisture exposure can lead to mildew and mould around the windows and even inside the walls. It is important to note that even if a visible mould patch may be small and not cause any health problems, it might be a sign of bigger issues. And if you or a loved one suffer from allergies or asthma, mould and mildew can have serious consequences.
Triple-pane windows also can increase the security of your home against both break-ins or falling branches. Their higher weight makes them more resistant to damage, and the additional pane will also make it a lot harder to break through.
Another factor to consider is the requirements of your home, such as if a window is facing the sunnier or shadier side of your house, which might warrant looking at different window types.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that can influence your decision on double-pane vs triple-pane windows, and with many homeowners, the cost of purchase and installation will have at least some influence on your decision. At Eco Choice Windows & Doors, we have years of experience with both double- and triple-pane windows and will assist you with any questions or concerns you have about replacement windows. Call (416) 690-9992 today to get started on your free, no-obligation quote to find out which solution is the best for your home.