When the winter sets in, it’s more clear than ever when you need new windows. Having a cold blast through a drafty window makes getting cozy with hot cocoa much tougher. But for many homeowners, deciding between window types is just as tough. To make the experience more user-friendly, check out our information on double vs triple pane windows below!
What are Double Pane Windows?
The standard in window installation, double pane windows are the most commonly purchased. These windows offer basic, yet essential, protection against the elements. For example, the Signature series of windows are ⅞” thick, and offer R and U Factors of 4 and .28, respectively. The R Factor indicates heat flow resistance, whereas the U Factor measures heat’s ease of flow. Essentially, the higher the R Factor, the better the insulation.
Window panes are also measured by their Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, or SHGC, which indicates how much solar radiation transfers through the glass into your home. Despite how intimidating this sounds, it’s really about how much heat comes through from the sun.
In colder weather, having a higher rate is welcome. However, during warmer months having a lower rate is preferred. The SHGC should be calibrated for each climate for optimum results. The Signature series double-pane windows have an SHGC of .29, to allow more temperature control for the homeowner than the sun.
What are Triple Pane Windows?
Triple pane windows offer superior performance to double pane in a number of different ways. For instance, the Signature series triple-pane windows are also ⅞” thick, but have a U Factor of .22 and an R Factor of 6. With an SHGC of .26, these windows outperform their counterparts. Why? It’s not just about the extra panes, but what goes between them.
Having an extra pane for each window adds a significant amount of protection and efficiency to the whole. However, having the additional layer of filling plays a role as well. Both double and triple pane Signature windows use Super Spacer® non-metallic foam spacer and Argon gas between their panes. These serve to reduce condensation and increase insulation overall. With a layer between two panes, these fillings are doing their job well. But with two layers between the first and second cavities, these fillings have real stopping power.
The Lowdown on Windows
Double pane vs triple pane windows goes into the cost of replacement windows. When it comes down to it, triple pane windows are superior to double pane windows. They are heavier, more solid, and offer more resistance to the elements. Double pane windows will dutifully serve their purpose, and as the less expensive of the two, are frequently installed. Consider double pane windows as the luxury standard and triple-pane windows as a luxury upgrade.
Ultimately, whether you decide on double or triple pane windows for your home, getting new windows at all will significantly improve your home. The benefits of replacing old windows are numerous. With the high-quality work of Zephyr Thomas Home Improvement, you’ll be looking at a much warmer winter and a much cooler summer inside your home. Not to mention, your home could become more energy efficient.
To find out why we’ve been Lancaster County’s go-to window replacement specialists for over 60 years, contact us through our website or by calling (717) 399-4708 to speak to a home improvement representative.