If you’re in the market for new windows, you have many important decisions to make. In addition to choosing a frame material and operating style, you must also consider your glazing options—that is, how many panes of glass the window has. Do you want single-pane, double-pane, or triple-pane windows? What’s the difference, and do more panes always mean higher energy efficiency?
Windows once featured nothing more than a single pane of glass set into a frame. This is good enough to provide a view while keeping the wind out, but unfortunately, single-pane windows are drafty, inefficient, and prone to condensation. Remember, glass is a poor insulator, so single-pane windows allow outdoor conditions to drastically affect the indoor temperature.
Today, you only find single-pane windows in older homes that haven’t upgraded yet. No builder recommends single-pane windows these days.
When given a choice between single- and double-pane windows, the answer is obvious—you should opt for windows with two panes of glass. Double-pane windows are a huge upgrade from their single-pane counterparts. The improved insulating ability comes from the pocket of air trapped between the two sheets of glass. This slows heat transfer, helping your home stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Some double-pane windows even feature a gas infill of argon or krypton to increase their efficiency even more. These gases are denser than air, so heat passes through them more slowly, enhancing the window’s insulation.
The specific benefits of double-pane windows over single-pane windows include:
As you might imagine, triple-pane windows out perform their double-pane counterparts—but not nearly as much as double-panes outshine single-panes. The increased insulation achieved from adding a third pane is barely noticeable except in the most extreme climates, but they cost 25 to 30 percent more than double-pane windows.
Still, installing triple-pane replacements could be a good idea if:
If you still have questions about window panes and energy efficiency, we invite you to visit one of our local showrooms in Maryland and Northern Virginia. There, you can speak with our experts about the best window replacement options for your home. We’ll make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision, including efficiency ratings, prices, payback periods, and more.
Visit us today, or contact Quality Window & Door to request a free window installation estimate.
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