Insulating the home is accomplished in many ways. The age, condition, and type of windows you have are major factors in how efficient the structure is. Any leakage can drastically increase heating and cooling costs, raising your energy bills higher than they have to be. Upgrading your windows is a good way to spend less on your monthly bills. Double and triple-glazed windows are more efficient than those with a single pane; multi-pane windows are useful in saving energy and insulating the home against outside noise. Here is a look at these window options to see what may be the best fit for you.
Double-Glaze vs. Triple-Glaze Windows
Both of these are highly insulating. Traditionally, windows were built with one pane of glass, but this comes with the drawback of heat loss. If two panes of glass are used, then a layer of air or gas is added in the middle, which provides a layer of insulation. Heat, therefore, does not escape from or get into the home as easily. A triple-glaze window has three panes of glass and two separate layers of air/gas.
These types of windows are assessed by measuring the heat they let in or out – or their U-value. If the U-value is high, the window can let more heat through; if it’s low, then it means the window is more efficient and less heat gets through it. Double glazed windows may have a U-value of 1 or 2, compared to a single-pane window with a U-value above 5. In terms of heat absorption, triple-glaze windows are the most efficient. They can have U-values down to 0.8, although they can block the sun’s heat in the winter, limiting natural warmth. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of these two types of windows.
- Double glaze: A big improvement over single-pane glass windows, double glazed products come in various sizes and styles. You can find a diversity in designs as well, to accommodate the architecture and décor of the home or business. Compared to triple glazed windows, they’re light and offer good value for the price.
- Triple glaze: More insulation allows for a home or business to be comfortable with decreased energy costs. Durability and soundproofing are two other benefits. On the downside, triple glazed windows are relatively heavy and large, and the cost can be significantly more than their double glaze counterparts.
More Insights on Double Pane Windows
If energy and money savings are on your mind, double pane windows are the way to go. Losing energy through windows can account for almost 25 percent of your annual heating/cooling costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. However, the double pan window cost can be quite high and you can’t just buy one. Focus on potential long-term savings, which can be seen during the winter and summer. Compared to single-pane windows, you can save up to 24 percent in energy usage in cold climates and up to 18 percent in hot climates.
By installing these windows, you can reduce the amount of outdoor noise that gets inside. If you value peace and quiet, then double pane windows are worth it. They’re also good if you are environmentally conscious, because you will burn fewer fossil fuels and release lower amounts of greenhouse gases into the air while maintaining a comfortable environment.
Another consideration is quality. If the glass isn’t placed properly, or the seals fail, the energy savings that are advertised may not become a reality. Quality manufacturing may come at a price, but you can expect long-term savings. If condensation develops between panes, that means they’re not properly sealed, and insulation and energy efficiency goes, well – out the window.
Picking the Best Windows
The types of windows described here offer greater energy efficiency over traditional types. It may not always be a clear-cut decision on which way to go, but common considerations include cost, U-value, and where you live. With double panes, there is the added benefit of noise insulation. Triple glazing adds more energy efficiency. Climate has a lot to do with your final choice too. Using all the pros and cons as your guide, and the advice of a professional window installer, you can select the type of window that is most suited for upgrading the efficiency of your home or business.