Triple pane windows are a good choice if energy efficiency is high on your priority list.
Triple pane windows have one more piece of glass than a double pane window, providing extra insulation against extreme temperatures. They also act as a sound buffer. But, even with the added benefits, they aren’t always worth the price.
If you’re in the market for new windows and wondering if a triple-pane will be worth the extra money, here’s what you need to know.
What is a Triple Pane Window?
Triple pane windows are also called insulated glass units, IGUs, or triple-glazed windows. They consist of three layers of glass. In between the layers is a spacer and an insulating non-toxic gas filling. Argon is the most common gas in triple pane windows, but you can also find options with krypton, which is denser but more expensive.
Triple pane refers to the glass and not the window itself. You can find triple-pane glass options in the most popular window styles, including double-hung and sliders.
How Much Do Triple Pane Windows Cost?
Triple-pane glass costs 10-20% more than double-pane. The average price is $660 to $720 for a standard-sized double-hung window. The price can go into thousands of dollars depending on the window size, frame material, and brand.
The higher cost is due to the extra material and intricacy of the manufacturing process.
Depending on your energy usage, it can take 30-35 years to recoup the cost of triple-pane versus double-pane windows.
What Manufacturers Offer Triple Pane Windows?
Most top brands offer double-pane windows as the standard. While it’s a little more challenging to find triple-pane varieties, you can find them in specific models from the following companies:
The Pros and Cons of Triple Pane Windows
While great insulators, triple-pane windows aren’t for everyone. Here’s what to consider.
- Great insulators – If you live in an extreme climate, triple-pane windows will help keep temperatures regulated inside your home.
- Stops air leaks – The extra layer of glass is ideal for stopping drafts.
- Noise reduction – Triple pane windows reduce noise, making them ideal for homes on busy streets.
- More expensive – Triple-pane windows cost, on average, 10-20% more than double-paned windows but can be as much as double.
- Long time to recoup the cost – It can take decades to recoup the extra cost.
- Glass issues – A Pacific Northwest National Laboratory survey prepared for the US Department of Energy states that many builders and contractors find the glass panes on the US-manufactured triple pane windows too thin and more susceptible to breakage.
- Not all manufacturers offer them – If you want a triple pane window, your options are limited.
Are Triple Pane Windows Better than Double Pane?
Triple pane windows have one more glass panel than a double pane window. The extra glass provides a second space for an insulating gas filling. Because of this, triple-pane windows are more energy efficient and provide more noise reduction.
But, a triple-pane window is more expensive than a double-pane option, taking decades to recoup the cost. Triple pane glass is better if you live in an extreme northern climate. Otherwise, double-pane glass can provide all the benefits you need.
What is the R-Value of Triple Pane Windows?
The R-Value of a window is the measure of heat resistance. Most triple-pane windows have an R-value of at least 5, but this number varies from brand and model of window. For example, a triple-paned window with a krypton gas filling will have a much higher R-value than a triple-paned window with an air filling.
Triple Pane Windows vs. Low-E: Which is Better?
If you’ve been debating between a triple pane window and Low-E glass, you can have both. A triple pane window refers to how many glass panels are in the unit. Low-e refers to a microscopic low-emissivity coating. Combined, these two will provide your home with superior energy efficiency.
Will a Triple-Pane Window Increase Home Value?
On average, you can expect to recoup about 70% of your investment if you replace your windows. But, if you opt for expensive windows for your area, you might not recoup as much. Triple-pane windows can increase a home’s value in extreme climates where these windows are a standard feature. Otherwise, they might not have as high of an ROI.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
Why do triple-glazed windows fog up?
Triple glazed windows can fog up when cold meets hot air. Fogging is most common in the winter when temperatures drop, and the home is heated inside. Condensation on the outside of the window is not abnormal, but condensation on the interior is. If you notice fogging inside the glass panes, you have a broken seal, and the insulated glass unit needs replacing.
Does Andersen have triple pane windows?
Andersen offers triple pane windows in their A-Series and E-Series products. They state their triple pane windows are ideal for northern climates.
Can you reseal a triple-paned window?
You can’t reseal a triple-paned window. When the seal breaks, you’ll need to replace the entire IGU, which consists of ordering a replacement sash from the manufacturer or having a glass repair shop replace the insulated glass unit.
Triple-pane windows aren’t worth the extra cost for those in mild climates. But, the extra insulation can be worth it if you live in an area with extreme heat or cold.
If you want to increase your home’s energy efficiency but don’t want to shell out the money for all triple-pane windows, consider adding them to rooms in your house that face north or east. Then, you can put double-pane windows in the rest of your home.