Are Triple-Pane Windows Really That Much Better For Chicagoland Homeowners?

Are Triple-Pane Windows Really That Much Better For Chicagoland Homeowners?

Or Is It Like That Thing With The Razors?

Images showing the inner workings of a triple-pane replacement window system.

While certain aspects of triple-paned windows aren’t much of an improvement over double-paned windows, it absolutely isn’t the same thing as slapping eight blades onto a razor and calling it a revolutionary idea. There are real and tangible results from adding a third pane to a window, and we’re glad to go over them with you here. But first, a brief overview of window construction.

Replacement Window Basics

We’ve come a long way from the days of using translucent horn to cover the holes in our homes. Now what we consider windows was once a carefully formed system requiring the work of several master craftsmen to create. Today, it’s all packaged as a single unit light enough for two people to lift into place easily.

Replacement windows cover every aspect of your window system, from the sill to the sash, and are all highly efficient. Even your most basic double-pane window is around 90% efficient at keeping heat either in or out, depending on the weather.

No, we aren’t trying to say that they magically decide which direction to control the temperature; they simply don’t allow much heat to pass through them at any time. The phrase of keeping the heat in or out is based on our perceptions, not the window’s function.

Multiple Pane Windows

Single pane windows are more heat transmitters than insulators, and the same goes for the amount of noise they pass through into your home. Once double-pane windows worked out their bugs, single-pane windows went the way of the dinosaurs, and deservedly so.

Though forms of double-paned windows came out long ago, it wasn’t until the 70s that double-paned windows became a standard feature for modern homes. Unfortunately, the aluminum frames and metal separators for the panes didn’t perform as well as expected. It wasn’t until vinyl and fiberglass came into vogue that double-pane windows were accepted for the superior window design they are today.

Emphasis On Insulation And Strength

As the glass portion of replacement windows became more efficient, the frames and fitment became more important as the remaining source of drafts through your walls. Different levels of foam infusion in the structure of the windows and the strength of the design became the main basis for quality levels beyond the simple aesthetics of the window itself.

Double-Pane Windows vs Triple-Pane Windows

The differences between double and triple-pane windows go deeper than just an extra pane of glass in the center. The heat loss and security factors have been greatly enhanced in triple-pane window technology, though the noise levels do remain roughly the same as it is with double-pane windows.

Heat Loss

Modern double-pane windows prevent an impressive 90% of heat loss on average, but triple-pane windows take that number up to 97%. That is close to achieving a near elimination of all heat loss through that window. The greater efficiency comes from the additional insulating layer of inert gas created by that third pane. That efficiency can translate into significant energy savings if your home has a lot of windows.

Security

While double-pane windows will slow an intruder down, having to break a third pane of glass makes it much more likely that they will be heard. It isn’t easy to get through three layers of insulated glass in one blow, and most criminals won’t even know that they need to until it’s too late. And those extra seconds they need to break through could make all the difference in the world to you and your family.

Noise Barrier

The noise insulating qualities of double-pane windows are already exceptional and, while triple-pane windows are a touch quieter, the difference isn’t noticeable to the human ear. If noise is your main concern, then double-paned replacement windows will do just fine.

Ambient Light

Either type of window can be treated to keep UV light out, so neither has an advantage over the other there. Triple-paned windows do let a little less natural light into your home, which is either a good or bad thing, depending on your tastes. However, for folks with sun sensitivity issues, that extra bit of protection from a triple-pane replacement window could become a blessing.

The Verdict

The only thing more efficient at combating heat loss than a triple-pane window is a well-insulated wall, and even then, it’s a close race. If comfort and energy consumption are your main worries, then triple-paned windows are the way to go. There’s simply nothing currently made that does the job better.

And outside of security glass, no other window will do as well at keeping the bad guys outside than a triple-pane replacement window.

If you’d rather save your money to spend on a little extra energy use, and all you want is to stop having to hear your neighbors at night, then a double-pane replacement window is the one for you.

Triple-pane windows are undeniably an advance in window technology; you just have to decide if the pluses are worth the additional investment. For many, that answer has been an enthusiastic yes.

If it’s time to replace the old windows on your Chicagoland home, contact us at Krumwiede Home Pros for a free quote.

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