Nothing is more appealing for a home than having windows that are attractive and fit in with the overall design. Today’s market offers an excellent variety of double pane and triple pane windows.
The past few years have undergone an industrial revolution in the development of energy efficient windows. They are now designed to provide warmer window surfaces, lower heat loss, reduce condensation and cut energy consumption. Both of these windows feature insulating gas sandwiched between panes, special frames, transparent coatings and double or triple glazing. Cost wise, double pane windows are less expensive than the triple pane ones. The latter windows have thicker window glass and come in three sections rather than two. They are recommended for areas that have extreme cold or intense heat while double pane windows are listed as “…protecting your home from cold during the winter, keep A/C inside during the summer.
Additional Low-E coatings can block harmful UV rays”. Checking ENERGY STAR’s energy performance rating will provide information regarding what type of window will best fit your area’s requirements. Another place to check is the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) which compares various types and brands of windows.
Whether installing double or triple pane windows, proper installation is necessary if the ultimate benefit is to be realized. A trained professional will make sure all areas around the window are sealed, fit a window properly and making sure it is airtight. This is essential if the window is to provide efficient air control.
In reality, there is no difference in noise reduction between a double and triple pane windows. However, the triple model, on the average, has approximately 20-30% more u-factors than the double pane ones. In addition, they have better SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient) ratings. However, with these additions, triple windows will make a home darker than double pane windows.
When choosing windows for your home, the following guidelines will help you make the correct selection.
1. Be sure the windows meet the ENERGY STAR Code.
2. Look at the NFRC label to be sure they have the correct energy properties.
3. Check figures regarding annual energy costs for the window.
4. Use RESFEN (a computer program) that will let you compare the window’s performance (i.e. window design, house design, utility rates).
5. Check window manufacturer warranties to be sure you’re getting a durable and reliable product.
6. Contact an established window installer to ensure you have tightly fit windows.
Energy efficient windows, such as double pane and triple pane, provide views to the outside, natural ventilation and natural light. Other benefits include lower HVAC costs, energy savings and less condensation. In addition, they can turn an otherwise dull looking house into one of beauty. Contrary to popular belief, triple pane models do not have a higher failure rate because of having two air chambers. All new windows have a warranty that offers protection against future problems.
Regardless of the type of window you are considering buying, it is important to consult with a reliable window company who can provide all information necessary to insure that you are making the right choice.