Here we share our pros and cons of triple pane windows guide including what they are, window design, advantages and disadvantages, cost, and if they are worth it.
Have you ever tried installing triple pane windows in your home or have you ever heard anyone trying them out? If you haven’t and this is the first time you’ve heard about them, triple pane windows are actually popular, especially if you’re going for something that can serve as an investment at the same time.
What makes triple pane windows extremely popular to many homeowners in the first place? And is this possibly an ideal option for your own home? To answer these questions, learning all about the pros and cons of triple pane windows and exploring them is necessary.
What Are Triple Pane Windows
Just like how the name indicates, a triple pane window features three panes of glass, which is in contrast to the popular single pane and double pane windows. Triple pane windows became popular in their own right because they are the better option for energy efficiency.
Known as the most advanced type of windows, triple pane windows have spacers between the panes, as well as gas or air, to help make sure that the panes are uniform and stable. Because of these elements between the panes, these types of windows are able to serve as a sound barrier and an energy-efficient tool.
Because of the spacers in between the panes, the windows are sealed better and airtight. It is also in this location that gas pockets are able to fill the space, allowing the windows to be more airtight, which is how they are able to contribute to both the energy efficiency and insulation of the home.
The windows will also affect your comfort level at home since the window can help trap heat better during the winter and trap cool air during the summer. The temperature inside the home is even more regulated because of this.
Knowing what a triple pane window is, do you think it’s the window you’re looking for to install in your home? If you’re still unsure, one thing you can do is list down the pros and cons of triple pane windows and explore the benefits you can enjoy with them. You can make an informed decision after checking them out.
Triple Pane Windows Pros
Triple pane windows have become a favorite of many homeowners. Some of the advantages you are guaranteed to enjoy using these types of windows include the following:
Contribute to Your Home’s Energy Efficiency: Triple pane windows are all about energy efficiency and this is emphasized primarily because it is the most important function you can enjoy from these windows.
With three panes of glass, a thicker barrier is created between outdoors and indoors. The barrier helps decrease the drafts and hot spots that can prevent the effective transfer of heat in your home.
The spaces between these panes are even filled with krypton or argon gas, helping insulate your home better. The goal is to keep cool air in during the summer and the heat during the winter.
If you are able to control the heat transfer this way, you won’t need to use your cooling and heating systems that much just to have the temperature you want. This will decrease your electric bill in the process.
More Resistant to Condensation: Since you get to have a better handle on the heat transfer, it’s understandable that triple pane windows are more resistant to condensation. With better insulation, you can easily prevent the potential formation of condensation inside the home’s window.
Functional Even If One Pane Breaks: Unlike a single-paned window, a triple pane window can continue to function even if one of the glass sheets breaks, chips, or cracks. Even with a double-paned window, you will surely lose the energy-efficiency benefits since the gas inside the spaces between the windows will easily escape.
With a triple pane window, while you might experience a reduction in the energy efficiency you usually experience, you can still benefit from the other gas-filled space between the windows.
The gas that leaks out from the broken window is not dangerous to both humans and animals, considering the fact that they are mostly found in the Earth’s atmosphere in the first place.
Reduces Noise Inside Your Home: If your home is nestled within a busy city with honking cars and shouting people all around you, triple pane windows can be a good consideration. The construction of the windows naturally helps drown out extra noises from outdoors.
Adds Value To Your Home: Considering the fact that triple pane windows are energy-efficient and can help you pay less for your electric bill, they are regarded as an advantage to homebuyers. Installing some in your home can increase its resale value in the process.
Triple Pane Windows Cons
More than just the advantages that can entice you to have them installed in your home, you also need to check out the drawbacks
Heavier Compared to Other Windows: Triple pane windows will need special and careful handling because they are heavy. In considering them for your home, make sure that if you can’t handle the weight then hiring a professional to install them for you is the way to go.
Another factor you need to make sure is that your home can handle the added weight of your triple pane windows. This also means that they will require a stronger frame to hold them together.
Expensive For An Investment: Triple pane windows are an expensive investment to have installed in your home, considering they cost 10 to 15 percent more than the price of double-paned windows. It is an investment though since the windows can help decrease your electric bill but it will take at most 30 years just to be able to pay off the initial cost of the windows.
No Noise Reduction Advantage Compared to Double-pane Windows: If you’re thinking that since triple pane windows have more layers they are bound to keep out noise better than double pane windows, it’s not true.
In fact, both double and triple pane windows block out the same amount of noise so you might want to choose a different kind of window if this is your priority in the first place.
It can be a waste of money going from double pane windows to triple pane windows if what you’re after is better noise reduction.
Here are some better options to consider:
• Laminated acoustic glass windows
• Asymmetrically-glazed double or triple pane windows
Triple Pane Windows Cost
Along with the pros and cons of triple pane windows, it should be noted that they are an expensive investment. Costing more than double pane windows, choosing triple panes can set you back $500 to $1,000 just for the materials alone and without a labor fee (If you choose to DIY, which is very difficult to do for triple pane windows).
When you add the labor fee, it can set you back $38 an hour, depending on how long the pros work on your windows. After installing your triple pane windows, it’s expected that you will be able to reduce your electric bill by 10 to 15 percent.
If you are thinking about the ROI with this window, you need to wait for 10 to 20 years to be able to get the cost you spend on the windows and their installation. And this can even take longer since you don’t know what can happen and there might be instances when you need to have the windows repaired.
How Efficient Are Triple Pane Windows
Triple pane windows are guaranteed to be energy-efficient that can take out 10 to 15 percent off your electric bill. And this is a big deal among all the pros and cons of triple pane windows, considering that 40% of most homes’ heat and energy loss leaks out through them.
Compared to a single pane window and a double pane window, a triple pane window can be 50% more energy-efficient and 20% more energy efficient respectively.
The triple pane windows can reflect 97% of the energy with 3% allowed to come through. This means that in the winter, 97% of your home’s warmth will stay in with only 3% leaking out. And during the summer, 97% of your air conditioner’s cold air will stay in with only 3% leaking out.
This means that you will be pretty comfortable in your home whatever the season is since you will stay warm during the winter and cool during the summer.
Triple Pane Window R Value
One of the metrics used to measure heat flow and efficiency of the window is what we call the R-value. Focusing on the evaluation of how effective the material is, R-value is all about heat resistance and you will want your triple pane window to have a high value for that.
A low R-value means that the insulation is not working anymore and that there is a possible leak you don’t know about.
The R-value will reflect the following aspects of your window:
• Energy efficiency indication
• Heat resistance indication
• Measure of insulation capability
• Take into account the specific material
A high R-value means that the window is effectively blocking heat transfer, allowing warmth to stay indoors and not letting it escape. And this will consider the number of glass panes, type of frame, and or if it falls within the standard window sizes. And a good R-value is 5 or higher.
The R-value of double pane windows ranges from 3 to 5 while triple pane windows need to have an R-value of 5 to be considered as effective.
Triple Pane Low E Windows
Triple pane low E windows use a type of glass that’s glazed and easily reflects heat radiation but brings in enough sunlight. This means that you can keep your room bright and enjoy natural light without feeling the heat of the sun inside.
Low E windows are also energy-efficient and so when partnered with three panes of glass, you can be assured to enjoy maximum energy efficiency. This can come in the form of a coating, providing enough just insulation and sunlight even if it’s overwhelming outdoors.
A triple pane low E window is considered to offer the most production from the sun, blocking out UV and infrared rays but making sure that your home’s warm enough. Besides protecting your skin, the window also protects your interior from possible UV wear and tear effects when exposed to it.
Do Triple Pane Windows Reduce Noise
Yes, triple pane windows do reduce noise, which is very beneficial if you live in the middle of a bustling city, a highly trafficked area, or near the train tracks.
The multiple layers of glass panes and gases help with the noise but if you’re thinking that the more layers your windows have, the more noise they block out. Well, that’s not the case.
Since each glass pane has very little space between them, triple pane windows actually block the same amount of noise that double pane windows block. So if noise reduction is your goal, you can do this with double pane windows and without the additional cost that comes with triple pane windows.
What is the effective way to block out noises through your windows? One effective way, which is the traditional way, is to choose glass panes with varying thickness to manipulate the sound frequencies you can keep out.
And make sure that there are now cracks and gaps in the window to accomplish blocking out as much noise as possible. Proper weatherstripping is also a good option to check out since it is a good barrier. You can also insulate the vinyl frames with foam to help you meet this goal.
Are Triple Pane Windows Soundproof
The difference between the amount of noise blocked by triple pane windows is not that huge from the amount of noise blocked by double pane windows. And while triple pane windows can reduce outside excess noise effectively, they are not necessarily soundproof.
The good thing is that window manufacturers offer solutions that can turn your triple pane windows fully soundproof, depending on your needs and preferences.
Some of the solutions worth considering are the following:
• Thicker SSP (Sound, Security, and Performance) glazing
• Asymmetrical glazing (Glass panes are built in varying thicknesses)
• Proper weatherstripping
• Foam-filled insulated vinyl frames
Double Pane Vs Triple Pane Windows
Double pane and triple pane windows differ in the number of glass panes installed, with obviously 2 and 3 panes respectively. But this is the only obvious difference and there are other more important factors where these two types of windows differ from each other.
|Double Pane Windows
|Triple Pane Windows
|Higher cost (with the additional glass pane)
|Same noise-reduction and soundproofing
|More likely to build up condensation
|Less likely to build up condensation
|Weigh less but may still need careful handling
|Weigh more and need careful handling
|More common but can still be a good selling point
|Good selling point (Additional resale value)
|Lifespan: 8 to 20 years
|Lifespan: Up to 30 years
|Easier to break and not as safe as TPW
|Add more safety to home
Both double pane and triple pane windows are able to effectively save energy through excellent control of heat transfer, only the latter does it much better. This is the reason why it costs more too, with the additional glass pane that needs to be installed.
If you want to reduce your electric bill more, you may want to choose the triple pane windows over its double version.
When it comes to noise reduction though, these two window types are not that different from each other. They both block the same amount of noise and would need a special coating or other solutions and strategies to make them soundproof. While triple pane windows are not yet common, they are now starting to be a popular choice.
Triple Pane Windows With Blinds Inside
Triple pane windows with blinds inside give you the freedom to control the amount of light that enters in. Some may find blinds frustrating, especially with how it works, but they can actually be an advantageous addition to your home. Here are some benefits you get from having triple pane windows with blinds inside:
• Easier and Simpler Maintenance: You won’t have to dust the blinds more frequently since the blinds are protected inside the glass windows and away from dust particles outdoors.
• More Convenient: Blinds inside the windows are easier to operate since they are probably using either magnetized sliders or motorized controls.
• Safe Option for Families with Children: These types of window blinds have parts that can be dangerous to toddlers and kids and can even strangle them. Since the blinds are kept inside the glass, there is no chance for this to happen.
• Less Breakage: The glass serves as a protection against any other elements that can cause the blinds to become brittle and break. While it will still happen over time, it will take a longer time to do so.
Triple Pane Replacement Windows
Are you thinking about replacing your windows with a triple pane version? If you are, one thing you can do is to make sure that you get an option with a higher R-value, which means that the window is incredibly energy-efficient.
Upgrading from single or double pane to triple pane windows is possible and you can benefit from high energy efficiency, guaranteed condensation resistance, and sound reduction. If you have single pane windows, you have the option to choose either double or triple pane windows.
Choose double pane windows if you just want to block out noise since they block the same amount of noise as triple pane windows. Choose triple pane windows though if you want to benefit from maximum energy efficiency and lessen your electric bill.
Triple Pane Window Manufacturers
After assessing the pros and cons of triple pane windows for your home and deciding to get them, make sure that you know the best manufacturers you can trust in the market.
While simple manufacturers selling windows can work, you may want to go for professionals who also offer solutions that can help you adjust the configuration of your windows based on what your home needs.
Whether you choose a local manufacturer or an international one, it’s up to you. To start though, here are some of the popular manufacturers worth considering.
Pella Triple Pane Windows: Pella Triple Pane Windows are known for their elegance and stunning aesthetics with a variety of styles and finishes available for your choosing. These windows are guaranteed to block 86% of the sun’s UV rays, along with their noise-reduction capability.
But the best thing about these windows is their versatility since they are highly customizable and tell the manufacturers exactly what you need not just in terms of functions but also aesthetics.
One of the options you have under this manufacturer is Pella Lifestyle Series triple pane windows, which are considered 2020 Most Efficient Energy START certified products.
Andersen Triple Pane Windows: Andersen Triple Pane Windows guarantee to block 95 percent of the sun’s UV rays with its SmartSun glass, offering maximum energy efficiency and low-E glass.
The windows are able to reflect heat out in the summer and keep the indoors warm during the winter. This is a good option for people who want to save as much as possible on cooling and heating costs.
Marvin Triple Pane Windows: These windows are energy-efficient but the most popular thing about US manufacturer Marvin Windows & Doors is that the manufacturer offers tripane (triple) glazing.
This involves the integration of all possible window technologies that can contribute to energy efficiency. This includes glazing type, weatherstripping, spacers, and low E coating.
Are Triple Pane Windows Worth It
Triple pane windows are guaranteed to be expensive but they are also considered some sort of investment. But is it a good investment even with all the pros and cons of triple pane windows? It can be given the right condition and a specific situation.
1. If you live in a place where it’s constantly cold, triple pane windows can definitely be worth it. The windows will save you 10 to 15 percent off your electric bill, which will be huge considering you will need to use your heater constantly.
2. It can also be a good option if you plan to improve the home’s value for reselling. Triple pane windows add value to the home they’re installed in, primarily due to energy efficiency and noise reduction capabilities.
3. And finally, if you plan to stay in the house for the next decade or two, investing in triple pane windows is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a good investment since the return of investment on the windows can be enjoyed after 10 to 20 years, depending on their cost.
If you fit one of these circumstances then you might be the best person to choose triple pane windows for your home.
See more related content in our article about the different types of bay windows on this page.