Windows might very well be the most fragile part of your home. Even if that isn’t literally the case, they are certainly the most likely components to be broken. Of course, breakability is par for the course when you are dealing with glass. However, you can reduce the risk of breakage by using thicker windows.
If you’ve ever examined the windows of an older home, you may have seen some flimsy single-pane windows. The chances are pretty good that these windows were broken, as single-pane windows are just too flimsy. That’s why you don’t see them much these days.
Using Multiple Panes
Instead of trying to make a thicker pane of glass, most window manufacturers will focus on making windows with multiple panes. Not only does this provide superior protection against breakage, but it also provides better insulation and makes the home a little bit more energy-efficient.
So, the question remains: How many panes of glass do you really need? Obviously, more panes equal more money, so we need to find a reasonable limit here. As you may have noticed, most homes today will use double-pane windows. In this article, we will attempt to determine if triple-pane windows are worth their cost.
Consider The Temperature
As we said, insulation is one of the primary purposes of these windows, so you need to think about the environment in which you live. There is no doubt that triple-pane windows will do a slightly better job of keeping out the heat, but the difference is not all that large.
To get a better idea of how well-insulated a particular window might be, you need to look at their U-rating. The U-rating (usually shown on the packaging or advertisements) tells you exactly how well a given window will hold the heat. To that end, let’s look for some specifics.
By consulting the link in the paragraph above, we can see that double-paned windows have a U-rating of about 0.5. By contrast, a triple-pane window will usually have a U-rating of approximately 0.3. In case you don’t know, lower numbers are preferable here, so you’re looking at a difference of only 0.2.
Still, even that small differential could be an important factor if you live in a particularly cold climate. Of course, some people do not deal well with the cold, and these people might also find triple-pane glass to be worth the expense.
Consider How Long You Will Be Living There
Before you invest a bunch of money in those fancy triple-pane windows, you ought to ask yourself how long you plan to stay at your current residence. Obviously, those who rent their home shouldn’t even consider this option. No, you can’t take the windows with you when you leave, and you could even be sued for doing so.
There is one instance in which a renter might consider the use of triple-pane windows. If your landlord is a particularly reasonable one, they might be willing to deduct some money from your rent (or maybe your security deposit). You can make the argument that you are improving the home and thus benefitting the property owner. You can also point out that deluxe features like this will probably make the place easier to rent when you leave.
Of course, those who attempt this method should get a firm commitment from the landlord before forking out a single dime. In fact, it’s best to get things in writing whenever possible, as nothing else is likely to hold any real weight. Should a dispute arise, you can’t hope for a favorable outcome unless you’ve got some hard evidence on your side. In most states, the laws are slanted in favor of landlords and against tenants, so don’t forget this part.
If you are a homeowner (and you probably are), you need to ask yourself if you plan to stay in this house for at least the next ten years. If you aren’t planning on staying for at least that long, we would strongly recommend that you avoid triple-pane options. You might think that it will add to the resale value of the home, and this is correct. However, the added value will probably be less than the cost of the windows, and that means no profit for you!
The Pros And Cons
Now let’s take a brief look at the overall pros and cons of triple-pane windows. This should help you to determine if they will be a good investment for your home.
- Saves money on heating/cooling costs
- Provides better resistance against breakage
- Most triple-pane windows come with a better warranty
- Most triple-pane glass is more resistant to condensation
- Cost is significantly higher than double-pane windows
- Energy savings is so small that it takes about ten years for triple-pane windows to pay for themselves
- Little to no noise reduction
- May require special installation due to the extra weight
It would be nice if we could give an answer that would fit everyone. Because it’s not that simple, you will need to do some thinking on this one. However, as a general rule, we would say that triple-pane windows are usually not worth the money. As we said earlier, the energy savings that they offer will not be all that large, and that’s why these windows will take about ten years to pay for themselves (maybe more, to be honest).
At the same time, triple-pane windows are a good option for those who need a little something extra. If you can afford them, and your conditions warrant the extra piece of glass, we would tell you to go forward with the idea. Either way, we hope that you have enjoyed this article and that you will fill out the contact form below for more information.