Triple-Pane Replacement Windows: Why You Want Them

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Multi-paned window glazing has been around for nearly one hundred years, ever since Edward Libbey and Michael Owens invented the double-glazed window glass back in the 1930’s at their glass company in Teledo, Ohio. Libbey and Owens recognized the potential impact that double-paned glass could have on the average consumer. The greater energy efficiency and increased comfort that’s afforded by double-glazing replacement windows would soon become a widely sought-after commodity for the average consumer.

The new invention catapulted the home window industry to new heights as businesses were established nationwide to meet demand. Proactive research into new replacement window materials and features became commonplace as industry entrepreneurs began to compete more aggressively with each other, each dedicated to establishing the next trend.

Triple-paned windows are similar to double-paned windows in almost every regard but they differ in a few key places. For example, since triple-glazed glass has three window panes, insulating glass such as argon can fill the space between the middle and inner window pane as well as the space between the middle and outer pane, doubling the amount of inert gas within the window. These inert gases are great insulators, reflecting heat from your home and increasing energy efficiency.

Benefits

It doesn’t get much better than this; triple-paned replacement windows utilize the most contemporary glass technologies to increase comfort and security while nearly eliminating condensation and aggravating noise. Here’s a breakdown of some of the benefits that triple-pane windows have to offer.

Insulation

The insulating ability of triple-pane windows is probably the most significant advantage that they have over double-pane windows . Triple-pane replacement windows are especially good at preventing heat penetration in places with exceptionally warm climates like Phoenix, AZ.

Triple-paned windows have an extra layer of glass compared to their double-paned counterparts, providing two additional surfaces that low-emissivity coating can be applied to. This is an especially notable benefit for Arizona residents, since the extra layer of low-E can have a drastic effect on preventing radiant thermal heat from the outside.

Condensation

Condensation occurs when air comes into contact with a surface much cooler than it. The cool surface chills the air that it’s interacting with; if the dew point is reached during this interaction, condensation forms upon the surface of the glass. Triple-glazed windows tend to attract little to no condensation as a result of their inherent energy efficiency.

Noise

Triple-pane replacement windows are naturally good noise insulators. The third pane of glass and extra space between panes blocks out noise from the outside world and dampers noise from inside the house, increasing privacy for its residents.

Security

Three layers of glass are stronger than two! Triple pane windows are far from unbreakable but the extra pane naturally provides an extra layer of security. Not only are these windows harder to break, but the locking mechanisms found on triple-pane replacement windows tend to be of a higher quality than those found on double-glazed windows of a similar style.

Drawbacks

Cost

Triple-pane replacement windows can cost as much as 40% more than double-paned windows of the same make and quality. Triple-pane windows will make up this added cost over the course of their lifetime in energy savings but realistically, this might not happen within the lifetime of the windows. To a large extent, this is dependent upon the climate, since triple-glazed windows will be more effective at conserving energy in climates with extreme temperatures like here in the Phoenix valley.

Weight

The weight of your triple-pane replacement windows should be a primary consideration before making a commitment to purchase them. That extra pane can weigh as much as 50 lbs. more than a similar, dual-paned model. Not only that, triple-paned windows are thicker so you must ensure that the window frames can accommodate them.

Additional Considerations

We pointed out that the higher price point is a disadvantage of triple-glazed windows but the added cost should really be thought of more as an investment than an excessive or needless expenditure. Triple-paned replacement windows add a level of comfort, security, and energy efficiency that double-paned windows just aren’t capable of producing. Of course, it’s always best to get a second opinion from your local Arizona window installer, who will have a better understanding of just how beneficial triple-glazed replacement windows can be for the type of climate that your reside in.

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Andy Akers is a professional blogger for XO Windows, Arizona's largest window distributor, providing complete, accurate and on-time delivery for your vinyl or aluminum windows and all of your window product needs. Follow him on Twitter

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