The Window
& Door Store

Triple vs Double-Pane Windows Cross Sections.

Are Triple-Pane Windows Worth It?

When buying windows, homeowners are often faced with the choice between triple-pane and double-pane. This article delves into the merits of triple-pane windows, examining their cost difference, energy savings, and additional benefits to help you determine whether they are worth the extra cost.

Understanding Triple Pane Windows

As stated in its name, triple-pane or glazed windows consist of three glass layers, often with insulating gas such as argon or krypton in between. This design provides better insulation than double-glazed windows of the same quality, materials, gas fill and coatings, which is already superior to single pane windows.

Triple-pane windows illustrated.
Triple-glazed windows feature two chambers that act as thermal breaks which significantly reduce heat transfer, especially when filled with inert gases and equipped with low-emissivity coating.

Cost Difference

According to a 2022 study done by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the increased incremental material cost of triple-pane windows over double-pane is about $700 to $2,400 USD for a 2,400 sqft wood-framed home. Keep in mind that since they are 25% to 50% heavier than their double-pane counterparts, they also cost more to install. In terms of overall cost, MarketWatch reported triple-pane windows on average cost between 10% and 15% more than double-pane options.

Energy Saving

The DOE study reveals that triple-glazed windows enhance energy efficiency by over 40% compared to their double-pane counterparts. However, this increase in efficiency doesn’t equate to a 40% reduction in total energy costs, as windows only account for approximately half of the heat loss or gain. In their tests, triple-glazed windows demonstrated a reduction in heating usage by 12% and cooling by 28% in 1,500 sqft homes. It’s also crucial to note that it does not directly translate to cost savings, as energy bills usually include other charges such as delivery fee and taxes. Nonetheless, the long-term energy savings offered by triple-glazed windows, particularly in the context of escalating energy prices, should eventually pay for themselves, especially in colder regions.

Added Comfort

Another important factor to consider is comfort, which is difficult to put a price tag on. Even if the higher energy cost is ignored, having triple-pane windows will make the temperature more consistent throughout the home. Beyond temperature control, triple pane windows significantly improve sound insulation. According to DOE, installation of thin triple-pane windows reduced sound infiltration by an average of 8-10 decibels compared to double-pane metal-frame windows, effectively halving the perceived noise level.

Additional Considerations

Governments and energy companies often offer homeowners grants or incentives to improve energy efficiency, which lower the overall upgrade cost. Another thing to consider is that when the home is sold, much of the upgrade cost is usually recuperated.

Are Triple Pane Windows Really Worth It?

The answer to this question comes down to where you live and what you value. Triple-pane windows provide energy savings, increased comfort, and added home value. Though more expensive initially, the long-term benefits make them a worthwhile consideration. If you live in a region with extreme climates, like us in Regina, Saskatchewan, upgrading is a smart investment. However, if you live in a moderate climate, such as the coastal part of British Columbia, the cost-benefit would be less significant, unless you value soundproofing and carbon footprint.