When shopping for new windows customers often ask whether they must get triple pane windows or double pane windows. Let’s take a look at how the two window types compare and ways you can get the highest energy efficiency performance out of your replacement project.
If you are not familiar with the terminology yet, the main difference between these two types of windows is the addition of an extra glazing to the triple-pane windows. Having an extra glazing in a window has two main benefits. Obviously, an extra piece of glass reduces the heat loss from the house, allows less cold air to get in, and reduces UV radiation affecting your interiors. But another big advantage of triple-pane windows over double-pane is the flexibility in allowing you to customize your replacement windows with additional features.
In most of these windows, the addition of an extra pane of glass and an extra coating of Low-E allows for a one-third increase in Energy Ratings and performance.
With the recent changes to Energy Star ratings and introduction of NAFS compliance to the Canadian windows market, customers in places like Calgary will find that the minimum acceptable ER ratings have risen from 25 to 29 and some double-pane windows no longer qualify without the additional energy-efficiency features.
Low-E coatings, foam in the interior window frame, and gas fills can help improve a double-pane window’s performance and bring it up to the new standard. This, of course, has an effect on the window prices as well. Consider the purpose of different windows in different rooms. The side of the house that gets a lot of sun, for example, is more suitable for windows with higher Solar Heat Gains and lower U-Factor. The reverse is true about windows on the shady side of the house. Strategically planning which window to get for what room can go a long way toward saving money on your custom windows.
While the table above is more of a general representation, as different Canadian window manufacturers carry different products, always be sure to ask about the differences in ER ratings across the different types of manufacturer’s windows.
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