More is always better – right? That depends. More money seems like a good thing, but too much chocolate cake may taste good at the time, but you might regret the extra time you have to put in at the gym to burn those extra calories. And sometimes more is just more. That big shiny Mercedes SUV looks nice, but do you really need it? Maybe. If the kids are grown and you’re not hauling around a lot of “stuff”, that SUV might just mean a higher price tag (and bigger gas bills at the pump). When you find yourself pondering whether triple pane windows are a wiser financial decision than double pane replacement windows the answer isn’t always so cut and dried.
Single Pane Windows were the only option for hundreds of years. As technology and advanced manufacturing processes improved, double pane windows became the gold standard for most homeowners. Some window companies are suggesting that “the triple” has become the “new double,” providing the ultimate return on investment for both energy-efficiency and higher property resale value.
There are some benefits worth mentioning for homeowners debating whether or not the extra investment will return enough rewards to make the additional upfront costs the better solution for your Long Island home than high-performance ENERGY STAR certified double pane options. To make sound investment decisions, you’ll need some basic information about types of windows. Here are a few quick facts to help you consider your choices.
Achieving Maximum Energy Efficiency
According to the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), an organization dedicated to improving fenestration product performance through research and testing, reliable energy efficiency measurements must consider the whole unit – frame, glass, and other components. The lower the NFRC rating, the better. Superior performing triple pane replacement window options may achieve lower U-factor ratings than similar double-pane windows, say .15 compared to .30.
While we recommend looking for the best U-factor rating you can find, that isn’t the only factor to consider. Homeowners who live in extreme northern climates that experience harsh, extended winter weather may benefit from the added layer of glass more than homeowners in Nassau, Suffolk, Brooklyn and Queens.
- Achieving Overall Best-Fit Performance
Indoor comfort: Comparably speaking, both doubles and triples provide better temperature and air/moisture infiltration control than single pane replacement windows. The extra glass panel and argon air space fill will add a slight interior temperature control improvement and may add additional benefits during extreme weather events with gale force winds.
- Noise transmission: Both designs effectively block noise transmission. You’ll hear fewer outdoor sounds and your neighbors won’t be privy to personal conversations or complain about your music volume – as long as your windows are closed and you use some personal restraint. Ask about acoustic ratings if you like to feel your music as much as you hear it or if you live in a particularly noisy part of town. The lower the rating the greater the noise transmission control.
- Safety and security: Both triple pane replacement windows and double pane replacement windows offer security features. Some companies promote triple pane window solutions as more “intruder resistant” than double pane windows. Three pane configurations are stronger than windows with fewer panels; therefore not as easy to break as styles with fewer panes, but neither double pane- nor triple pane windows are unbreakable and there are less expensive double pane solutions. For example, installing heat tempered glass, which is four times as strong as traditional glass panels, is an option for areas of your home where you want a stronger glazing choice. You can also design windows with patterned glass to increase privacy and recessed locks that make access more difficult.
Making Your Decision
Triple pane window solutions generally have a slight advantage when it comes to reducing heating and cooling bills, blocking unwanted sound transmission and controlling air and moisture infiltration as compared to windows with two glass panels. But, the initial investment may be twice as much, meaning recovering your investment will take much longer. If you have exorbitant utility bills and you’ve improved every other aspect of your home insulation as possible, it may be worth the extra money, but for many homeowners on Long Island the difference isn’t significant enough to justify the increase.
Another consideration is warranty coverage. While there are reputable brands that modify and reinforce their frames to accommodate the extra weight of three glass panes, not all companies take that important step. Vinyl and aluminum frames with triple glazing may warp and sag within a few years if not adequately modified.
Whether you’re leaning toward doubles or triples, look for an all-inclusive replacement window warranty package that covers installation. Superior NFRC ratings don’t mean anything at all if your installation is not performed properly.
Renewal by Andersen of Long Island Recommends Double Pane Replacement Windows
Our Renewal by Andersen team generally recommends double pane windows as the best-fit home improvement solution for homeowners in Nassau, Suffolk, Brooklyn and Queens. ENERGY STAR certified window styles curb noise transmission, effectively eliminate moisture and air leaks and help you curb your heating and cooling bills. Plus, our exclusive 20/2/10 warranty covers installation for a full twenty-four months from the installation date.
Still uncertain which style is best for your home? Give us a call at 1-877-313-9052 to schedule an in-home consultation or fill in the short form on the page. You have questions, we’ve got the answers you need to make wise financial decisions.
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- The Difference Between Replacement and New Construction Windows!
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