Since roughly 90% of a window is glass, your choice of single, double or triple pane can dramatically affect your energy efficiency. Double and triple pane windows trap a layer of still air or gas between the panes which increases insulation. Replacing the windows in your home will help stabilize your home’s climate making air temperature more consistent from different rooms to different levels.
Triple Pane Windows
Triple pane windows will conserve 80-90% more energy than single pane windows. If you live in a cold climate like we do here in the Midwest, you might want to consider triple over double pane windows. Triple pane windows are the most expensive in cost compared to their double and single counterparts, but you will get the utmost comfort. They will greatly reduce condensation, allowing you to maintain a higher indoor relative humidity in cold weather, which is essential to us Midwesterner’s half way through winter. If you can only afford a few triple pane windows, have them installed in the north and east facing rooms in your home so you will get the biggest bang for your buck.
Double Pane Windows
Double pane windows will increase your energy efficiency by up to 50% over single paned windows. Double pane windows have all the same benefits as triple pane but can only reach an R-value of roughly 3.5-4.0 whereas triple pane windows can get up to an R-value of 9-10. R-value is the resistance to heat flow. Double pane windows have significant advantages over single pane windows including better insulation, noise reduction and cleaning. They will also protect the items in your home more from sun damage compared to single pane.
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Single Pane Windows
The affordability of single pane windows is the best thing this type of window has going for it. Single pane, meaning only one pane of glass, will allow the most daylight in than its double and triple counterparts. If you prefer having as much light as possible in your home, single pane might be right up your alley. Single pane windows have the worst U-factor of any window which means they let out the most heat and are the least energy efficient. Putting storm windows in will help decrease you heat and energy loss if you are unable to upgrade to double or triple.