Product Comparison: Triple Pane vs Double Pane Windows

Jan 26, 2024

Considering Double vs Triple pane windows? Here's what you need to know.

Windows have come a long way from cloudy glass held in rickety wooden frames. In fact, today’s they’re so packed with state-of-the-art building science that they function more like walls, tightly built to keep the elements outside while your comfortable conditioned air stays in.

Window glass has a lot to do with this level of performance, and contributes to your home comfort and energy efficiency. As you research window replacement, you’ll have to choose between two types of window glass: double pane and triple pane. Here’s everything you need to know about these two options, and how to choose which is best for your home.

Double vs Triple Pane Windows: What's the Difference?

The descriptions “double-pane windows” (sometimes called dual-pane) and “triple-pane windows” refer to the number of glass layers in a window. 

Double-pane windows feature two panes of glass separated by a spacer and filled with insulating gas like argon or krypton. 

Triple-pane windows add an additional layer of glass in between, creating a window with three layers of glass and two insulating air gaps.

Learn more: Window Parts & How They Work

Pros & Cons of Double Pane vs Triple Pane Windows

Generally, the extra glass and insulation in triple-pane windows are seen as creating a more robust windows with better energy efficiency and sound-dampening properties. However, “more” doesn’t always mean “better.” Here’s a look at some of the trade-offs you’ll make when shopping for double- vs triple-pane windows.

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1. Cost vs Value

A third layer of glass and a second layer of spacers in the glazing unit don’t just add insulation to triple-pane windows – they add cost. At $1,800 to $3,000 per window for triple-pane, this pricing can be 50% to 200% more expensive than high quality double-pane windows.

More to the point, triple-pane windows don’t increase in performance at the same rate that they increase in price. In terms of energy savings and home comfort, triple-pane windows have not been shown to offer a significant performance improvement compared to double-pane windows. Likewise, federal tax credits for energy-efficient windows don’t come close to covering the extra expense.

Learn More: Energy Tax Credits for New Windows

2. Style & Availability

Double-pane windows are by far the most common window type currently on the market. Available in numerous styles from double-hung to casement to architectural, there’s a double-pane window available to replace and update any window in your home.

Triple-pane windows, on the other hand, may have more limited design choices. Commonly, triple-pane window manufacturers start by offering double-hung and casement windows because of their popularity, but specialty windows with triple-pane glass may be more difficult to come by.

3. Light Transmission

Another unintended consequence of choosing triple-pane windows is the loss of light that’s allowed to enter your home. 

While more robust glazing of triple-pane windows might slightly increase energy efficiency and sound dampening, it also puts another layer between you and your chance to illuminate the rooms in your home.

provide windows for students to read and study by for great natural lighting benefits with double pane windows

Many people with triple-pane windows report less natural light in their homes, as well as a slightly bluish or greenish tint to their window glass. This is an important element to consider, especially knowing how natural lighting can improve mood, learning, and general well-being.

Learn More: 4 Ways Natural Lighting Benefits Kids’ Learning

4. Potential for Failure

Finally, with more components needed to create a triple-pane window comes an increased potential for window failure. Three panes of glass requires two sets of seals around each window, which doubles the chance of seal failure and increases the potential for energy loss and stubborn fogging and condensation.

Whether you’re considering double- or triple-pane windows, always check with window manufacturers about their window seal warranty and how they’ll help you correct these problems when they happen.

Broken seals on this double pane window caused fogging between the glass
Window condensation on single pane window glass

Window fogging (left) and condensation (right) caused by broken seals.

So, Are Triple-Pane Windows a Gimmick?

Triple-pane windows have been around for several years, and while they’re not a gimmick necessarily, they do come with cost vs. performance trade-offs that you’ll have to consider.

Before investing in triple-pane windows for your home, consider whether the increased cost is worth the small energy-efficiency boost and lost light transmission for your home. Also, make sure your window’s seals are covered by a lifetime warranty so your investment doesn’t go “out the window” when the seals break.

Maximize Your Investment In Double Pane Windows

At Improveit, we’re committed to being trusted advisors who want to help you make the best home improvement decisions possible.

When it comes to double-pane windows, we’ve thoughtfully designed Performax54 replacement windows from the ground up to meet the high standards for energy efficiency and structural integrity that you have for your home. And we’ve backed it all with a complete lifetime warranty so you can improve your home with confidence.

Click here or use the form below to learn more about adding Performax54 windows to your home, or to compare Performax54 to other double- and triple-pane windows on the market. Our trained consultants are happy to answer all your questions so you can make the right decision for you and your home.

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