Double Pane or Triple Pane? Choosing the right glass for your replacement windows.

Imagine sitting at the table with your spouse and the window salesman when you get the question...  "Do you want double pane or triple pane glass?"   ACK!!   I don't know!  Panic!  What do I want?  What do I need?  HELP!

If you're going to replace your windows you want to choose the window that is right for you and glass package is a big part of that.  The decisions you need to make about glass package are both panes of glass and type of insulating gas.   But how are you supposed to know what is right?   This blog will give you a few things to think about as you make that decision.   

Decision Time.

Decision Time.

Decision #1: Is double pane enough or would triple pane be better?  Here are some things to think about.   Is your home exposed to lots of wind?  Do you live by a busy road?  Are you near a school with lots of bus traffic?  Do you have airport noise?    If so, the triple pane upgrade is a great option because it can really reduce outside noise.  Are you just sick of being cold and you want the most energy efficient window possible?  With an extra pane of glass and a second insulating chamber the triple pane window will give you a higher energy rating than a double pane.   Not only that,  but the overall glass width is typically wider with  triple pane so it provides lots of room in the glass to fill with insulating argon or krypton gas.  All of that said,  in reality, the majority of windows we sell are double pane glass.  

 Decision #2:  "Do you want Argon or Krypton?"   Both are odorless, non-toxic gasses used in window construction.  They are the gasses that hang out between the outer and inner panes of glass to insulate the unit and slow down the outside air temps from getting inside.   Argon gas is the most common insulating gas.  Krypton gas is more dense, more energy efficient and more expensive.   You can get argon or krypton gas in either the double pane or the triple pane.

So what is the different, really?   Just cost?    Nope.  Should we dive deep into numbers for a second?  Energy Star rated windows for MN require that the U-Value is .29 or below.   For a double hung window, double pane windows with argon are .26 and triple pane with Krypton are at a .17.  (The lower the number the better).    So there is absolutely a difference in the glass package you choose.    As you make your decision you need to know if the energy efficiency and overall glass package performance is the most important to you, or if budget is.    Krypton gas in a triple pane is far and away the nicest window we have, and it is also the most expensive.  

Finally,  your return on investment is another part of your decision.  How long will you live in your house?  Is the plan to move in 3-5 years or are you making improvements to your forever house?    Upgrades to windows are an investment that will absolutely pay for themselves in energy savings and comfort.  But if you are moving in a few years will you get enough of that investment back?  Maybe not.   Will the upgrades be awesome selling features?  For sure.   Will they be enough of a selling feature to command a higher asking price?  Not necessarily.   

Glass package is just one of the many options you have when choosing your replacement windows.  For a more in-depth guide on window options along with some insider tips and tricks on buying Download our FREE eBook.

We are a shop at home company specializing in replacing windows, siding, roofs and front entry doors.   As we sit with you and learn about what you want to change on your home we can provide the best product and color options to you.  You can expect lots of questions from us as we try to understand what you're looking for.  For that reason,  it is best if both homeowners are there.   We commit to giving you a detailed, same day estimate.  


Steve the Window Guy for Universal Windows Direct is a full exterior remodeling company focusing on replacing windows, siding and roofing. Steve and his team of are experts in working with people just like you to create a plan for the most cost efficient way to complete your exterior remodeling project. We are part of a national dealer network that has catupulted to the 11th largest* remodeling company in the nation. Locally we have an A+ rating with the BBB with zero complaints. Steve has been recognized by Universal Windows Direct as National Dealer of the Year three times for his hard work and dedication to getting things right. We are locally owned and operated in Bloomington, MN and work throughtout the Twin Cities Metro. Updating your home can be easy.

We believe Steve the Window, Siding and Roofing Guy was just too long of a name.

*Source: Qualified Remodelers Top 500 List, Published September 2018.

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