All glass-paned windows will gain and lose heat through conduction, convection, and air leakage. Insulated windows, on the other hand, have essentially been developed to reduce and totally eliminate the loss of energy with the most energy-efficient designs available on the market today.
Improving the energy infrastructure of your home will not only help to reduce the heating and cooling costs all-year-round – it will help reduce your own carbon footprint!
Single vs Double vs Triple-Pane
Single-pane windows are found in nearly 50% of all American homes, but unfortunately, they are the most inefficient of all. The only barrier between your home and the outside elements used to be a single sheet of glass, but insulated windows have long since changed that. This modern insulation solution brings together multiple panes of glass as a replacement for single-layer windows.
Double glazing refers to the use of two panes of glass with an evacuated space between or a high-performance fill-gas, and triple glazing refers to three panes of glass with two evacuated spaces or gas-filled spaces.
Double and triple-pane windows are a remarkable improvement over single-pane windows. The panes of glass are separated by a spacer and turned into a vacuum or filled with a gas with lower thermal conductivity and heat capacity than “air”.
Should I Switch to Triple Glazing?
If you’re considering replacing your windows with a more energy-efficient design so that you can insulate your property and save, you may have considered triple-pane windows.
Triple-glazed windows are better built compared to a double-glazed window, but are they actually worth it? In truth, the answer is somewhere in between. Every property is different, and the unique needs, as well as the climate you live in, will ultimately decide whether or not it’s worth it for you. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons to help you decide on insulated windows:
- 30% more effective than double-pane windows
- lower u-value
- effective sound insulation
- less condensation
- durable and secure design
- extremely energy-efficient
- can be very pricey
- generally heavier than single or double glazing with heavier frames
- might not be suitable for your climate or home
Will Insulated Windows Add Value To My Home?
Although the exact figures depend on your property and its location, insulated windows are a guaranteed way to improve your curb appeal and add instant value to your property.
With the government increasingly under pressure to reduce carbon emissions and global warming, stricter regulations and incentives have allowed homeowners to transition to “green” homes with eco-friendly qualities. Properties that reduce energy usage through build design or upgraded features are highly sought after in this day and age – making insulated windows well worth the investment.
Professional installation is extremely important!
Ultimately, the installation of an insulated window has a significant impact on how it will perform. Improper installations along with several other factors will contribute towards your product not performing as it’s supposed to. This can include fogging, condensation, air leaks, and even escaped gas.
Moreover, the incorrect installation could render the whole unit useless – reducing its value. The only way to avoid leaks is with quality, professional installation.
Apart from its primary function of heat insulation, insulated windows, whether double or triple-paned, have some amazing noise reduction qualities. The preferred gas to use is non-toxic argon, or sometimes krypton. These gasses are vital as it affects a large portion of the insulation power of the window.
Different parts of a window have unique U-factors. When selecting insulated windows, find the ones with the lowest U-factor. The U-factor measures the level of thermal conductivity in a window as set out by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC).
The U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental -Protection Agency’s Energy Star Program takes U-factor into account when evaluating the energy efficiency of windows. This is the benchmark for insulated windows when receiving certifications, or made eligible for the federal incentive and rebate programs.
How to check U-Factor
In hot climates that are cooling-dominated, the U-factor can be less than or equal to 0.60. In colder climates, the U-factor should be less than or equal to 0.30 for windows. In climates like the North and Midwest regions that use both heating and cooling, the U-factor should be less than or equal to 0.32 for windows, whereas climates like the South and central regions should have a U-factor of 0.35 or less for windows.
How much can insulated windows save you?
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you’ll save between $27 to $465 a year by replacing single-pane with insulated double or triple-pane windows.
Naturally, the climate where you live will affect how much you end up saving. The average savings in warmer regions can average in the region of about $250, whereas colder regions average around $150.