WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DUAL PANE AND TRIPLE PANE WINDOWS?

When you see a window, what do your think of?  Some glass, probably. Maybe some frames and a handle? That’s great, but there is more to a window than meets the eye. And some of those features that might not seem obvious can actually make a big difference in our lives.

Case in point: dual pane and triple paned windows.

But what’s the difference between them? Read on!

Layers of Insulation

As Shrek once famously said, “Ogres have layers. Onions have layers.”

But the green clad movie hero forgot to add that windows have layers, too.

While windows from olden times tended to only have one pane of glass in the sash, modern windows often have two or three panes of glass in each sash, with layers of insulating gas between the panes.

These pockets of insulating gases pick off thermal energy as it tries to escape through the window sash. Since this energy isn’t escaping from your home as rapidly, it will feel cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Your energy bills will likely be lower as a result, increasing your level of satisfaction.

Dual Pane Window Profile

Dual pane windows have an inner and outer pane of glass, with an optional Argon gas fill in the middle.

Dual Pane Windows

Dual pane windows have two panes in each sash, with an optional fill of Argon gas between the panes. The Argon gas is sealed into the envelope between the panes, keeping it permanently in place. The gas slows down and traps escaping thermal energy.

Why Argon gas? This gas is six times denser than air, which means it moves a lot more slowly than your run-of-the-mill oxygen does. This means any thermal energy that transfers through the inner pane of your window will creep like molasses in January across the gap between panes. Only a fraction of this energy will actually make it to the outer pane of the window.

The Argon gas fills in the middle of dual pane windows are truly the last line of defense against escaping thermal energy. Window glass is a notorious conductor of thermal energy — meaning it provides very little resistance to any energy that hits it. This is why hot coffee isn’t served in a glass; the heat from the coffee can traverse the glass and scorch your hand as you hold the outside of the glass.

Triple Pane Window Profile

Triple pane windows have a pane of glass in the middle of the gap between the inner and outer panes.

Triple Pane Windows

Triple pane windows are becoming more prevalent. These windows are designed much like dual paned windows, but with one primary difference. These windows have a third pane of glass in the middle of the gap between the outer and inner panes.

Some triple pane windows also feature Krypton gas fills. Krypton is twice as dense as Argon — making it 12 times as dense as air. Thermal energy that reaches one of the sealed layers of Krypton gas in these windows will likely get completely bogged down. Even if this escaping energy manages to traverse the inner layer of Krypton, it will have to cross a pane of glass and another layer of gas before it reaches the outer pane.

Krypton gas can be used in both dual and triple pane windows. It’s sometimes used in triple pane windows because the gaps between panes in these windows are narrower than the single gap found in dual paned windows. Krypton is much scarcer than Argon in the atmosphere, which means that it’s difficult to procure large quantities of it. So this makes it a great fit for triple pane windows.

Choosing Between Dual and Triple Pane Windows

Dual pane and triple pane windows are both great investments for your home, so either way you turn, you’ll be in good shape. Triple pane windows provide stronger insulation, but often at a higher price. Dual pane windows also provide exceptional insulation, and more window models tend to come in this configuration. Your budget will likely inform which windows you choose.

Are you considering getting dual or triple pane windows for your home? Call Superior Window Company today at 281-442-7200.