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Deciding the type of glazing you want for your windows extends beyond the knowledge that double glazing has two panes of glass, and triple glazing has three. There are many factors to consider, such as cost, energy efficiency, and durability, in order to conclude whether triple pane windows are the right investment for your home or office space.
What are triple pane glass windows?
Due to harsh climates, double pane windows are required as a standard for all residential applications in Canada. Double pane windows can reduce heat loss by up to 50%, so your energy costs stay low. Triple pane windows are much heavier by comparison and require a strong frame material that will be durable enough to withstand the weight. Fiberglass frames are recommended, as they are able to withstand heavy loads without warping or sagging over time.
The weight difference between a double and triple pane window simultaneously reflects the difference in performance. The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures how well a window blocks the transmission of solar radiation, while thermal transmittance (U-values) indicate the rate of heat transfer and how well a window insulates. Both measurements analyze energy performance, with lower values indicating less solar heat transmission and therefore better insulation. When comparing such factors as the SHGC or U-values, there is an improvement of approximately 20-30% in a triple pane window’s energy ratings over those of a double pane window. U-factor values generally range from 0.25 to 1.25 and 0.19 to 0.26 for double pane and triple pane windows, respectively, indicating the superior performance and thickness of triple glazing.
Are triple pane glass windows a good investment?
The low U-factor provided by triple pane windows is simultaneously useful during cold Winnipeg winters and humid summers. In fact, windows with low SHGC values help reduce summer cooling demand – skilled technicians, such as the experts at NorthShield, recommend looking for values of 0.25 or less if you have significant air conditioning costs. Similarly, the larger your heating bill, the more important a low U-factor becomes to offset heat loss during the notoriously frosty Winnipeg winters. Standard windows might prove insufficient at transmitting heat, as those with lower U-factors allow for higher interior temperatures and thus greater comfort.
Triple pane windows can also include features such as low-E coatings, gas fills, and insulated spacers and frames to reduce solar radiation, or heat escaping through the glass. Low-emissivity (low-E) glass windows have a thin, transparent coating that reflects heat. It was created to minimize the transmission of infrared and ultraviolet light, without reducing the amount of light entering the space. Because of this property, low-E coatings can significantly reduce solar heat transmission with only a minimal loss in light and view.
Meanwhile, triple pane windows use the same argon or krypton gases found between the panes in double glazed windows, except the gas is injected in both air spaces. Both argon and krypton gases conduct up to 50% less heat than air and further reinforcement onto an additional pane of glass improves the window energy rating by 20%. The low-E film can also be added on the non-exposed surfaces of the glass, thus significantly increasing not only the energy efficiency of triple glazed window but also their ability to reduce the transmission of outdoor noise.
Furthermore, the insulated spacers and frames found in triple pane windows result in their superiority at reducing condensation over standard windows. When the surface temperature of an interior window pane is lower than the given relative humidity of airborne water vapour, condensation will occur on the glass. Therefore, a higher surface temperature coincides with higher insulation values, which lowers the possibility of vapor to condense or frost on the glass.
Invest in the future of your home or office
Triple pane windows achieve higher standards in both solar and sound transmission, and reduce the likelihood of experiencing condensation or costly energy bills. Triple glazed windows offer greater opportunities for energy efficient upgrades and achieve higher performance values in virtually every metric over double pane windows. Reputable companies such as NorthShield proudly manufacture the latest in triple-glass and low-E technology in Canada, so you can be confident their products were especially designed and built to withstand the versatile extremes of Winnipeg climates.
Contact an expert today and find out how investing in new triple glass windows will reduce your energy costs while providing superior energy performance.