Double pane windows are notorious for their ability to protect against hot, cold, drafts, noise, condensation, and more. By that logic, triple pane windows should do an even better job, right?

The answer is a bit tricky. Thicker windows don’t always equal a better option. Windows aren’t a “one-size-fits-all” situation. What’s best for you depends on a number of factors that are all unique to your home and situation. 

If you’re in the market for new windows and wondering whether you should invest in double pane or triple pane windows, this guide is for you.

Time for New Windows?

Get a free quote now!

Energy efficiency

Windows are responsible for 40% of energy and heat loss in most homes in America. Lowering that statistic and keeping more money in your pocket starts by updating your windows.

Both double and triple pane windows do a great job insulating your home from the elements and saving you money on energy costs. 

Here’s how it breaks down.

Double pane window

The average double pane window will reflect 90% of energy and only let 10% through. 

As an example, on a warm day, 90% of the heat from the sun will stay outside, with only 10% sneaking inside. Conversely, on a chilly day, 90% of the heat inside your home will stay inside, with 10% leaking out.

Triple pane windows

The typical triple pane window reflects 97% of energy, allowing only 3% to come through. 

On a cold day, 97% of the heat in your home will stay in your home, while 3% will sneak out. In the summer, hot days won’t affect the temperature inside, with only 3% of your AC leaking through your windows.

If insulation and energy savings are your top priority, and you live in an extreme or fluctuating climate, triple pane windows will be the superior choice. However, keep in mind that for the average homeowner, double pane windows are sufficient and do a great job of insulating your home.

Noise

If you live in a highly trafficked area — in a city or near a busy road — soundproofing your home might be a top concern. Even if you live outside of the city, you might live next to a lively family or a loud dog …or maybe you’re the loud one!

Whatever your reasoning, new windows can help with your soundproofing needs.

Double pane window

Double pane windows do stop more noise than a single pane window. With an average sound transmission class (STC) rating of 26-32, this type of window keeps your home sufficiently quiet.

Triple pane windows

The extra layer of glass offers some noise reduction… but not as much as you might think. Because triple pane windows have very little space between each pane of glass, they actually have the same STC rating as double pane windows.

Remember: Whether you’re installing double or triple pane windows, their ability to keep your home quiet is largely dependent on proper and professional installation.

Security 

In any neighborhood, your windows need to provide an extra layer of security to your home  — whether it’s withstanding a rogue falling tree branch in a windstorm or protecting you against a burglar.

Here’s how these two types of windows stack up.

Double pane window

Double pane windows are quite secure. In order to break through your window, the object or person in question would need to break through two sheets of glass — no easy feat!

Triple pane windows

Triple pane glass provides even more security. More glass equals more work for any kind of intruder. This type of window is also much heavier than others, and so is much more resistant to damage.

The most important security factor will come down to the type of glass used in your windows. Always work with a professional, top-tier window installer to ensure you’re getting the best brands and the best installation possible.

Installation

We’ve mentioned this a few times now, but it’s worth reiterating: proper window installation is extremely important. This is true whether you choose a double pane or triple pane window. 

Even so, understand that the installation process is not the same for both double and triple pane windows. In fact, there are some major differences. Key among them is the size and weight of the windows.

Double pane window

The average window is already built to accommodate a double pane window. That said, proper installation is of the highest importance to ensure the correct fit, seal, and function of your window.

Triple pane windows

Triple pane windows are larger. Your windows need the ability to structurally accommodate the additional pane and may require some adjustments. All together, this type of window is much more difficult to install.

Remember: No matter what type of window you choose, always have your windows professionally installed by a qualified and experienced window contractor.

Natural lighting

There’s nothing quite as lovely as a naturally-lit home. And of course, the more windows, the more natural lighting! How do your windows affect the flow of light in your home?

Double pane window

Though there’s an extra layer of glass for light to flow through, you’ll still get great natural lighting. Double pane windows will let the light in while expertly protecting your home against lost energy.

Triple pane windows

Three panes of glass means more layers the sun must penetrate. So yes, there is a very subtle difference between triple and double pane windows when it comes to natural light.

In general, the number of glass panes in your window won’t make much of a difference when it comes to natural lighting; more important for the flow of lighting is the window frame you choose. You’ll need to talk to your window contractor to find the best choice for your home and your natural lighting needs.

So… what type of window is best for you?

Still not sure if you need a double pane window or a triple pane window? Clear Choice is Portland’s window replacement experts so you don’t have to be. 

We’ll listen to your needs, take a look at your home, and explain your options. Our contractors will provide you with a recommendation on the best type of window as well as the right window material for your property.

Most importantly, with over 40 years of experience, we know how to install your windows correctly, the first time around. We offer great attention to detail, high-quality service, and amazing results.

Contact us to get started with a free quote.