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Are Triple Pane Replacement Windows Worth the Extra Cost?

Triple pane glass windows?  You might not even realize these exist. The standard for modern windows – both new construction and replacement is double pane glass.  This concept dates back to the 1860s, but the true modern double-pane glass window didn’t arrive on the home market until 1952.  A Minnesota company – Andersen – was the first to manufacture wood window frames, and that led to the process which incorporated two panes of glass.  While you’ll still see single-pane glass windows in historic homes or older ones around the Minneapolis area that haven’t had any window upgrades, double pane glass is pretty much what you’ll find.

image courtesy of Marvin

But occasionally you’ll run into triple-pane glass windows. (Two companies we work with – Marvin and Weather Shield – offer triple pane options. The photo here is courtesy of Marvin, and it shows a typical triple pane window construction.)  Depending on the type of window, size, and style, you might be looking at an additional cost of $200-$500 per window over the cost of a comparable double pane window.  That’s a substantial financial investment, so before you jump on the ‘more is better’ bandwagon, you need to evaluate whether that additional expense is worth it.

We have covered this topic in the past (see this earlier blog post), but the question seems to come around each year as it starts to get cold and homeowners are wondering if they are saving as much money as they could on their heating bills with the windows they have.

  • With most energy efficient windows, you will eventually recoup 100% of the installation cost by savings on energy (heating and cooling) as well as an increase in home value.  You likely will see your energy savings and home value increase cover the cost of your new windows in about 15-20 years; with triple pane windows it’s more like 30.  So unless you’re staying in your home indefinitely, it all likelihood the additional expense isn’t worth it if you’re looking strictly at additional energy savings.
  • While triple pane windows won’t increase energy efficiency all that much over double pane windows (maybe 10% or so), they will help cut down on condensation greatly during the winter months.  This means you can have a higher interior humidity level, making your home more comfortable.
  • Triple pane windows also do a greater job at fighting drafts from strong winds.  If your home has an unprotected northern exposure that gets those arctic blasts, you might consider triple pane windows just for the windows on that side.  But if the northern wind is deflected by anything (such as foundation landscaping), they are likely not going to make much difference.
  • The final consideration is noise level.  Because of the additional air space, triple pane windows will reduce outside noise infiltration better than double pane windows.  So there might be instances where cutting down on street noise is desirable.

Whether or not investing in triple pane windows makes sense for your home is something we can help you evaluate.  It may be that a better option is a storm window.  Or it could be your current windows are doing their job just fine.  Regardless, we’re here to help you find the best window solution for your home.  We are a licensed Minnesota replacement window company serving the greater Minneapolis metro area.

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Window Outfitters is a premier Window Replacement, doors, siding contractor and installer. As Contractor in the St Paul, Minneapolis, (Twin Cities) Minnesota (MN) metro, we proudly serve, but are not limited to, the following areas: Minneapolis Energy Efficient Vinyl Windows, Replacement Window Contractors Minnesota, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Lakeville, Savage, Bloomington, Edina, Richfield, Eagan, St Paul, Hastings, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Eden Prairie, Farmington MN, Chaska, Shakopee, Chanhassen, Victoria, Mendota Heights Anderson Windows Minneapolis, Marvin Windows Minneapolis.