triple pane windows?
Last Post 04 Aug 2010 06:42 PM by Benoit. 4 Replies.
Printer Friendly
Sort:
PrevPrev NextNext
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Author Messages
greenbuildpost.comUser is Offline
New Member
New Member
Send Private Message
Posts:3

--
13 Feb 2010 11:41 AM
Who makes the best triple pane windows, and is the added cost worth the extra insulation factor?
jerkylipsUser is Offline
Basic Member
Basic Member
Send Private Message
Posts:357
Avatar

--
13 Feb 2010 06:56 PM
hard to say. I wouldn't focus on triple pane vs. dual pane. Look at the performance numbers. You'll find some triple panes that dont outperform dual panes. Things like coatings, gas (argon vs krypton), frame type (vinyl vs fiberglass) all affect performance.

aardvarcusUser is Offline
Basic Member
Basic Member
Send Private Message
Posts:226

--
14 Feb 2010 04:00 PM
When you are comparing windows, these are the four big factors you need to consider:

1.VT=visible transmittance. This is how "light or dark" the window appears. Each coating or pane of glass lowers this number. The higher the closer to clear it is, the lower the number, the more it looks"tinted".

2.Whole Frame U or R value. You want to find whole frame values, because center of glass measurements completely ignore the frame and whether it is insulated or not. Also, U=1/R or R=1/U will let you compare apples to apples. I prefer to view all windows as R values, because I am used to seeing things that way. STAY AWAY from any "equivalent" numbers. This is where people try to make their product look better by trying to combine air sealing or thermal heat gain into one number. None of those parameters have the same units as R or U, and should be viewed as separate parameters.

3.Air Sealing= How well does it stop air from blowing into/out of your home.

4.SHGC=Solar Heat gain coefficent. How much heat in the form of light does the window let in. Higher is better on south facing windows with adequately sized overhangs, and lower is better everywhere else.


Are they worth the extra money? To technically solve this, you need to do a heat loss calculation, by finding how many square foot of windows you have, then for each type of window (such as double pane vs triple pane) using how many heating degree days and cooling degree days, you can calculate how many BTU's a year you will lose through each type of window. Subtract the better windows number from the worse windows number, and you can determine how much energy you will save in a year. Then, with your specific heating or cooling system, you can determine how much money that is worth, and from there base you purchasing decision.

Want the short answer? Unless your house is already very well insulated (R30+ walls, R50+ attic), or you have many large windows (economies of scale make larger windows more affordable per square foot), or you value your carbon footprint as worth more than your money it probably isn't worth the extra money over a good quality double pane. (I consider good quality double pane to be Low E, argon fill, and insulated frame.) That being said, the last house I worked on we found some vinyl triple pane windows from a local manufacturer for barely more than the cost of double panes.

All that being said, I will answer your question about who makes the best triple panes. I know I am about to open up a can of worms (some people on here like certain brands and tend to ignore any evidence that another window could be better), but comparing advertised numbers on data sheets, Serious Materials makes the best insulated windows out there, if you want to pay for them. (I am not affiliated with them in any way, I have just done my research.) Their Fiberglass 725 series is a "triple pane", with two glass panels and a suspended thin film, which acts like a pane of glass in preventing air convection, but is actually clearer than glass to let more of the visible spectrum in. If you are on a tighter budget, Serious also makes a vinyl series of windows, but with lower whole frame values. It is definitely worth your time to call them up and get a quote.
Window4UUser is Offline
New Member
New Member
Send Private Message
Posts:4

--
15 Feb 2010 07:45 PM
Vinyl windows such as Softlite Elements (u.16) and a couple windows by Okna (U.15) have triple pane at about $90-$120 a window for triple/krypton. Because of the high cost of krypton, these brands for example also off a triple/argon package with a U.19 at about half the cost of the krypton gas upgrade . With a still great rating of .19 this would be a very good choice for homeowners looking to get the comfort, higher CRF rating and energy savings of triple pane but at a lower start up price.
Windows like the ones I listed are also available with integrated fins for new construction applications instead of the snap-in fins available on many vinyl windows.
BenUser is Offline
New Member
New Member
Send Private Message
Posts:3

--
04 Aug 2010 06:42 PM
this company does triple pane wood and alu-clad windows: www.bieberusa.com
You are not authorized to post a reply.

Active Forums 4.1
Membership Membership: Latest New User Latest: louiedonovan55 New Today New Today: 0 New Yesterday New Yesterday: 1 User Count Overall: 28075
People Online People Online: Visitors Visitors: 135 Members Members: 17 Total Total: 152

GreenBuildingTalk

Welcome to GreenBuildingTalk, the largest, most active forum on green building. While you can browse the site as a guest, you need to register in order to post.

Register Member Login Forum Home

Search Directory

Professionals Products

Get Free Quotes

Tell us about your building project and get free quotes from green building professionals. It's fast & easy! Click here to get your free quote.

Site Sponsors

For Advertising Info:
Call 866-316-5300 or 312-223-1600

Professionals Serving Your Area:

Newsletter

Read the latest GBT Newsletter!

Copyright 2011 by BuildCentral, Inc.   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement  Free Quotes  Professional Directory  Advertising Programs