Are Windows With More Panes More Energy Efficient?August 29, 2019
In the past, energy use was limited by the design and layout of a home related to the environment it was in. Trees were used to block cold winds and as shade from the heat of the sun. Today, high-quality windows provide homes with natural light, added ventilation as well as prevent cold drafts and water leakage.
When purchasing new windows, one of the things you have to consider is how many panes a product has. Do more panes make windows more energy-efficient? Read on to find out.
Single-Pane VS Double-Pane Windows
Single-pane windows provide a view while keeping the wind out. However, they are drafty, inefficient, and prone to condensation. Glass is a poor insulator so single-pane windows let outdoor elements affect the indoor temperature. No window contractor would suggest this window type today.
Double-pane windows are a significant upgrade from their single-pane counterparts. The pocket of air trapped between the two glass sheets allows better insulation. Slow heat transfer lets your home stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Some options include a gas infill of argon or krypton for better efficiency. Heat passes through these gasses slower, improving window insulation.
You can get more energy savings from double-pane replacement windows than single-pane. Your heating and cooling costs would go down with less heat transference. Depending on the season and your thermostat settings, your bills could go down 20 to 30 percent when you upgrade to double-pane windows.
With less heat transfer also comes more comfortable indoor spaces, no matter the outdoor temperature. The pocket of air between the panes also acts as a noise blocker. It makes your home quieter and more peaceful. Double-pane windows are warmer to the touch for reduced condensation.
Are Triple-Pane Windows Worth It?
Triple-pane windows do perform better than double-pane windows, but not nearly as much as double-panes outperforms single-panes. The added insulation that triple-panes bring is barely noticeable except in the harshest climates. These windows cost 25 to 30 percent more than double-pane windows. Installing triple-pane windows are a great idea if you live in a very cold climate or your windows are prone to condensation.
What Is Whole Window Performance?
Leading window company, Renewal by Andersen® focuses on the big picture when it comes to energy efficiency. We pay special attention to the frame and glass of a window, which are essential components for energy efficiency. We also value complete, professional installation, as well as comprehensive warranty. A good window can only perform well when installed correctly.
Why Frame Material Makes a Difference
Andersen Corporation rejected aluminum as a framing material in 1958. Aluminum conducted heat and cold. The material also could pit and corrode. In the 1950s Andersen created the first hollow vinyl window in the U.S. While vinyl is low maintenance, it didn’t have sufficient structural integrity. So in 1966, Andersen developed the “wood-clad” window and door category with the Perma-Shield® line products.
In 1991, Andersen introduced Fibrex® material, a composite of wood fibers and polymer. It has the strength and stability of wood with the low-maintenance benefit of vinyl. Our windows made with Fibrex materials meet the strictest indoor air emission standard in the U.S. and has certified recycled content.
Fibrex has better insulating properties than vinyl, wood, or fiberglass. It insulates around 700 times better than aluminum.
Not All Glass Perform the Same
We have three glass options including, High-Performance™ Low-E4® glass, High-Performance Low-E4 SmartSun™ glass, and High-Performance Low-E4 Sun glass.
Each of our glass options has a varying degree of four unique benefits for heating, cooling, visible light transfer and ultraviolet (UV) protection. The right glass option for you depends on the climate you live in, your home’s architectural design, your windows’ orientation to the sun, and the “custom climate” you want in your home. Glass coatings create different glass characteristics.
Metal oxide coatings are applied on the glass exterior to make it easier to clean and reduce water stains up to 99 percent when activated by sunlight. This exterior coating allows water to sheet off the surface.
The inner surface of the exterior glass, a light, spectrally selective multi-layer low emissivity (Low-E) coating is applied. It has more layers than a standard Low-E coated glass, only allowing desirable sun rays and reflecting those that aren’t. Also, it maximizes the visible light that passes through while reducing heat gain that can make interiors uncomfortable. This coating reflects the heat where it came from.
There should be sufficient space between two panes of glass to achieve the benefits of air space and improved energy efficiency. Panes that are too far apart can cause convection within the space, increasing heat loss.
Renewal by Andersen uses a low-conductivity spacer, created from stainless steel that withstands heat transfer better than aluminum spacers from other manufacturers. Stainless steel is stronger than aluminum, uses less material, and maintains glass stability.
A thinner spacer wall conducts less energy while an inferior spacer may move and cause seals to break. Plastic spacers may produce gas when exposed to the sun, creating a chemical fog between the panes and affect visibility. We fill our window products with an inert argon gas blend which can improve their thermal performance.
We secure two panes of glass with a compressed butyl and specially formulated silicone. Our careful sealing process extends the lifespan of windows, prevents moisture between the double glazing and provides a stronger seal.
Even the highest quality double hung windows can fail when not installed properly. Improper installation can occur if an installer cuts flashing incorrectly, uses the wrong sealant, or doesn’t insulate between the window and the rough opening. Improper handling during shipping or installation can compromise the seal of the glass to the frame.
You can only expect quality, durable framing material and energy-efficient glass options from us. Our installers have extensive experience and training in modern techniques on window installation. We’ll be with you throughout the window replacement process.
Turn to Renewal by Andersen of Eastern NY for efficient window installation. We offer some of the most energy-efficient casement, double-hung, and sliding windows in the market. All our products come with a comprehensive limited warranty that’s non-prorated and transferable. Call us at (866) 479-1700 or fill out our online form for a free estimate.