What Are Double Pane Windows?
Double pane windows are exactly what they sound like—windows made up of two panes of glass. Most older homes were built with single pane windows, but recently it has become standard to see double pane windows on the majority of modern homes. That extra plate of glass goes a long way.
Why is it Important?
When you’re comparing windows side by side, it’s important to be aware of the price differences between single, double and triple pane windows. The difference between each type of window is that there is an extra layer of glass, separated from the other panes by a layer of argon (or krypton) gas. Argon gas is heavier than air, and serves as an extra layer of insulation to maintain your home’s temperature.
Who Needs Them?
The true mark of an energy-saving home is the Energy Star label, which can only be applied to windows that meet the Department of Energy’s standards for efficiency. Most homes need at least double pane glass to meet the minimum requirements for the Energy Star label.
In the northern states or colder regions of the country, triple pane windows may be required to achieve the same comfort and energy savings.
What’s the Cost?
Double pane windows give you your best return-on-investment in the majority of situations.
Triple pane windows cost an extra $150-$300 more, and are not a reasonable choice for homes in warm or moderate climates. More panes always equals more energy savings, but the difference in price upfront is often more than is worthwhile, since it could take decades to recoup your investment on triple pane windows.