The most bang for replacement window bucks

October 04, 2011

CostHelper.com reports that replacing the windows in a one-story home with 10 windows can cost between $3,000 and $10,000 on average. If you're going to spend that much money on your windows, you'd better know what will give you the most bang for your buck. Check out what the experts say about the difference between triple pane windows and double pane windows for home improvement projects.

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Triple pane windows win out in extreme climates

­Climate is a big reason to choose triple pane windows. Sam Thomas, Factory Installer at Erie Construction, says, "Triple pane windows have an extra layer of insulation which is ideal for homeowners in areas with very hot summers or very cold winters because it helps prevent the transfer of heat."

Mark Harger, General Manager of Kolbe Vinyl Products Division for Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc. adds that details like insulated glazing (IG) and low-emissivity (low-e) coatings can make a big difference. "How much better is a function of the overall IG thickness, low-e coatings used, and the amount of airspace between panes?" In layman's terms, that means the brands and details you choose can make a difference in how much energy you save.

Choosing double pane windows for home projects

Triple pane windows are more efficient across the board in hot and cool weather, but there are times when you'll want double pane glass anyway. Jeff Moeslein, President of Legacy Remodeling, notes that the weight of triple pane glass might not make it ideal for all projects. "You may not be able to make a casement window as wide [with triple pane glass] due to the added weight of the extra glass," he says.

Sam points out that climate can be a big decider on the type of window you choose. "In mild climates, the extra insulation [of a triple pane window] isn't really needed and although the energy savings are slightly higher with triple pane windows, they cost anywhere from 25 to 30 percent more than double pane windows."

It's worth noting, Mark adds, that triple pane windows don't bring any additional rebate benefits. He also says that weight and expense is an issue. "As the glass in triple pane windows is increased 50 percent, they do cost more, so budget constraints may be a reason to recommend double pane," he says. Your budget and location can help determine the windows you choose.


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