How Many Window Panes Do You Need? Your Questions Answered

Jan 22, 2020

How many panes do you need in your new replacement windows? If you’re not sure how much glass you need, take a look at the top multi-pane window questions homeowners have.

What Are Multi-Pane Windows?

Before you make a decision on your next replacement window purchase, you need to understand what multi-pane glass is. Like the name implies, multi-pane glass is made from multiple panes of glass. Instead of sandwiching each other, the glass is spaced apart and filled with air or a gas. This provides a crystal clear, but insulated, view.

How Many Panes of Glass Do Replacement Windows Come With?

The answer to this question depends on your preference. Unlike single-pane windows (windows with only one piece of glass), multi-pane windows can have two or more pieces of glass. Most multi-pane residential replacements come in two- or three-pane varieties.

What Are the Advantages of Multi-Pane Windows?

Energy efficiency is the most obvious reason to choose multiple panes. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the heat loss (and heat gain in the summer) through windows accounts for between 25 and 30 percent of home heating/cooling energy usage.

The less air loss and gain your home has, the less energy your home uses. When multi-pane insulated windows lock in the hot or cold air, your home’s HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard to keep the interior temperature comfortable. Not only does this lower energy usage, but it also saves you money on heating/cooling costs.

The more panes of glass, the better insulation the window provides. If you want the maximum insulation, choose a triple-pane option.

Do All Types of Window Styles Come in Multi-Pane Options?

Whether you want a classic wood style or a more contemporary aluminum frame, you can add multiple panes to each of these selections. Talk to a window installation expert about the ways to combine panes and frames. Keep in mind, your frame material choice may increase or decrease overall air loss or gain. An insulated frame can complement multi-pane glass and add to the energy efficiency.

What Are the Cost Differences Between Multi-Pane Windows?

The more panes, the more you’ll pay for the window. Even though a triple-pane window is more costly than a single-pane model, the upfront price tag isn’t the only expense you should evaluate.

Better insulation can save you money in home heating and cooling costs. A double- or triple-pane window that has a higher purchase price may equal a single-pane model in overall costs of time.

What Other Factors Should You Consider When Choosing Panes?

Even though multi-pane windows can cut energy usage and heating or cooling costs, the number of panes isn’t the only consideration to make. Again, the window frame can also impact energy use and air loss. Along with the frame, you should also factor in:

  • The coating. Low-emissivity coatings or glazes can reduce heat transfer. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, windows with low-emissivity (low-e) coatings can decrease overall energy loss by between 30 and 50 percent.
  • The gas filler. Krypton and argon are the most popular insulated glass fillers. The U.S. Department of Energy notes that krypton is more expensive but has better thermal performance in comparison to argon.
  • The weatherproofing. How well have you weatherproofed your home? Heavy draperies, a well-insulated home, and a well-maintained HVAC system can make the windows more efficient.

As you explore window options, talk to your installation contractor about how to mix alternatives such as multiple panes, coatings, and fillers to get the most for your money.

Does your home need new windows? Contact 1st Choice Windows & Siding for more information.