This article is the fifth in a series of 15 articles where we “decode” some of the industry terms surrounding replacement windows. Stay tuned for upcoming posts that we hope will help educate San Diego homeowners and allow them to make more informed decisions.
If you’ve looked into having new windows installed in your San Diego home, you’ve probably already heard the phrases “single pane window,” “double pane window (or dual pane windows),” and triple pane window. You may have a vague idea of what these terms mean, but here is some additional information to help you decide which type of windows are best for you.
Single Pane Windows for San Diego Homes
As you might have guessed from the name, single pane windows have only one pane of glass. They are found in many older San Diego homes, as this was the only type of window available at the time many houses were built. Many San Diego homeowners are now replacing their old single pane windows, but new single pane windows are still available to purchase from some manufacturers.
The advantages of single pane windows are that they are less expensive to purchase and also less expensive to repair if the glass ever breaks. If you’re handy, repairing a single pane window could even be a DIY project.
However, there are also several downsides to single pane windows. The most important drawback for many San Diego homeowners is that they are not very energy efficient. Even with Low-E glass, single pane windows just can’t compete with double and triple pane windows when it comes to energy efficiency. Single pane windows also don’t do a very good job of keeping out unwanted noise.
Double Pane Windows: A Popular Window Choice in San Diego
Double pane windows are a definite step up from single pane windows. Not only do they include an additional pane of glass, but most window manufacturers will also pump an insulating gas like Argon or Krypton in between the two panes, making them exceptionally energy efficient. When double pane windows are made with glass panes that are of dissimilar thickness, this can go a long way toward mitigating outside noise.
Double pane windows are by far the most popular choice among homeowners in San Diego who are looking for new windows.
These types of windows will cost you more upfront than single pane windows, but the energy savings you’ll experience will help to even out the cost over time. And while windows with more than one pane of glass are more expensive to repair, many replacement windows come with warranties that will cover any repairs. Look for replacement windows that come with coverage for accidental glass breakage and that have a lifetime warranty that covers any manufacturing defects. A good San Diego replacement window company should also offer a warranty to cover any problems you experience with your windows due to improper installation.
Triple Pane Windows: Worth the Added Expense?
If double pane windows are better than single pane windows, most people assume that triple pane windows are even better. This is true if you’re looking for the most energy-efficient windows that money can buy—no matter the cost. However, most of the San Diego homeowners we work with are looking for a good combination of performance and price. In other words, they want a good value.
In my professional opinion, the added cost to go from double pane windows to triple pane windows is just not worth it. The energy savings are just not great enough to justify the higher price tag. For that reason, my San Diego replacement window company has decided not to even offer triple pane windows to our customers, but they are available from other San Diego replacement window dealers if this is something you really want for your home.