Triple Glazed Windows

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Triple Pane Windows
Block Glass Windows
Other Names:
Triple Pane Windows, Triple Glass Windows
A window whose sashes contain three panes of glass for an increased thermal insulation capability.

Triple pane windows are a suggested replacement window option for homes located in extremely cold climates. Additional glazing panes of a triple glazed window serve as added barriers which protect the home against weather penetration during the winter months. Triple pane windows offer enhanced thermal performance over single pane and double pane windows. Air trapped between the layers of glass provide a measure of insulating value. Adding argon or krypton gas pumped into the gaps between the panes and low e coatings increase the window's abilities to resist heat transfer. Thermally improved edge spacers are also often included in a triple pane window installation for additional thermal performance.


[edit] Overview

Homeowners who want to increase the energy efficiency of their windows have to consider the following three elements which can be used individually or in combination.

  • Making use of glass panes are tinted or otherwise chemically or physically altered, changing their composition.
  • Adding a layer of reflective film or anti-sun coating which provide enhanced glare reduction and help to lower heat gain, aiding in heating and cooling performance.
  • Using windows with several layers of glass. Multi-pane windows are available with either double-glazing or triple glazing.

[edit] Double vs. Triple Glazing

Triple glazing is specifically recommended for window applications which are installed in extremely cold regions. Air which is trapped between the glass panes provides thermal protection -- the extra gap provided by the third window increases that insulation even further.

[edit] Types of Triple Glazed Windows

Triple glazed replacement windows can use clear glass or tinted glass. They often include a layer of anti-sun coating such as Low-E coating have argon or krypton gas inserted between the glass panes.

Window manufacturers build triple pane windows by inserting a spacer which separates each two layers of glazing. These panes are held in place by a mullion -- a secondary frame -- which restrains the glass pane within the window sash.

[edit] Clear Glass

A clear glass triple glazed window is a unit with three glass lites which are all clear. They are separated by an air gap which cuts heat loss by two thirds due to the insulating space which exists between the glass layers. This gap reduces heat transfer while allowing the transmission of visible light and solar heat gain. Clear glass triple pane windows by-themselves do not block solar rays.

[edit] Tinted Glass

Tinted triple glazed windows have an outer pane of glass which is tinted in either a green, blue, gray or bronze. It's two inner glass panes remain clear. Tinted windows reduce light transmission and are useful in controlling glare. Solar heat gain with triple pane tinted windows may be less than that of other glazing options, in particular those with a Low-E coating or the inclusion of insulating gases. Tinted triple pane windows are most beneficial during the summer months as opposed to their performance during winter months.

[edit] Argon / Krypton Gas Fill

Triple glazed windows often have argon or krypton gas fills pumped into the gaps between the window panes causing the unit admit solar gain but reduce heat loss. Both argon and krypton gases slow heat transfer while helping maintain the warm temperatures of a warm house and the cool temperatures of a cool house. Argon and krypton are inert gases which serve as effective thermal insulators by successfully reducing conductance -- the movement of heat through a solid material.

Many window manufacturers gas fills as a standard in their triple pane windows. Argon gas is the standard gas fill while krypton gas, the more expensive gas fill, is often used for windows with thinner gaps. Some windows include a combination of argon and krypton gas.

Gas-insulated triple-glazed replacement windows may be manufactured in conjunction with tinted glass and a Low-E coating.

[edit] Low E Coatings

A "Low-Emittance" -- Low-E -- coating is a virtually invisible, metallic layer of oxide which is coated onto a window surface. Low E coatings reduce the U-factor of the window through a process that suppresses radiative heat flow. Low-E coatings add significantly to a window's thermal performance. Low-E coatings are applied to the outer layer of triple glazed windows.

[edit] Window Styles

Triple glazing is available for all replacement window styles including windows with special architectural shapes, fixed windows and conventional operating sliding and hinged windows.

Customers should insure that the framing material chosen for a triple glazed window is strong enough to support the added weight of its triple panes, especially if it is a large sized unit.

[edit] Glazing Options

Triple glazing is available with all types of window glazing including clear glass, laminated glass, tempered glass, tinted glass and patterned privacy glass.

[edit] Purchase

Many window manufacturers offer triple pane windows. They are more widely available in locations with extreme climates.

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