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Replace windows with triple pane or double pane?
Old 04-28-2016, 02:27 PM   #1
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Replace windows with triple pane or double pane?

As many have done on this forum, we are trying to get as many large expenses out of the way before RE. We live in a really cold climate and are trying to decide whether triple pane, low E, argon windows are worth the added expense. We have replaced the odd window over the years since we built our house, and they are all currently triple pane. Within 10 years we will be moving, perhaps as early as five years, so we will not see the value of them. But what value is it to new homebuyers?
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Old 04-28-2016, 02:47 PM   #2
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I think a good realtor should be able to provide a reliable answer to that.

Otherwise, I would look at all the recent home sale ads in your area and see if the type of window is ever mentioned. If it is, then you have a pretty good clue to start with.
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Old 04-28-2016, 02:49 PM   #3
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It depends on the market; ask a local realtor. We're in the Midwest and found buyers didn't care about attic insulation or energy-efficient windows. It was all about "updates"- the latest in countertops, light fixtures, etc.
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Old 04-28-2016, 02:51 PM   #4
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It depends on the market; ask a local realtor. We're in the Midwest and found buyers didn't care about attic insulation or energy-efficient windows. It was all about "updates"- the latest in countertops, light fixtures, etc.
Agree. They may complain about painted shut windows, or fogged out windows because these will trigger on the inspection report. Worst there is you knock off a few bucks.

But will they care about the e-rating? Unlikely. They want the countertop.
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Old 04-28-2016, 02:53 PM   #5
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FWIW we replaced all windows in the 1970s built house in SW PA with Marvin triple pane, low E, swing in (made it more expensive) windows. Expensive, yes. DW wanted the additional swing in feature for easy claening from inside. They also tilt in at the top for vwntilation yet keeping rain out if left tilted in.

Did not quantify the the heating cooling cost difference from the old Andersons. Last four years we use roughly 400 gallons of heating oil per winter in a three bedoorm house, thermostat at 74F per DW chill factor.

Most comparable houses around here use around 700 to 1200 gallons per winter.
Of course early on I added lots of insulation to the attic, thewall have minimal but not worth the effort to add more. Brick house.

Have no idea what value buyers would place on these windows.
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Old 04-28-2016, 02:59 PM   #6
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Windows help. All you need is a modern energy efficient window. Double pane, low E. Argon is OK, but no one will ever know.
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Old 04-28-2016, 03:16 PM   #7
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I agree with the others that you will most likely not get any money out of going higher up on the windows, as long as the basics are met.

Good point was made that a fogged up window will be noticed, efficiency specs will not. Which has me tending to wait on a couple fogged up windows we have, that are not in an area that bothers us. If I replace them now, what if they fog up just before we go to sell? I'll wait.

We did replace all our upstairs windows recently. The old ones were near impossible to pull apart to clean, and had some problems. So we decided we wanted to get some living out of the new ones, and enjoy clean windows for at least a few years (have no idea when we will move).

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As many have done on this forum, we are trying to get as many large expenses out of the way before RE. ...
On that point, I'm not sure it is true, and even if it is, I don't think it is important. An expense is an expense, whether you do it now or after you retire. I would use other criteria to make that decision.

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Old 04-28-2016, 04:00 PM   #8
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I haven't yet decided on whether or not to upgrade to triple pane in my small but cozy LBYM house. I do feel the breeze though when the wind blows.
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Old 04-28-2016, 04:09 PM   #9
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MN resident here...we just had five windows replaced by Home Depot. Chose their top-of-the-line (wood, not plastic) Anderson windows (which is not the same product as Anderson Renewal you might see in spam mailers; Anderson Renewal is a different company).
Couldn't be happier. Price was decent, crew was thorough, and clean; work was top-notch.
I feel no cold (or heat) from outside when right next to the new windows. Much more sound deadening as well. Only wish we had had the money to do the rest of the house at the same time!
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Old 04-28-2016, 07:04 PM   #10
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Most of my customers are happy when the windows look good and work properly. They tend to notice when there is a seal leak and you can see condensation between the pains.
I had new Anderson windows installed, double pain, and they work great for MN winters.
The only reference to triple pains I've seen in an RE ad was for NY City properties where they are supposedly better for noise suppression.
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Old 04-28-2016, 07:20 PM   #11
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I live in even a colder climate and chose triple pane windows, but did so knowing that there likely wouldn't be a pay back in any reasonable amount of time. The reason I chose triple panes was for comfort...I can stand next to a window when it's -35 and not feel a chill, plus it reduces street noise significantly over double pane windows.

Do it for comfort and sound reduction, but don't do it to save money.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:27 PM   #12
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I live in even a colder climate and chose triple pane windows, but did so knowing that there likely wouldn't be a pay back in any reasonable amount of time. The reason I chose triple panes was for comfort...I can stand next to a window when it's -35 and not feel a chill, plus it reduces street noise significantly over double pane windows.

Do it for comfort and sound reduction, but don't do it to save money.
Could I bother you for the manufacturer name ? Replacing our bedroom window soon and it doesn't get as cold here in Hamilton as it does in the 'Peg but I was thinking about getting triple pane as well.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:28 PM   #13
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MN resident here...we just had five windows replaced by Home Depot. Chose their top-of-the-line (wood, not plastic) Anderson windows (which is not the same product as Anderson Renewal you might see in spam mailers; Anderson Renewal is a different company).
Couldn't be happier. Price was decent, crew was thorough, and clean; work was top-notch.
I feel no cold (or heat) from outside when right next to the new windows. Much more sound deadening as well. Only wish we had had the money to do the rest of the house at the same time!
I'm in the south and also glad we did it on our late 70s house. I also like the fact I can actually operate the windows compared to the old ones. The unexpected bonus was sound deadening. I noticed an overall energy usage of maybe 5%, tops. What was more important was having working, non-fogged winows.

But I never expect it to help with resale around here. It just doesn't seem to be in buyer's radars (except for the fogging). In our area, this is not something you do to try to sell a house. It won't hurt, but you also won't recover the cost.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:50 PM   #14
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Could I bother you for the manufacturer name ? Replacing our bedroom window soon and it doesn't get as cold here in Hamilton as it does in the 'Peg but I was thinking about getting triple pane as well.
They were Jeld-Wen from Home Depot. Triple pane vinyl, low e, argon. They're definitely not high end...I'd call them average to mid-level quality. They've been problem free, but they're only 8 years old.
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:19 PM   #15
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In terms of resale I don't think double or triple pane matter. Also probably not worth the cost for energy efficiency.

We live in a very cold climate as well and one thing I remember from selecting windows is that you want to balance heat loss and solar gain.
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Replace windows with triple pane or double pane?
Old 04-28-2016, 10:42 PM   #16
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Replace windows with triple pane or double pane?

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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
In terms of resale I don't think double or triple pane matter. Also probably not worth the cost for energy efficiency.

We live in a very cold climate as well and one thing I remember from selecting windows is that you want to balance heat loss and solar gain.
I agree.

I do heating energy calculations for a living. Go with good quality low e double pane. You won't get a decent return on investment on triple pane even if you live there for awhile if ever.


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Old 04-29-2016, 06:48 AM   #17
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Thanks all. I think you have confirmed what we want to do.
Cheers
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Old 04-29-2016, 08:27 AM   #18
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If you don't have spray foam walls or 6" walls filled with fiberglass bats and R38 in the attic, triple pane seems like putting a silver saddle on a mule.
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Old 04-29-2016, 08:47 AM   #19
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They were Jeld-Wen from Home Depot. Triple pane vinyl, low e, argon. They're definitely not high end...I'd call them average to mid-level quality. They've been problem free, but they're only 8 years old.
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:05 AM   #20
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Most buyers won't care, and therefore won't pay a premium for triple glazed windows over double. Unless the realtor points it out, most buyers probably won't even notice.

Even in a cold climate, the breakeven/payback on triple glazed high tech vs basic double glazed is pretty long at anything like today's energy costs. If you do a search, you'll find lots of (disinterested) third party articles re: triple glazing payback. Good luck.
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