Drafty windows are at the bottom of the list of things most people want in their homes. So when it’s time to buy new, which is better –  double or triple pane windows? Window and Siding Planet reps report that it very much depends on where you live and how long you plan to remain in your home.

Double duty

According to the energy efficiency experts at Window and Siding Planet, double pane windows are a great choice for homes in most every climate. A double pane window, as the moniker suggests, is a window frame with two separate pieces of glass separated by a spacer. The resulting air pocket insulates the home from temperature changes outdoors. Double pane windows are preferable over single pane windows, says Window and Siding Planet. Single pane products are typically reserved for historic homes with period-style guidelines,

Triple tasks

How do triple pane windows stack up against their dual paned little brothers? That can only be answered by the homeowner. A triple pane window offers higher performance where energy savings are concerned, but it takes ten or more years to recoup the purchase price in lower utility bills. Window and Siding Planet experts advocate triple pane windows for homeowners in cooler climates who plan to remain in the home for the long term.

And the winner is…

Tie. While triple pane windows do slightly outperform double pane windows, most people will see no significant short-term advantages when installing the former. There may be architectural concerns as well, since triple paned windows are heavier.

Window and Siding Planet says it ultimately depends upon one’s personal preference, budget, and desired features. Neither window is better at noise reduction (Window and Siding Planet suggests laminated glass for that) and they both typically feature an argon gas filling, which further reduces heat/cooling loss.