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Triple-glazed windows on only one exposure

Steven Bumpus | Posted in General Questions on

Quick hypothetical: Existing home in climate zone 5 — window replacement. Only one exposure can afford triple-pane windows. Which exposure gets triple?

Steve B.

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  1. Riversong | | #1

    Can't give a quick answer, since more information is needed.

    Are all windows being replaced? If so, because existing ones have failed or to improve efficiency of house?

    Is the house well insulated and tight? Is it passive solar oriented? Are any of the four facades shaded or protected from wind? On which side is the primary living space?

    Are you talking low SHGC triple-glazed or high SHGC triple glazed? Is the goal to minimize heat loss or maximize solar gain?

  2. Michael Chandler | | #2


  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    Probably north, but there is another factor. Triple-glazed windows provide comfort to occupants on cold nights. Compared to a double-glazed window, a good triple-glazed window won't suck your body heat away.

    That means that the triple-glazed windows should be near your favorite reading chair or wherever you sit -- perhaps near your dining room table or living-room chair.

    1. Josh Durston | | #5

      This a good point Martin, well insulated walls and carefully selected windows actually increase your usable room size, since you can spend time in places that were previously uncomfortable. Too many people quibble about dollars and cents and miss the comfort advantage completely.

      I'm curious about the cost savings/tradeoffs of being purposefully inconsistent with insulation and windows, HVAC, etc.

  4. John | | #4

    They're also quite nice if you live on a busy street to cut down on inside noise pollution.

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