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Community and Q&A

“Triple glazing worth it?”

mattchao | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

Am considering Fiberglass Replacement windows for a 30’s-era house.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Q. "Is triple glazing worth it?"

    A. In Alaska, probably. In Florida, no. In between -- it depends. Where is the house?

    The answer to your question depends on your climate, how long you expect to live in the house, how much you pay for heating and cooling, and whether or not you value the increased comfort that comes from triple glazing (especially in very cold climates).

  2. mattchao | | #2

    I live in metro boston. Just bought this house a little over a year ago. My heating bill last winter (worst month) was $294.50; I have natural gas/steam heat. During our most recent heat wave, my electric bill went from $96/month to $223.57! Part of the spike I found out is due to lack of insulation in the roof cap and slopes. House is a modified saltbox design.

  3. mattchao | | #3

    Oh, I almost forgot; I plan to live there for a long time; retiring next year.--Matt Chao.

  4. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #4

    Installing replacement windows -- whether double-glazed or triple-glazed -- is rarely a cost-effective energy-saving measure.

    If you are interested in saving energy, it makes more sense to invest in air sealing work and (possibly) additional attic insulation. If your windows lack storms, you may want to invest in storm windows.

    If these ideas are new to you, you probably want to hire a home performance contractor or home energy rater (certified by RESNET or BPI) to perform a home energy audit. Your energy auditor will present you with a list of recommended energy measures, prioritized by cost-effectiveness.

  5. user-946029 | | #5

    There's a 30% federal tax credit on the purchase of energy efficient windows through the end of 2013.

    Make sure to factor that into your calculations.

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