Windows: triple pane versus double pane with 4th surface coating?
I am replacing all of the windows in my house (Denver area, Zone 5B) and trying to decide between triple pane windows or double pane windows with a 4th surface “heat lock” coating. My house has a mix of sliders and single hung windows.
The majority of my windows face West, and it gets pretty hot in my area in the summer. In terms of comfort, cooling the house is more difficult than heating, so I am looking for a window with a low SHGC.
I have quotes from the same contractor for
1. Anlin Catalina series vinyl double pane windows with Anlin’s “Quadratherm” 4th surface coating.
2. Pella 250 series triple pane with their standard “advanced low-e” coating.
The Pella windows are about 15% more expensive than the Anlin.
Both windows have similar U values (average of 0.21 for the Pella and 0.23 for the Anlin). My contractor is really pushing the Anlin as being the better window at a lower cost than the Pella.
I have read that the 4th surface low-e coatings can increase condensation in the winter, and I worry a little about having a coating on the interior surface of the window.
Here are my questions:
1. Which would you rather have in your house? Triple pane windows or double pane windows with the 4th surface coating?
2. Are the 4th surface coatings a proven technology by this point that I can expect to last for 20+ years, or is it still too new to know if there are any long term durability issues?
3. Which is going to be better at sound reduction? Triple pane, or double pane with mis-matched glass thickness (Anlin’s “Sound Package”)?
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