double vs. triple, argon vs krypton

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double vs. triple, argon vs krypton

#1 Post by khale2 » Mon May 22, 2006 7:30 pm

I live in Central NY and plan to replace most of the windows in my house. I am struggling with the above question - is triple pane with krypton sufficently better than double pane argon? The salesman was kinda pointing me toward the double pane, but since I only want to do it once and do it the best possible within my budget....Help! The difference is about $60 per window.

Thank you

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Location: Portland, OR

#2 Post by mman » Tue May 23, 2006 10:36 am

The decision is all yours, and you should look at the main reasons you are replacing your windows. A good double pane, with Low E, argon (krypton isn't really that much better), and super spacer should give you all the insulation you need. The triple pane really only will pay off in climates that are freezing about half the year (ie MT, Alaska, Mid-West). Triple pane and krypton are usually just sales gimicks these days, in my opinion, and perform well, but not well enough to justify the extra cost over a well built double pane window.

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#3 Post by Ronin148 » Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:37 pm

Admitingly I am no where nearly as knowledgable as others on this forum, but I must say that the Krypton gas sounds like a gimmick to me. I am not so certain that you'd really need triple pane window in central NY. Krypton and argon are both inert, noble gases, but Krypton is rare and more expensive to extract.

I also seriously doubt that you can really feel the difference between the two. But there are certainly other areas that are critical in the windows' performance which warrants more attention. Such as spacerl, quality of manufacturere, and installation method...etc.

Best wishes to your project.

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#4 Post by Oberon » Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:31 am

Nope, krypton is not a gimmick when used in the correct IGU.

It really depends a lot on your requirements.

First, a dual pane window with a LowE2 coating and argon gas will outperform – energy considerations – a triple pane window made with clear glass.

The real advantage of a triple pane is that since there is that extra glass layer the manufacturer has the ability to coat two different surfaces with the LowE2 coating.

As a general rule, triple panes come in two varieties – one version has a relatively narrow space between the lites – kind of like taking a wide dual pane and dropping another lite between the first two.

Then there is the triple pane with a wider spacing between the lites - kind of like taking two "standard" dual panes and removing a lite from one and slapping the remaining parts together.

Both work, but there are some differences worth considering.

The narrow airspace version works best when two surfaces are LowE2 coated and krypton gas is used between the lites. Krypton gas performs at its energy-saving best in a narrow space of about 1/4" or so...which happens to be the typical space between the lites in a narrow triple pane.

In this configuration it is possible to achieve a U value as good as .1 - although that is something of an ideal - on the window. Still, this configuration is very energy efficient and works really well...the downside is that this version can be expensive.

The wider triple pane version would generally have an airspace of about 7/16" between each lite plus or minus a little. Again, the advantage is in the LowE2 coating on two separate lites. In this case, argon gas would be the most cost effective fill – rather than krypton – because argon is cheap and plentiful and at the 7/16" spacing is almost as good as krypton in performance numbers – not quite as good – but the slight insulating advantage of krypton in this configuration doesn't offset the additional cost of krypton.

The biggest disadvantage of the wider triple pane is the physical size of the IGU – or more precisely the width of the glass package.

While manufacturers who use this version build their sash to accommodate the IGU width, not all companies can or will do so, so not all companies offer a triple pane package. The wider version of the triple pane (argon fill) may be a bit lower than the narrower version (with krypton fill) at about a U value of about .11 to .12 or so – still really good numbers in any case.

But, in general, the wider version triple pane will outperform the narrower version if both use argon or even air infill between the lites of course I don’t think anyone who understands the mechanics would ever suggest that configuration – as mentioned earlier, it is the “bells and whistlesâ€
Last edited by Oberon on Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: stuff

#5 Post by Tru_blue » Fri Jun 02, 2006 8:12 am

Oberon wrote:. . . a U value of about 1.1 to 1.2 or so . . .

. . . achieving about a U-1.6 to 1.8 or so.
Those numbers don't seem right. Did you mean .11 to .12 and .16 to .18, respectively?

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Factoring the U value

#6 Post by Oberon » Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:11 pm

*where is the darn edit button*
*Ah! here it is!*

Okay, I looked at my post and the numbers look okay to me (now)

I would claim dyslexia, but I would probably just spell it wrong and make the whole thing worse!

Anyway, thanks Tru-Blue! Good catch! :oops:

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#7 Post by JScott » Sat Jun 03, 2006 9:55 am

If you live in the north( like NY) and you can get triple pane with Kryton for $60 more then do it. This option is given to you at cost. In my moderate climate our experience is that this will save you an additional $20 per month on your bills 3 years ago. With the increase in energy costs since then and they continue to rise( only 11% expected in natural gas this fall they predict), your payback on the investment in triple pane will be maybe 2-3 years. In my area the payback is 10-12 years. Of coarse this depends on attic insulation, etc...Our numbers are from 2 homes we have used triple pane in that are brick with 16 to 19 windows replaced in homes 1400-1700 square foot. We have 5 months of furnance and 3 months of air conditioning, 2 months in the spring and fall you can open your windows without heat or air. In our area I do not promote triple pane, from Indianapolis and above I recommend it. If you are in our area and plan to be in the home over 15 years I suggest it. There is a slight reduction of visibility in triple pane so if you have a lake view, etc... it may take from this. My mfg can use flat grills only, not contour( I hate flat). If I was building a new home I urge the use of triple pane because you have to buy windows anyway. Builders here do not even use LowE in most homes which gets under my skin just from an environmental standpoint.

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