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I am ordering replacement windows. I'm going to go with double-hung in the bedrooms and bathroom, and casement above the kitchen sink. Double-hung vinyl with added foam insulation in the frames.

But in the bathroom I want the best protection from heat loss I can possibly get, because the toilet is inches away from the window and that's not a place one wants to feel chilly.

Would going up to triple pane in that location help? Is there anything else that would help, in terms of either the order of the custom window, or the installation method, or anything else you can think of? I am in upstate NY.

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A triple-pane is not necessarily a better insulator than a double-pane. You need to check the specific ratings of the windows you are considering.

In general, yes, you would expect triple to outperform double but that cannot be applied to all windows.

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  • What ratings am I looking for in the spec sheets? I have tried asking the salesmen and the installers and they are not precise. Time for me to compare spec sheets, I think. – aparente001 Dec 5 '19 at 18:17
  • @aparente001 If you are not getting straight answers from salesman and installers, shop around. What you're asking for is a BASIC fact for any window. I am certain you can find specs for specific window make/model from the manufacturer's web site or their detailed product data. – jwh20 Dec 5 '19 at 18:29
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You should be looking at the window's U-Factor. (Lower is better.) In New York, windows below 0.25 are recommended by Energy Star, and you can get windows going all the way down to 0.20 and below.

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Whether you do double or triple pane windows you're still going to have a chill coming off that bathroom window when it's cold out. The key, especially for the bathroom is to install an energy efficient window covering. You need to look at R values. For example, a wall has an R value of about 19. A good window with a U value of .20 has an R factor of about 5. You want to purchase a good insulating blind. Honeycomb type blinds which aren't super expensive usually work well and have an R value of 3 to 5 or even higher. You can also do blinds with side tracks that should seal out the chill and would have higher R values. The trick is to ad the R value of your window (maybe 5) to the R value of your insulating blind and try to get as close to 19 as you can. It'll be worth it.

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I found that the Pella 250 series had a U factor of .28. I chose the 350 series with foam insulation in the frame and triple pane glass, and that got it down to .17.

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