What is triple glazing?
Triple glazing is a window that has three panes of glass instead of two, which increases the thermal efficiency and reduces noise pollution. However, is the cost of upgrading to it worth it in the short and long term?
What advantages does triple glazing have over double glazing?
A window’s energy efficiency is measured in a U Value with the lower the value, the more thermal efficient it is. Older single glazed windows could have a U value as high as 5 and even an old double-glazed window could be as high as 3.
Modern double-glazed windows generally have a uvalue of around 1.5 which is achieved through improved manufacturing methods, including optimisation of the window cavity, low emissivity coatings using inert gas to fill the gap, and using aluminium spacers or ‘cold bridges’.
A modern triple-glazed window has a U Value around 0.8 which is a significant improvement on double glazed windows, however, the upfront costs are also higher. Whilst the pay-back time period is shorter than double-glazing, it is still a long-term investment.
If you are purchasing triple-glazing from a cost saving point of view, you will need to look at your long-term costs and also have others factors which make it worthwhile, including deeper wall cavities.
So triple or double?
✔ Can reduce heat loss in your house which can lower your energy bills
✔ More efficient at heat retention than double glazing, making your home feel warmer
✔ Less prone to condensation build-up between the panes than double glazing
✔ It is harder to break, making your house more secure
✔ The extra pane of glass blocks out more noise from outside than double glazing
✘ High upfront costs, making it more expensive than double glazing
✘ May reduce light penetration, allowing less light into the room
✘ The extra pane of glass can make the windows very heavy and potentially damage your walls
✘ Condensation can appear on the outer layer of glass
✘ Long return on investment due to high initial costs
So, now we know our triple glazed windows pros and cons, which is the better option? Well that ultimately depends on what you require and the type of property you own.
Triple glazing certainly has its uses and distinct benefits, although many people would argue that you can achieve the same results with A++ quality double-glazed windows instead. This will come without all of the associated problems that triple glazed windows can sometimes supply.
Essentially, they both do the same job, only one has a little more reinforcement than the other. If security and strength are your primary concerns then triple glazing may be the way to go.