Noise pollution protection, heat retention and added home security, these are few of the benefits you get from fitting either double or triple glazed windows in your property but which is the best fit for you? In this article we will break down the different factors to take into consideration when deciding to double glaze or triple glaze.
The Benefits Of Double Glazing
Winter or Summer, double glazed windows and doors keep the heat in and the cold out during winter and vice versa during the summer. Whatever the season, double glazing keeps the harsher elements of that seasonal weather at bay and maintains a comfortable temperature within the house.
Glazed windows, double or triple are energy efficient, they preserve energy by reducing radiation and air leakage and they absorb heat from the outside of your property. Recent innovations like ‘Low-E Glass’ provide even better results through the simple act of coating glazed windows with metal oxide that lets in short wave sun radiation while blocking long wave sun radiation to protect homes from over heating in the midsummer months.
Savings On Energy Bills
According to the Energy Saving Trust, energy-efficient glazing can lead to savings as much as £175 a year on gas and electric bills depending on the quality of the windows.
Look For The BFRC rating
Since 2005, the UK standard for windows energy ratings has been the BFRC rating. It is a voluntary scheme, not a statutory requirement, however it is useful to customers looking to buy high quality windows and patio doors. You may be familiar with the BFRC ‘energy window’, a bar graph with ratings between A+ and G:
“BFRC Rating is a new tool for consumers and specifiers to use during the selection of windows. However, like any tool it must be used wisely and the limitations of the tool accepted.” (Layout 1 - The-Limits-of-BFRC-Ratings.pdf)
What the BRFC ratings don’t cover is the size and proportions of windows and glass doors nor does it cover large commercial properties, it is still a useful benchmark for the quality of glass itself. As for more technical specifications, it is best to consult with an expert who can help you decide what quality of glass you need in relation to your property and where your windows and doors are situated.
Argon, Krypton & Xenon Gas-Extra Insulation And Sunlight Protection For Your Windows
Both double & triple glazed windows are often filled with argon, krypton & xenon gas. Argon gas has the advantage of being a heavier mixture than air. Argon and the other gasses mention help to combat noise pollution, condensation and corrosion while improving insulation at the same time. Argon filled windows will cost a little more but the energy savings and increased longevity of your windows and doors soon cancel out that extra cost.
The Best Frames For Double Or Triple Glazed Windows
Composite or ‘Timber’ frames are preferable for low maintenance and protection from the elements. The timber in a composite frame is covered with either plastic or aluminium. Simple aluminium, uPVC or steel frames are easy to recycle which makes for a more eco friendly choice. Wooden frames are attractive and eco friendly but require much more maintenance.
The Added Benefits Of Triple Glazing
With all this information about double glazing, you might be tempted to simply go with double glazed windows and they are an affordable option but triple glazing is far better when it comes to cutting out noise pollution, insulating in winter and keeping your property cool in summer. The general consensus is double glazing suits south facing rooms and triple glazing suits north facing rooms but the fact is, triple glazed windows provide more efficiency full stop. They reflect more heat back into your property and increase the chances of energy savings.
Triple glazed windows can’t be fitted in every room, you will need to consult with an expert to see where you can have yours fitted but a good combination of double and triple glazed windows, doors and even conservatories will make a huge impact on the overall comfort of your home.
According to experts, the best triple glazed windows should be filled with krypton gas as it works better with the extra panes. Also, the lower the ‘u rating’, the better. The Energy Saving Trust explains what a ‘u rating’ or ‘u value’ is and why it is better to have a low one
“Windows that have an energy rating will have the u-value of the window displayed on the energy label. A u-value is a measure of how easily heat can pass through a material. Materials that let out more heat have higher u-values whereas materials that let less heat pass through them have lower u-values.
In some cases, windows with a higher energy performance rating might have a higher u-value than windows with a better energy efficiency rating. This might seem the wrong way round as lower u-values indicate better insulation levels. However, in these cases it will be that there are other aspects of the window that make them better overall such as coating used on the glass and the gap between the glass panes.”
To enjoy the full benefits of triple glazing, you will need to insulate your frames but this is a good investment, one that countries with colder climates attest to, countries like Sweden, Norway and Germany. The ‘passive house’ standard’ is Germany’s own voluntary standard for energy efficiency in residential and commercial properties. Using this standard, it has been discovered that triple glazing can increase the indoor heating level in winter to as much as 18 degrees. While this depends on various considerations such as size and type of property and the size of the glass windows and doors, it is none the less evident that triple glazing provides more comfort. Double glazing is adequate and more affordable but triple glazing can produce long lasting energy efficiency and savings over time.
If you're not sure what will be best for you, come in store or get in touch, we're always here to help you make the right choice for your property.