Is triple glazing really worth it?
For centuries, windows were glazed with a single pane of glass. While this let in the light and kept out the wind, it also meant that houses were cold, draughty and often had problems with condensation and mould. Double glazing – with two panes of glass set within a single frame – originated in chilly 19th century Scotland and proved to be much more efficient at retaining warmth within the house. Double glazing became increasingly common from the 1970s onwards and today, nearly 90% of UK properties have some form of double glazing. However, double glazed windows still allow some heat to escape. Triple glazed windows, with three panes of glass, offers more effective insulation and helps to reduce cold spots within your home. For most customers, one of the main benefits that triple glazed windows bring is the comfort factor. By reducing cold spots near the windows, you can comfortably use more of your living space, especially during the winter.
What are triple glazed windows?
As the name suggests, triple glazed windows consist of three panes of glass within a sealed window frame. The space between the panes is filled with inert gas, typically argon. Argon is heavier than air and acts as a better insulator for both heat and noise. The energy efficiency of a window is described by its U-value; the lower the score, the better the insulation. Single glazed windows have a U-value of more than 5. Traditional double glazing formerly scored a U-value of around three but recent improvements in the manufacturing process and changes in building regulations mean that modern double-glazed windows have a U-value of no greater than 1.6. Triple glazed windows have a U-value no greater than 0.8 while some Scandinavian manufacturers are currently claiming U-values of as low as 0.5 for their windows.
Optimal energy efficiency and sound insulation
When considering the energy efficiency of your home, the U value of the walls is around 0.3 so even double-glazed windows represent weak points through which heat can escape. Triple glazed windows are around 40% more thermally efficient than conventional double gazing; their lower U-values allow far lower levels of heat loss and are the best way of optimising your home’s insulation, trapping warmth where you need it.
The excellent insulating properties of triple glazed windows also improves noise reduction. If you live by a busy road or any noisy area, then noise reduction is probably a priority for you. While double glazed windows will keep a certain amount of noise out, triple glazed windows offer extremely good sound insulation and keep most exterior noise out.
Triple glazed windows trap warmth in your home and reduce the amount of heat escaping. This reduces the amount of energy required to heat your property and means lower energy bills over the winter. In fact, their insulation is so effective that in warmer climates, triple glazed windows can be too effective at trapping sunshine, so here double glazing is the preferred option.
Another of the benefits of triple glazed windows is their strength. The weight of triple glazing means that the frames used to support them need to be particularly robustly constructed and for this reason, aluminium or hardwood frames are often chosen. The solidity of triple glazed windows offers high levels of security and will also last for years longer than conventional double glazing.
Today’s triple glazed windows have come down in price considerably compared to when they were first introduced. While they are still not the cheapest option, the extra cost of triple-glazed windows should be set against the money you will be saving on energy bills over the lifetime of your windows. And with environmental concerns high on the agenda, triple glazing is likely to be very appealing to potential buyers if you’re considering selling your property in the future.
Find out more
If you’re considering installing new windows, choosing double or triple glazed windows is a very individual decision that will depend on your situation and your budget. At Bergson & Eaton, we offer a comprehensive range of elegant windows, both double and triple glazed, in materials and styles to suit every property. You can get a quick estimate by calling into our showroom – our expert team will be delighted to advise you. To find out more or to arrange an appointment, please contact us by completing the online form or by calling us on 01296 415251.
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