These days, very few individuals would consider fitting single glazing – and as a matter of fact, modern Building Regulations don’t permit it, with the exemption of listed properties.
Will there be a period when even having double glazed windows will be deemed insufficient, and triple glazing become the fad?
With energy efficiency more of a priority for most homeowners and other persuasive arguments supporting triple glazing, is investing in this high-performing window as an alternative worth it?
1.What’s the difference between triple and double glazing, and why is it required?
New buildings usually feature large coverings of glazing – picture windows, rooflights, sliding doors – but all that swath of glass has consequences when it comes to energy efficiency since heat is transferred through it more readily compared to an insulated wall.
In the face of more strict Building Protocols, glazing service providers have had to step up to the plate and create better-performing products. Triple glazing has come to the limelight as one such solution, providing improved insulation with two air pockets rather than one.
- A low-energy home
Triple glazing is the gold standard in colder climates of northern Europe. It is also seen as an ideal ingredient in contemporary, ultra-low-energy new homes, which utilise a combination of features to make the house as energy efficient as possible, from high insulation levels to removing every gap in the fabric to ascertain airtightness.
Triple glazing meets and exceeds Building Regulation standards for energy efficiency, assuming the windows have been installed correctly – there’s no need to have super-insulated windows if there are still gaps that allow air to leak.
You should expect to pay about 20% more for an equivalent triple unit – but Passivhaus-standard windows, which are high-spec, can be considerably more.
- Security and noise benefits
Given how triple glazing units are extremely hard to break, they are perfect as security deterrents.
There’s a minor advantage with regard to noise reduction – but if you’re focused on the acoustics, then other alternatives are more efficient in this sector, like secondary units or glazing with large air gaps between the window panes and laminated glass.
- Added extras
The three panes of glass are not the only factors that make the unit more energy-efficient. Other features present in both triple and double-glazed products that improve performance include an inert gas like argon that’s inserted between the glass is less conductive and has more insulating properties than air.
Low E glass enhance insulation: this glass comes with an inconspicuous metal oxide coating on the inward-facing panes that reflect heat inside the room.
Lastly, check for products with ‘warm edge’ spacer bars between the panes: constructed from plastic composite; they act as poor conductors of heat compared to the aluminium conventionally used for this component.
- Is it worth it?
There are particular circumstances that make a resounding ‘yes’ to triple glazing windows more probable: if you reside in a cold environment, it will make a substantial difference to your comfort levels compared to if your house is situated in a milder area.
Getting maximum advantages from triple glazing depends on the energy efficiency levels elsewhere in your house. So, it’s recommended in a new house where airtightness and insulation levels are also good.
Glass involves some of the most energy-intense manufacturing processes there is, so you’ll have to weigh up if that extra pane is worth the comfort levels it will bring compared to lowering your energy bills and saving the world.