Essentially, triple glazing uses three panes of glass instead of one or two. The third pane of glass increases the energy efficiency of your home and reduces noise pollution, great if you live near a main road. Double glazing is infinitely better than single glazing, even if it takes years to see the pay-off. This leads us to ask the question of whether you should consider triple glazing for your home.
The energy efficiency of windows
The energy efficiency of windows is measured as a ‘u value’. The lower this u value is, the more efficient the window is. U values have improved dramatically over the years:
- Single glazing- u value of 5
- Older double glazing- u value of 3
- Modern double glazing-6
These improvements are the result of improved methods for double glazing, compared to initial efforts in double glazing. Window cavities are now optimised with inert gases and low emissivity coatings are used, along with aluminium spacers, sometimes called cold bridges.
With modern double glazing considerably bringing down u values in windows, is it worth considering triple glazed windows at all? On average, walls have a u value of 0.3, so windows still need to improve to no longer be the weak point in a building’s efficiency.
How does triple glazing pay?
In Scandinavian countries, triple glazing is now used as a standard, along with insulated frames. The u values of their windows are at around 0.8, which is a considerable improvement on modern double glazing.
Even elsewhere, triple glazing is being used in new builds, with property developers acknowledging triple glazing as being better.
Generally, triple glazing has the same pay-off as high quality double glazing in terms of the money you’d save over the years, so you may wish to consider that before paying for triple glazing. However, it seems to be the best option for new buildings.
Other reasons for installing triple glazing- reducing condensation
As well as significantly reducing noise pollution, triple glazing is an excellent solution to condensation.
Due to the difference in u values between double glazed windows and walls, cold patches can appear in your home. This is further exacerbated by modern wall insulation, as the windows become even colder in comparison to the rest of the house.
Triple glazing offers the best solution, as it dramatically decreases the difference in u value between your walls and windows.
Should you get triple glazing?
Triple glazing is perfect for people who:
- Want to lower the u value of their windows
- Want to reduce noise pollution