What is triple-glazing? To start, we will explain the glazing system. A single glazed window is a window with one pane of thick glass. A double-glazed window has two panes of glass, often with a sealed unit in between that reduces heat transfer and can reduce sound levels.
Triple glazing uses three panes of glass instead of one or two. This extra glass pane increases your home’s energy efficiency and significantly reduces noise pollution. This feature is highly beneficial if you live near the main road or in a rowdy area.
However, the greater the glazing ‘level’, the higher the installation cost. While double-glazing has a significant impact compared to single glazing, it can often take years to see the pay-off. This cost led us at Art Windows & Doors to ask the question: should I consider triple-glazing for the windows in my home or business?
The energy efficiency of windows
The energy efficiency of windows is measured using a ‘u value’ figure. The lower this ‘u’ value is, the more efficient your window is. U values have improved dramatically over the years:
- Single glazing – ‘u’ value of 4.8
- Double glazing – ‘u’ value of 1.2
- Triple-glazing – ‘u’ value of less than 0.8
Window cavities use inert gases, low emissivity coatings and 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, the walls in your building have a ‘u’ value of 0.3, so a triple-glazed window is an excellent investment!
Is triple-glazing commonly used?
In Scandinavian countries, triple glazing is standard, along with insulated frames. U values of their windows are around 0.8, a considerable improvement on modern double glazing.
Elsewhere, triple glazing features in new builds, with property developers acknowledging triple glazing as being better due to the low ‘u’ value.
Generally, triple glazing has the same pay-off as high-quality double glazing in terms of the money saved over the years. As a result, you may wish to consider that before paying for triple glazing for your uPVC windows. However, it seems to be the best option for new buildings wherein you are already paying for a long-term investment.
Will introducing triple-glazing have an impact on noise pollution?
Yes! As sound travels in waves and vibrates against anything it hits, having several window layers will weaken the strength of the sound wave. Unfortunately, glass is a material that allows travel through it – but, with triple-glazing, this is minimal! The argon gas situated in each ‘layer’ of glass helps to insulate not only noise but also heat.
In addition to using triple-glazed window panes, you can also invest in further alterations to the windows in your home. For example, introducing a thin plastic layer and coating on the glass may further help to trap noise.
Will installing triple glazing reduce 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 problem is further exacerbated by modern wall insulation, as the windows become even colder than 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.
Do triple-glazed windows impact the security of my home?
Triple glazed windows can be a great asset regarding home security. Not only are there an additional two layers of glass to break in comparison to single glazing, making it more difficult, but they may make a louder noise when broken.
This loud noise may alert you, the family dog, or the neighbours if a break-in occurs. As triple-glazed windows are more expensive, they are moreover premium quality in solid units, so it may be more difficult for an intruder to attempt a break-in.
Should you get triple glazing?
Triple glazing is perfect for people who:
- Want to lower the ‘u’ value of their windows
- Live in noisier areas
- Those situated in cold climates
Triple-glazed windows are, above all, an excellent investment for those who live in cold climates. Despite the cost of the units, the money to install a window will ‘pay off’ itself by reducing your heating costs.
Insulating your home to a greater degree ensures minimal energy consumption, especially when you have larger-sized windows installed. This feature is vital when considering the rising cost of gas and electricity worldwide, so these windows are more cost-effective than ever!
Is triple-glazing expensive?
In the UK, uPVC catchment-style triple-glazed windows vary in price from about £505 to £770 per window. While these units are expensive, double-glazed windows cost between £200 to £700.
As a result of these costs, it is beneficial to install double-glazed windows unless you live in an exceptionally noisy or cold climate. However, you can only install triple-glazed windows in the vital areas that require it the most, such as your bedroom or living room, to ensure relaxation time.
To discuss the best window glazing for your requirements, you can contact Art Windows & Doors here. While based in Glasgow, we are one of Scotland’s most established double glazing businesses and serve several areas, including Hamilton and Stirling.