Is Triple Glazing Really Worth the Extra Cost?
In the past few years, more and more people are buying triple glazing windows and switching from double-glazing. There is a mounting pressure to go for an extra pane of glass, but without a huge saving in energy, not helped by the spiralling home energy costs, why do we even need triple glazing?
Although it’s not used as an accurate figure, the U value measurement is a rough approximate of how windows perform energy-wise. It’s a figure, at least, that we can benchmark single, double and triple-glazing against so you have some tangible result to decide on whether to opt for triple or not.
Single pane glass has a U value of more than 5, while double is generally around 3, but triple is closer to 0.8 for older style units. But pressure is on for the glazing companies as Building Regulations state that windows should not be more than 1.6 U value. With that in mind, triple glazing is double as efficient as double-glazing.
The improved double-glazing (and triple) come from having low emissivity coatings to ensure that less heat escapes, wider cavities between the panes of glass with 16mm being an ideal distance, argon or krypton gas being filled in the cavity, and using aluminium spacers to remove cold bridges.
Should you go for triple-glazing?
Norway and Sweden are big on triple-glazing, which you could argue thanks to the colder climate, they’re more likely to feel the difference. However, insulating the frame of the window has a beneficial effect as well as using triple glazing, but it’s not just, thermal efficiency that is increased it’s the decrease in condensation, it’s more comfortable as there is less diversity in heat around the home ie furniture doesn’t ‘feel’ cold, window areas aren’t major cold spots, insulation is increased which means less noise passes through the windows, so it can drown out road noise or keep your music from annoying the neighbours.
When Will the Increase Stop
Yes, there are companies producing quadruple glazing; but that adds a huge amount of extra weight, and there may be a drop in heat absorption efficiency as sunlight cannot penetrate enough through to retain heat.
While 4-panes may not be on the cards for some time, triple glazing UPVC windows and doors are a great idea as they actually help increase comfort in your home. They may not slice your energy bills, unless you’re going from single to triple, but you will notice that your home will be able to keep a more sustained temperature no matter what the weather is like outside.
We may not venture into quadruple glazing just yet, but more advancements in coatings and materials used in double and triple-glazing windows will help increase sun absorption and decrease heat loss. Of course, having your curtains drawn at night or when the temperatures drop will help retain heat in your home, but if you’re buying new glazing then it’s a good idea to go for an investment into your home’s value with that extra level of glazing.