These days no one even considers installing single glazed windows. In fact, with the exception of listed properties, current building regulations do not even allow it anymore. Could it be that in time to come even double glazing will no longer be considered to be adequate and triple glazed windows will become the norm?
With energy efficiency these days being high on the agenda for homeowners and other persuasive arguments in favour of triple glazing, homeowners are questioning whether it is in their interest to invest in triple glazing as a high-performance alternative to single and double glazing. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding this issue.
What are the Differences Between Double and Triple Glazing and Why is it Needed?
Modern architecture nowadays often feature large sheaths of glazing for picture windows as well as sliding doors, conservatory roof glass and roof lights. Because heat passes through glass much more readily than through insulated walls, it has huge implications for energy efficiency.
With building regulations becoming ever more stringent, construction companies have had to come up with better-performing window solutions to meet the challenges of energy efficiency. Triple glazing is one such solution as it provides improved insulation from two air pockets instead of one.
Is Triple Glazing the Answer to a Super Low-Energy Home?
In the colder climates of Northern Europe triple glazing is considered standard regulation. It is also an essential requirement for ultra-low-energy new-build homes that require energy-efficient features such as high levels of insulation and that every possible micro-gap in the fabric of the building is airtight.
Triple glazing is an excellent option for modern construction projects as it performs well above the building regulation standards set for energy efficiency, provided it has been installed correctly. There is no point in installing super-insulated windows if gaps are left where air can escape.
Triple glazed units are more expensive and homeowners can expect to pay about 20% more than standard single or double glazed units. Very high-end units like Passivhaus will cost much more.
Does Triple Glazing Improve Security and Reduce Noise?
Triple glazed window panes are incredible strong and very hard to break which makes it an effective security benefit. Noise reduction is a minor benefit of triple glazing. For those who value acoustics as a main priority more efficient options such as larger air gaps, laminated glass, or secondary glazing are some options they can pursue.
Are There Added Extras That Make Triple Glazing More Efficient?
Three panes of glass with air between them is not the only thing that makes triple glazed units more energy efficient. Both double and triple-glazed window units have other features that boost their performance such as argon gas, an inert gas inserted between the glass panes that is less conductive which means it is more insulating than air.
Low E-Glass has an invisible metal oxide coating applied to one in-ward facing glass panes that works by reflecting heat back into the room. Other products are available that have ‘warm edge’ spacer bars between the glass panes. The plastic composite material these space bars are made of conduct much less heat than the traditional aluminium generally used in these types of window units.
Is Triple Glazing Worth It?
In certain circumstances a definite ‘yes’ is the answer. For example, it is worth it for people who live in severely cold climates as it will make a substantial difference to the comfort of their homes.
Optimum benefits will rely on having energy efficiency in the rest of your home which is why triple glazing is particularly recommended for energy efficient new-builds and new homes where the levels of insulation and air tightness are already quite good.
Glass production is one of the most energy-intense methods of manufacturing there is, so you will have to weigh up whether an additional pane of glass is worth the additional comfort level and lowering of your energy bills it provides or rather looking at it from the perspective of saving the planet.