Which is more suitable for your home, Double Glazing or Triple Glazed Windows?
There is certainly a case to be made for insulating your home as well as possible. But is it worthwhile to upgrade to Triple glazing?
Here we take a quick look at the Pros & Cons of Double Glazing Vs Triple Glazed Windows?
Double Glazed Windows – the basics.
For those of you who don’t know, the principle involved in double glazing is to create a space between the outer and the inner surfaces of the window. The gap, sometimes filled with a gas, reduces convection of cold and heat whilst also acting as a sound buffer.
The size of the gap, in modern double glazed windows, is quite important. Too small and it becomes less effective, too large and the air in the gap will circulate. and reduce the effectiveness.
Gap sizes run from 4mm to 20mm. If you add the thickness of the glass (2 x 4 mm panes) then the actual thickness of a double glazed unit runs from 12mm to 28mm.
If you think of a double glazed window as a sandwich, then the glass is the bread and the gap is the filling. The panes are held apart from each other by spacer bars around the edge.
The gap is usually filled with dehydrated air, but that can be replaced with a gas (such as Argon) to further improve insulation. Argon gas units cost about 5% more per window, but can boost the efficiency by up to 30%.
Further insulation can be gained by using metal oxide coatings on the glass – often referred to as “Low-e” glass.
Triple Glazed Windows – the basics
What you get with triple glazed windows is all of the above, but with a 3rd pane of glass. The 3rd pane distinctly improves sound insulation and thermal insulation, because now you have 2 air gaps. If you combine that with Low-e glass, Argon gas and warm edge spacers, you have a very energy efficient window.
To use someone else’s figures, when a test was run on the inside of a window in a room that was heated to 21 degrees, and it was suitably cold outside. A single glazed window gave a reading of 1 degree. A double glazed window 16 degrees, and triple glazing gave a reading of 18 degrees (https://passiv.de/).
It’s easily demonstrating a big difference from single to double glazing, but not such a big gain with double glazing Vs Triple Glazed Windows.
Double Glazing Vs Triple Glazing? – The Pros & Cons
Advantages of Triple Glazing
- The obvious thing to say is that triple glazing is better than double glazing for heat efficiency.
- Triple glazing offers enhanced noise reduction.
- Triple glazing is better at eliminating hot & cold spots in the home.
- Triple Glazing has better condensation control.
- Triple panes of glass make the window more secure
Advantages of Double Glazing
- Double glazed windows are cheaper to buy.
- The frames are thinner and less bulky.
- Double Glazed window units weigh less and don’t put so much strain on the hinges & corner joints.
- if a repair is needed, then the cost of that repair can be higher (replacing all the window seals).
- Triple glazed windows with the middle pane made from float glass can have a problem with the middle pane cracking due to temperature differences from the outside & inside – you should use toughened glass which is costlier.
Summary – So which is more suitable for your home, Double Glazing or Triple Glazing?
If you are after the most energy efficient window that you can get, and you have the budget available then Triple glazing is for you.
However, if you are budget conscious but still want good performance, a good quality A++ rated double glazed window will be more than up to the task.
In the UK climate, the added performance of a tripe glazed window is not really that necessary to have. We don’t really suffer from extremes of cold, like Scandinavia for example.
The extra cost of triple glazing Vs double glazing, is not necessarily going to be recouped by savings on your household bills, when compared to what you get from a good quality double glazed window.
Having said that, if your local installer is offering a good deal on prices, then I’d take the triple glazing if I were you.
You never know, the ever increasing cost of gas and electricity, and the UK governments’ constant push towards ever more energy efficiency, could make triple glazing the best choice for the future.
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