Advances in technology are continually improving the energy performance of windows, with triple glazing becoming a popular alternative to traditional double glazing.
What is triple glazing?
Triple glazing means your doors and windows have three panes of glass instead of one or two. The aim of the extra pane is to increase energy efficiency and reduce noise in your home.
The energy performance of a window is measured by its U value – the lower the U value, the better the performance. A traditional window has just one pane of glass that has a U value of at least 5.
Double vs triple glazing
Double-glazed windows used to have a U value of around 3 but improvements in technology have increased this to 1.6 – to meet new building regulations. In comparison, triple glazing can increase the U value to 0.65, providing a considerable improvement in heat retention.
The improvement has been made possible thanks to wider cavities between the glass panes, with the cavity being filled with an inert gas such as argon.
In countries with cold climates, such as Norway and Sweden, triple glazing is already widely used. To reach their mandatory low-energy U value of 0.8, the frames themselves are insulated with the gas krypton as an alternative to argon.
What are the benefits of triple glazing?
The key benefits of triple glazing centre on comfort. When you’ve insulated the roof and walls of your house, you don’t want the windows to let you down, otherwise you could end up with cold spots around the windows, particularly on chilly nights. This will cause draughts and loss of heat, which will ultimately lead to condensation on the panes.
The standard of glazing must match the standard of the insulation in the rest of the house, hence triple glazing is an increasingly popular choice. While double glazing makes your home comfortable, triple glazing makes it more so.
Triple glazing can be relied on to vastly reduce noise pollution. If you’re living in a noisy urban area or on a busy main road, triple glazing offers more protection from outdoor disturbances.
Why would you need triple glazing?
The PassivHaus Institute in Germany has studied the surface temperatures on different forms of glazing when it’s cold outside, with the internal temperature at a comfortable 21°C.
With a standard single-glazed window, the internal surface temperature of the glass is approximately 1°C. Swap this for a standard double glazed window and the surface temperature increases to 11°C. A modern, energy-efficient double glazed window produces a surface temperature of 16°C.
By far the leading performer in cold weather, triple glazed windows have a U value of 0.65 when the glass’s internal surface temperature is 18°C.
Is triple glazing expensive?
While a double-glazed window is adequate and does the job, a triple glazed alternative provides an even better performance, hanging on to the heat more effectively and making your home more comfortable.
This could reduce your energy bills, as you won’t need to have the heating on as high if the interior heat is retained more efficiently through the triple glazing. You will certainly notice the benefits inside the house. Offset the initial installation costs with greater energy-efficiency and reduced heating costs in the long term.
If you’re trying to get rid of cold spots in an otherwise warm house or if noise pollution has become too much to bear, triple glazing could well be the solution!