Are Triple Glazed Windows worth it?
Are you looking for strategies to cut your energy bills? In fact, energy efficiency and sustainability have become important considerations for many UK homeowners in recent years. With growing energy expenses, an increasing number of consumers are looking for ways to improve their home insulation and minimize heat loss.
One option that you have probably come across is triple-glazed windows. These glasses are known to provide superior insulation and noise reduction. However, given their greater price tag as compared to standard single or double-glazed glasses, you may be wondering: "Is triple glazing worth it?"
In this blog post, we will explain what triple-glazed windows offer and why it may be worthwhile to invest in such a home improvement.
What is a triple-glazed window?
To put it concisely, triple glazing is a window made of three glass panes which are enclosed in a frame. Each pane is insulated by a pocket of air or inert gas (usually argon gas). So, we may say that triple glazing is kind of an improved version of a double-glazed window which has just two layers of glass and one insulating gas or air pocket.
The additional glass pane and insulating layer in triple-glazed windows come up with some additional goods, namely better energy performance, sustainability and noise insulation. Furthermore, adding some extra features such as low e-coatings, warm edge spacer bars, and insulated frames can additionally enhance the insulating properties of the window making it more energy efficient. Check out our article on what is triple glazed glass for more information.
Is it worth having triple glazing?
In short, yes. Triple glazing can be a really worthwhile investment, especially if having a more energy-efficient home is your priority.
There are many reasons why upgrading to triple-glazed windows is a smart decision. These units come with many advantages including improved energy performance and comfort, increased security and better property resale value.
But as every rose has its thorn, triple glazing also has its downsides, and one of the biggest ones is its higher cost. However, the long-term savings from these windows may really outweigh the upfront expenses
Here we will list some reasons why it can be worth it to install triple glazing.
Low U-value, increased energy efficiency, and enhanced insulation
One outstanding feature of triple-glazed windows is their low U-values which indicate that they provide excellent thermal insulation and are thus more energy efficient. The U-value is a coefficient that determines how much heat is lost or gained via the window and frame. It is measured in W/m2K (watts per square meter per degree Kelvin).
When it comes to selecting windows and doors, the U-value is an important factor to consider because it affects the energy efficiency of your home and hence your energy expenses. Low U-values indicate a higher window energy rating, and therefore a more energy-efficient window.
In comparison to double glazing, which typically has a U-value of 1.2 to 1.6 W/m2K, the triple-glazed unit can achieve a U-value as low as 0.6. This means that triple-glazed windows provide improved insulation and energy efficiency.
For more information, check out our post explaining what is a U value.
Enhanced comfort in a living space
Triple-glazed windows can make your home a more comfortable place to live in a few ways. First, the better insulation they provide can help prevent cold spots and drafts, keeping your home warmer in the winter. This is the reason why this kind of glazing is more popular in cold climate countries. Second, the extra panes of glass in triple glazing can block the noise coming from the outside. So, if you live near a rowdy street or airport, where noise often disturbs your sleep and peace of mind, the triple-glazed units could be your saviour.
Valuable selling point
Triple glazing can actually be a wise investment that may pay off in many ways. Installing such windows on the property you currently live in, can help you save money in the long term owing to lower energy bills. On the other hand, if you intend to sell the property, the triple-glazed windows can be a good selling point since many homebuyers see them as an attractive feature.
Which is better, double or triple glazing?
While both double and triple glazing have their pros and cons, triple-glazed windows are better in some ways. But what makes them a better option?
Double glazing has two panes of glass separated by an air or gas-filled space. They offer more energy savings when compared to single-glazed windows. This is just because the additional pane of glass and insulating space in between help retain heat.
Triple glazing, on the other hand, has three panes of glass with two insulating spaces in between. This third pane and the extra pocket considerably improve the insulating characteristics of the windows, making them more energy efficient than double glazing. Also, triple glazing offers some additional benefits that make it an outstanding option.
Still hesitant about replacing your older double-glazing with new triple-glazed windows? We will look at the advantages and disadvantages of the two types of windows so that you may weigh them and decide which option best meets your needs.
Advantages and disadvantages of triple glazing
- They can help lower energy bills. The triple-glazed windows offer superior thermal performance due to the extra pane of glass and the additional insulating pocket. Thus, opting for triple glazing is a good way to cut your energy bills.
- They offer better sound insulation. In addition to enhancing thermal efficiency, the extra layer of glass and air/ gas space also improves the noise-insulating properties of the windows.
- Triple glazing can make your home a more secure place. It is much more difficult to break three layers of glass than two, isn't it? This type of glazing provides extra protection against intruders.
- The windows can reduce carbon emissions. Triple glazing can reduce carbon emissions by up to 40% compared to single glazing and roughly 25% compared to double-glazed windows. However, some factors, such as the climate, the size of the home, and other elements of the home's construction and design, will have an impact on the actual reduction.
- These windows are a bit pricy. Triple glazing costs more than other kinds of windows. This is not surprising given that they require more and stronger materials during the manufacturing process. Furthermore, the installation of triple-glazed windows is more complex and time-consuming. It necessitates specialized knowledge and tools, which can raise installation costs. However, the higher initial costs are usually offset by lower heating bills in the long run.
Advantages and disadvantages of double glazing
- They are more energy efficient than single-glazed windows. The insulating characteristics of double glazing are significantly superior to those of single glazing because the second pane of glass and the gap between the two panes offer an extra barrier to heat loss.
- Double glazing can also reduce noise from outside. Despite having only one layer of insulation, double-glazed windows can still block out some of the outside noise. However, if you live in a very noisy area or near a bustling street it might be better to opt for triple glazing which offers greater insulating properties.
- They are less expensive than triple-glazed windows. Because it uses two glass panes rather than three, double-glazing is typically less expensive than triple glazing. The installation of new double glazed windows is also less complex and requires less material compared to triple glazing.
- They are less thermally efficient than triple glazing. Window Energy Ratings for double-glazed windows range from A++ to C, with the most efficient windows having low U-values, several panes of glass, and insulating elements such as low-emissivity coatings and gas fills. However, triple-glazed windows have a higher energy rating than double-glazed ones, with ratings ranging from A++ to A, which reduces heat loss and improves energy efficiency.
- There is a possibility for seals to fail. There is a chance that the seals between the two panes of glass will fail over time, allowing moisture to accumulate between the panes and lowering the insulating capabilities of the window.
How are triple-glazed windows installed?
It requires a lot of attention to detail when it comes to fitting triple-glazed windows in such a way that they are really airtight. Due to their higher weight and increased thickness, their installation usually necessitates more knowledge and precision than fitting double glazing. To ensure a proper installation, you should always work with a reliable and experienced Windows installer.
The fitting process typically includes a few steps. Professionals first remove the old windows and clean and prepare the opening for new windows. The triple-glazed window is then placed into the prepared opening. To achieve an airtight fit, the unit is secured in place with screws or brackets and sealed with caulking. The final step is to add any finishing touches, such as window trims, to ensure the windows seem aesthetically pleasing.
One of the main considerations when it comes to installing triple glazing is the additional weight of the modules, which can weigh up to 150 kg. 150 kg corresponds to a large pane of glass of approximately 2 metres by 2.5 metres. However, this shouldn't be a significant challenge when you work with experienced installers who are familiar with the installation process.
Choosing a trustworthy supplier and installer is also critical, as the performance of the window unit and the quality of its installation will reflect the window energy rating. The specialists should be able to recommend the most appropriate type of glazed unit for each feature of your home. They should be able to give you full information about the energy ratings of the windows, the filling material (whether it is filled with gas or air), whether the window complies with building regulations, and so on.
How much do triple-glazed windows cost?
There are a lot of factors that come into play when calculating the triple glazing cost. Thus providing a more accurate estimate may be difficult. However, on average, you can expect the prices to range from £400 to £1,200 per square metre, including installation.
Obviously, the size of your property and the number of replacement windows are two of the most important factors that will influence the cost of your new windows. For example, a two-bedroom flat with 4 windows could cost around £5000 to have triple glazing installed. If you own a detached house with 12 windows, the entire project could cost you up to £14000.
Other things that influence the triple glazing cost include the type of frame material used and the level of energy efficiency required. Adding extra features such as Low-E glasses, warm edge spacers, or insulated frames can also raise the cost of the units.
Frequently asked questions
What is the average triple glazing cost per square metre?
The average triple glazing cost per square metre may range from £400 to £1,200, depending on the size of the window, the type of frame material used, and the level of energy efficiency you want to achieve.
Are there other things you can do to reduce your U-value?
To reduce the U-value of triple glazing, you can consider the following:
- Low-emissivity (Low-E) coatings. This glass has a translucent coating on the centre and inner panes that is microscopically thin. Such a surface reflects heat back into the room.
- Argon or Krypton gas filling. The areas between the glass panes can be filled with Argon or Krypton gas to help minimize heat transfer.
- Proper installation. Proper installation of triple glazing is crucial to ensure that there are no gaps or air leaks around the window frame.
All of these factors can help lower the U-values of triple glazing further and increase the efficiency of the glasses.
What makes triple glazing energy efficient?
Triple glazing is one of the most energy-efficient types of windows available on the market. It has three panes of glass isolated by two spaces. These layers work together to reduce heat loss, making it more difficult for warm air to escape your home. So, if you decide to fit triple glazing you can expect a warmer home as well as lower energy bills.
Does triple glazing reduce condensation?
Yes, triple glazing can help reduce condensation. This is because the extra pane of glass in triple glazing reduces the temperature difference between the interior and exterior of the window, which can help prevent moisture from forming on the glass surface. Additionally, some triple-glazing products have special coatings or gases between the panes that can further reduce the likelihood of condensation.
Does triple glazing keep heat out?
Triple glazing is designed to preserve heat inside a property by minimizing heat loss through windows. However, it can also reduce solar gain and help keep heat out during hot weather. Solar gain refers to the amount of heat that enters a building through windows due to sunlight. Triple glazing can limit heat gain via windows because it reflects more sunlight and absorbs less than double or single glazing.
Is it worth replacing double glazing with triple glazing?
Double and triple glazing can both bring more natural light to the property and enhance its energy efficiency. However, if your current double glazing is old, poorly installed, or damaged, replacing it with triple glazing may be worth considering. Older windows may become less efficient due to wear and tear, gaps or cracks forming in the seals around the glass, or outdated technology. A common problem with old double glazing is aluminium spacers and cold bridges, which can negatively affect its energy performance. Replacing the windows with new triple-glazed ones can significantly improve your home's energy efficiency and cost savings for heating bills.
Is triple glazing good for winter?
Yes, triple glazing is good for winter. This is because these windows do not allow as much heat to get outside, making the living space more comfortable. This means that you may not need to use your heating system as much, which in turn will cut your energy bills. Additionally, triple glazing can minimize the risk of having cold spots and drafts around windows, which can be especially beneficial for north-facing windows and cold weather climates.
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