What are the Disadvantages of Triple Glazing
Triple glazing is becoming more popular in the UK as a large number of household owners wish to minimise heat loss and reduce their energy bills. It is not a secret that the extra pane in triple-glazed windows makes for a more energy-efficient option for any household.
Installing triple glazing on your window frames is a decision you must consider carefully. While it does make sense to improve on single glazing or even upgrade your double-glazed units to triple glazing, there are some drawbacks associated with this operation. You have to weigh the benefits and the drawbacks, in order to make the best decision.
In this blog, we will go into detail about the pros and cons of triple glazing, explain what triple glazing is and whether it is a sound investment in all cases.
Let's understand what triple glazing is
To put it in the simplest of terms, a triple-glazed window is one that features three panes of glass, instead of single or double glazing. The gap between the sheets of glass is filled with xenon, krypton or argon gas. Look at our article that goes in more detailed about what is triple glazed glass.
Having this gas-filled extra pane, as well as the low e-coating features are said to improve the energy rating of the window, help with noise reduction and even home security. While in theory triple-glazing windows should be more energy efficient than double-glazing, it is the BFRC rating that matters most.
Exploring some Triple Glazing Pros and Cons
The main difference between triple-glazed windows or skylights and single glazed windows or the more common double glazing lies with the 2 air gaps instead of just one. The additional gap is what creates the major advantages and disadvantages of triple glazing, which we will explore below.
Advantages of triple glazing
There are a few advantages to triple-glazing windows.
- Having two panes of glass keeps your home warm in the winter months.
- An additional pane of glass also proves useful in the summer by reducing overheating. Solar gain for a triple-glazed unit
- The heating system can operate at a reduced load, thanks to the lower heat loss.
- Good energy rating.
- Improve property value.
- The heavier window means better security as it is harder to break into.
- Marginally better reduction in noise pollution compared to double glazing.
Disadvantages of triple glazing
Even though there are some upsides to upgrading your energy-efficient windows, there are also some triple-glazing disadvantages that you should not ignore. Just because there are some upsides, it doesn't mean you should replace modern double glazing with triple glazing. Here are the downsides to be aware of:
- It is important to assess just how cost-effective triple glazing is because the price of acquiring three panes of glass to replace your single-pane windows can be significant.
- It is a much less affordable investment. It will cost you more money to get three layers of glass panes as the window installation is expensive and so is the upgrade.
- A triple-glazed window is much heavier than a double-glazed window. What this means is that such windows put a strain on the window frame. They can become creaky over time and open poorly.
- This type of window uses more materials during fabrication and has a much higher environmental impact.
- Triple glazing can reduce noise and sound waves from the outside coming in, but also the noise coming out. This can turn a room into an echo chamber.
Triple Glazing vs Double Glazing - Is triple glazing better than double glazing?
Many building professionals would argue whether triple-glazing windows are better than double-glazed windows in a climate like the UK. The main considerations have to do with the much higher cost and the fact that it will not have an immediate effect on energy savings and the energy bill. Triple glazing is superior to double glazing, but not necessarily by much.
Is triple glazing worth it - find out as we explore the topic in our blog.
U values - Do triple glazed windows have better energy efficiency ratings?
U value measures the effectiveness of a material in terms of thermal transmittance, i.e. how good of an insulator it is. The thermal performance of an insulated home is measured in heat loss. For example, windows with no inner pane have a U value of 5. Building regulations of today require that windows have a U value of 1.6 minimum and 0.3 for the walls.
You can read more about U value on our blog, as there will be a topic on the topic.
How much does triple glazing cost?
There are two major factors that dictate the price of triple-glazed windows: the size of the property and the number of glass window units. Getting the best prices for this kind of home upgrade is essential because it can be a big difference between a good investment and a bad move from double-glazed windows.
On average, a triple-glazed window costs about £1,200, the same per square meter. For instance, a 2-bedroom house with five windows will cost about £6,000 to have all windows upgraded with triple glazing. A larger home with more windows can easily exceed the £10,000 mark.
What factors play a role in the total cost of triple glazing?
Let's explore the other factors that affect the price in greater detail:
- What part of the UK is your property in - if you live in a big city, contractors will likely charge you more for things like tempered glass and triple glazing.
- Accessibility and height - if the installers need special equipment or scaffolding to access the windows, the price will increase.
- Frame colour - opting for white is usually the cheapest option.
- Style and type of window - a window with uPVC casement with a third pane of glass is usually priced between £700 and £2,200. Windows with a single opener are even more expensive.
- Requirement for waste removal - if you are going to need the old windows removed before installing triple-glazed windows, you will be paying extra for the service.
Is the extra cost worth it?
In some situations, double glazing is more than enough to ensure good energy efficiency for the entire home. But many of its advantages are already covered by double glazing, especially since building regulations demand a certain standard.
In some cases, the added cost of installation and materials diminishes the triple glazing worth. While your energy bills may be lower, the rate of reduction might make it more difficult to give the investment the green light.
There is also the consideration of noise reduction, but unless you live on a busy road, noise-reducing double glazing does the job just as well.
What is the downside of triple glazing?
One of the major disadvantages of triple glazing lies with the initial expense. Such glass is much more expensive than double glazing so you should budget accordingly. It is not a project you can deal with on your own, so you will have to consider professional installers. Paying for materials can be expensive.
Is there anything better than triple glazing?
Triple glazing improves how much heat your home loses and how much cold air gets in. And while the extra layer of the new windows is helpful, good quality double glazing can also help retain heat in your living space during those winter months.
Is it worth getting triple glazing?
If you don't have north-facing windows, the extra pane of glass in triple-glazed windows may not necessarily make that much of a difference compared to double-glazing. The difference in energy efficiency may not be justified, if the upfront cost turns out to be greater than you expected.
Does triple glazing keep heat out in summer?
New building regulations state that any window should have a U value of 1.6 or better. This means that less heat escapes from the room in the winter and cold air remains inside the cooled home in the summer. Triple-glazed windows do help with that.
Does triple glazing cause condensation?
Triple-glazed windows in fact reduce window condensation and not be the cause of it. Triple-glazed windows tend to reduce condensation compared to double-glazed windows.
Feel free to get in touch with us if you're interested in purchasing or just learning more about flat roof windows and skylights that are triple-glazed.