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Triple glazing – is it worth it?

December 10, 2020

Sustainability and building compliance expert. Specialising in low energy design, SAP, SBEM, BREEAM, and air testing for the construction industry,

Andrew Sadler

Choosing the right glazing is an important investment for home builds and renovations. Here we discuss the pros and cons of triple glazing, and whether it is really worth it for your construction project.

If you’re building a new home or renovation, you’re probably thinking about what windows you want to integrate into the property. Especially for those hoping to design an energy conscious dwelling, your windows are a core way to make your dwelling more efficient.

One question you may be asking yourself, is whether or not you need triple glazing.

Is triple glazing really worth it? Triple glazed windows are a popular choice for keeping out the cold (and saving on bills) but the reality is that they can cost around 20% more than double glazed. So, what makes them so much better than double glazing?

There are many advantages and disadvantages of both double and triple glazing; you should consider all of these before you make a decision. For example:

To help you decide, we’ve rounded up the main benefits of triple glazing, as well as any negatives that you need to keep in mind.

What is triple glazing?

Simply put, triple glazing is 3 panes of glass rather than 2 or 1. Between the 3 panes are 2 pockets of gas (which will most likely be argon, xenon or krypton). This provides insulation – to keep heat in and noise out – by creating a seal that reduces drafts and maintains heat within the house.

Is triple glazing better than double glazing?

The idea of triple glazing is that the extra pane increases efficiency and reduces noise. In fact, it has been suggested that the third plane of glass can improve the energy performance of regular double glazing by around 50%.

Triple glazing also improves the U-value of a dwelling. Let’s compare the typical U-values of different glazing:

The lower the U-value, the more advantageous the rating – so, as you can see, the benefits of installing triple glazing can have a considerable impact in this area.

What are the main benefits of triple glazing?

It may seem like one extra pane of glass to a window wouldn’t make that much difference to your home, but the reality is very different. That extra pane is intended to cut down on noise levels and keep as much heat within the home as possible, resulting in more comfortable living and less expensive bills.

Here are some of the main benefits of triple glazing:

What are the disadvantages of triple glazing?

But, as with everything, triple glazing isn’t perfect – and there are some disadvantages that you will want to consider before committing. 

Firstly, triple glazing is considerably more expensive to install; it’s therefore important that you weigh up how much money it will actually save you through your energy bills, and if the investment is worth it.

In addition, while triple glazing holds the major benefit of containing heat during the winter, the flipside is that less heat from the sun will be able to make its way into the dwelling; double glazing, on the other hand, is better positioned to harness solar energy.

Triple glazing is also heavier than double, and so if you are hoping to install it within existing frames you may face a problem: this could even lead to your property having structural problems.

Finally, many argue that for the UK climate, triple glazing isn’t a necessity.

Double glazing VS triple glazing – which one should I choose?

Every property is different, and so there is no blueprint answer for this one. However, a few points to consider are:

Still not sure? That’s where Buildpass can help.

Our sustainability consultants can join you on your property to pinpoint whether triple glazing is the right option for you based on your personal circumstances and ultimate goals. We will also highlight any alternative ways to lower your U-Value and improve the overall efficiency of your dwelling.

Contact a member of the Buildpass team to find out more.

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