I was chatting with a regular customer the other day and he was asking if there was any need for triple glazed windows. He joked that it was going the way of the Gillette adverts, keeping on adding an extra blade just to offer something new!
He’s not the only one to ponder this as many people have asked us ‘Why is there a market for triple glazed windows when double glazing works so well? It’s a fair point to raise so I thought it’d be a good question to answer for this week’s blog post. Hopefully I’ll be able to answer the majority of the questions you have regarding triple glazing.
I should start by saying that all windows are not made equal and the same is true for a triple glazed pane. We currently stock double glazing (with the ingenious Armour pane included) that in terms of noise cancellation and heat retention outperforms any ‘free upgraded’ triple glazed pane. This is largely why you don’t see many being installed. If you do however wish to pursue a traditional fully fledged triple glazed window we recommend going the whole hog. We’ll cover why below, first though a little history lesson!
For a long time triple glazing wasn’t even offered in the UK. Due to our fairly mild climate and near lack of truly extreme weather, there was a feeling it the industry that there wasn’t any need to market it. The only places you’d find triple glazing as being seen as ‘the norm’ would be in countries and areas where heavy snowfall would be a part of life. I actually have a Swedish friend who lived in the Sweden’s artic north (Northern lights country!) and was amazed that we didn’t have any on our house in Keswick. He genuinely didn’t think there was any other option!
So let’s have a look at the main differences because the extra pane does offer additional benefit rather than being solely a gimmick. There are 3 main differences, aside from the obvious extra pane, that’s a given!
Greater Heat Retention
As you’d imagine, the extra pane of glass helps where heat loss is concerned. This can help stabilise the temperature throughout your home, giving you a more consistent level of warmth throughout. The knock on effect of this is that a little heat goes a long way, leading to lower bills as less energy is needed.
As a result of the greater heat retention, triple glazed windows have a lower U-Value. This is simply an industry metric that tells you how good an insulator any given material is. The lower the U Value is the better the insulation is.
*Point to consider*
Don’t be fooled into thinking that triple glazing will sort out your cold home instantly. There are a number of reasons your property could be cold so first read our blog on reducing energy bills here. It covers the basics of ensuring your house is well insulated and would be an essential read before making such a big purchase.
There are a huge number of ways heat could be escaping your house and many are surprisingly easy and quick to fix.
Greater Level Of Protection
The first benefit regarding heat loss may seem to many as a tad obvious but the additional security provided is often overlooked. With the added depth and extra pane of glass, triple glazing is not only more difficult to break but can act as a deterrent to any would be burglar.
When the extra pane is noticed, and up close it’s fairly obvious, then attempting to break the window becomes a much more noisy and difficult ordeal. If it’s one thing burglars don’t want it’s to draw more attention to themselves. If the extra pane and depth isn’t noticed, after the first attempt trying to break through a window, it will rarely be followed by several more attempts. More noise, more attention, more risk.
On another less daunting note, if you’ve young children who like to play ball games in the garden, the chances of a football flying through the kitchen window (I did this a few times as a child!) will be greatly reduced.
Better Acoustic Insulation
The extra pane really helps where noise is an issue. This point is the most commonly overlooked but no less important than the above two. If you currently live, or have lived, in a noisy environment this will likely be the biggest benefit of the lot! You’ll find now that most hotels near airports, train staitons, motorways or in busy city locations are triple glazed throughout. It unsurprisingly works both ways. If you’re someone who regularly pushes the volume to 11 but doesn’t want to subject your neighbourhood to your musical taste, triple glazing could well be for you!
So What Do We Recommend?
There is a reason why triple glazing has only recently emerged in the UK, for the vast majority of us it simply isn’t required. There are a number of steps that can be taken to remedy some of the issues raised above before you’ll need to install triple glazing. For around 99% of us, double glazing is all the glazing we’ll ever need.
There are no right or wrong answers here, it’s all down to your requirements at the end of the day.