Does Triple Glazing Make Sense

Slowly but surely in the UK people are being encouraged to make the upgrade to triple glazing from the double or single glazing that they currently have. The reason for this is to improve the energy efficiency of homes and achieve lower carbon emissions; new building regulations that have been put in place mean that triple glazing will become the standard glazing in all new homes. Many people who currently have double glazing ask the question “does triple glazing make sense?” There are different factors to providing an answer to this question.

U- Value

A big part of “does triple glazing make sense?” has to do with your current windows. U-value is the measurement that is used to determine the efficiency of the window, if you currently have single glazed windows then you should be definitely looking to upgrade, single glazing regularly has a U- value of over 5.5 which is just about as low as it comes. Older double glazing units achieve a U-value of around 2.8 which once again does little to help in efficiency and lower carbon dioxide emissions. Improvements have been made to double glazing units and with new building regulations stating that all windows installed today have a U-value of no more than 1.8, double glazing can be very effective. Those with newly installed double glazing will be right to ask “does triple glazing make sense when I have new double glazing?” In this case the answer would probably be no. For the time being a newly installed double glazing unit should provide enough energy efficiency and provide a saving on fuel bills, if you live in a quiet residential area then triple glazing may not be worth the extra cost.

With the government looking to produce low and zero carbon homes in the future, then triple glazing does indeed make sense, the low U-value of triple glazing is essential in a low carbon society. Triple glazing is widely used in cold climate countries such as Norway, Sweden and Canada; this has led to a standard of windows known as Passiv Haus, this standard requires triple glazed windows have a U-value of no more than 0.8. This means windows can be hugely effective in heat insulation.

Comfort

Opinion is divided on “does triple glazing make sense?” with many people of the opinion that despite the impressive low U-value of triple glazing, the cost of the unit and installation outweighs the money saved in energy bills. This is probably true if you have a new double glazing unit, but anyone with older double glazing or single glazing should definitely look to triple glazing as opposed to another double glazing unit.

A lot of the argument has to do with comfort, a household with fully insulated walls and roof will benefit from high spec windows to avoid cold spots and draughts. Triple glazing also has tremendous sound insulation which can improve living standards for anyone that lives in a busy and noisy area.