Benefits of Triple-Glazing Defined
Table of content
When looking to upgrade windows in a home, it can be a fairly obvious choice to go from single- to double-glazing, as the benefits of this improvement in insulation are well documented.
With proven advantages such as greater energy efficiency, enhanced safety and home security, better soundproofing and less condensation, two is definitely better than one when it comes to panes of glass in your windows. But does all this still hold true when examining triple- versus double-glazing?
Let’s take a look at each one of the pros of double-glazing and understand whether it can also be considered a benefit of triple-glazing.
In the case of energy efficiency, the resounding answer is yes. With its unique construction featuring an additional third pane of glass, creating two separate gas chambers, a triple-glazed window definitively offers greater insulating capabilities than a double-glazed one.
This improved energy efficiency is tangibly measured in something called a U-value, a rating of heat loss in watts per square metre Kelvin (W/m2K). The lower the U-value, the more effective a window is at retaining heat.
|Old-fashioned double-glazed windows||3.0 W/m2K|
|Modern double-glazed windows, like Klar’s||1.3-1.5 W/m2K|
|Triple-glazed windows, including Klar’s||0.8 W/m2K|
These numbers directly translate into the following assessment made by Local Architects Direct:
“A triple-glazed unit can result in a 35% reduction in heat loss compared to double-glazing. You may no longer need radiators under windows, and the peak load of the heating system is reduced.”
Greater energy efficiency can also be felt in the warmer summer months when triple-glazing will similarly reduce the amount of solar heat gain, and your home will be less likely to overheat.
There are several other side benefits to the enhanced insular properties of triple-glazed windows, including:
Monthly cost savings in your energy bills
A more consistent, comfortable interior environment
A reduced carbon footprint for your home
Home Safety and Security
Similarly, adding an extra pane of glass can help improve your home’s safety and security, most simply by creating yet another barrier to intrusion. When it comes to burglaries, a potential intruder will be more deterred from having to break through an additional layer of glass.
Triple-glazed windows are also more durable and resistant to harsh weather and strong wind conditions. In recognition of this superior performance, they are now being installed in houses in hurricane-prone areas as an extra security measure.
When it comes to reducing noise pollution in your home, the benefits of triple-glazing are less clear. Logically, one would think that another pane of glass along with an additional air cavity would make it more difficult for sound to pass from the outside in.
However, in some cases, the middle pane can contribute to an increased vibration of sound waves and, thus, greater sound transference. The ability of a multi-glazed window to insulate against sound is influenced to a greater degree by varying thicknesses of the panes of glass, the amount of space between the sheets, as well as whether special acoustic glass is selected as an option.
Water molecules move closer together when they come in contact with a colder surface. This creates dew droplets, or condensation. This can occur on the inside of single-paned windows when warmer, moist air inside a home comes into contact with the chilled window surface that is not very well insulated from cooler outside temperatures.
Double- and triple-glazed windows provide a strong line of defence against this phenomenon, as the improved insulation provided by the multiple panes of glass doesn’t allow the interior surface of the window to be cold enough to permit condensation to form inside.
The construction of multi-glazed windows also typically includes a drying agent, or desiccant, found in the gaps between the glass panes. This absorbs any excess moisture in the air chambers and eliminates condensation on contact.
Ongoing condensation on window interiors results in unsightly and damaging mildew, mould and eventually rot on wood frames. Choosing windows that combat this process most effectively is in your best interests as a homeowner.
When it comes to energy efficiency, home security, and fighting condensation, the benefits of triple-glazing are just as impressive as those with double-glazing, if not even more so, given the added insulating power of three panes.
The greatest advantage of triple-glazing over double-glazing is its superior energy efficiency. This is where the biggest improvement will be felt by a homeowner, and which will also likely translate to an increase in property value. Any well-insulated home that can tout lower energy bills is bound to draw top dollar on the market, especially in these times of skyrocketing energy costs.
Is it worth getting triple-glazing?
For a comprehensive evaluation of this question, be sure to read Klar’s article, “Is Triple-Glazing Worth It?”
How much difference does triple-glazing make?
Triple-glazing can result in a 35% reduction in heat loss in winter over double-glazing, as well as 20% less in solar heat gain during summer months. The ability of the three panes of glass to hang on to more heat means the difference between the interior surface of your window is 18 degrees with triple-glazing and 16 degrees with double- when your room is heated to 21 degrees.
What are the disadvantages of triple-pane windows?
The disadvantages to triple-glazing are an increased cost, a heavier product, possible noise pollution and minimised solar gain in colder climates. Some of these can be counteracted, however, with different glass types or coatings.
Is it worth getting triple-glazing in the UK?
Originally used in climates with extremely cold temperatures, like Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia, triple-glazing has started making its way into other countries. While the UK typically has a milder year-round climate, and double-glazing may be sufficient, triple-glazing can still offer certain tangible advantages to a homeowner.