Double glazing is everywhere, and unless you have been living under a rock you will know all about its energy efficiency and capacity to reduce noise pollution compared to older single pane windows. What you may not be aware of is the fact that triple glazing is now an affordable option when building or renovating your home, and can offer a marked improvement upon standard and even advanced double glazing units.
Similar to double glazed windows, a triple is formed of three separate panes of glass, more often than not of low-e standard, separated by an inert gas like argon and heat insulated spacer bars. The difference lies in the insulation properties of double vs. triple glazing.
In modern double glazing units, the energy efficiency (u-value) averages out around 1.6, whereas in triple glazed windows you can expect a u-value of about 0.8, meaning that triple glazing is doubly efficient. In places like Scandinavia where every step towards a thermally insulated property is a necessary one, triple glazing has now become the standard due to its ability to keep heat inside the home.
However, the benefits don’t stop there, as glazing also offers a considerable improvement in noise reduction. A property, measured in decibels, which denotes the reduction of noise between partitions, the Sound Reduction Index (Rw) of a double glazed unit is often around 32dB, whereas with a triple glazed unit you can expect an Rw of 41dB. This is a 30% increase and will offer markable differences in areas where noise pollution is a real problem, such as near airports and busy motorways.
So Should I Switch From Double Glazing To Triple Glazing?
The short answer is perhaps not. Whilst triple glazing will offer you a clear increase in heat insulation and noise reduction, they can be fairly expensive and, in terms of payback on energy bills, it will be a while until you see a return. That said, there are certainly tangible if not monetary benefits to changing your windows
Triple glazing will reduce your energy consumption and thus your carbon footprint, which is something that I would recommend everyone does. Also, if noise pollution is a real concern then I would recommend replacing double glazed windows with a triple, as the difference is certainly noticeable.
Another benefit seen by installing triple glazing is a reduction of cold spots in a property. Where the higher u-values of double and single glazed units creates a differential in temperatures between the windows and the wall, triple glazing goes a long way to reducing this.
Image by Solipsist