These days, we are all constantly looking for new ways to make our homes warmer and more energy-efficient. Many of us have had double glazing installed and are now wondering if an upgrade to triple glazing is worth the effort. And those who haven’t yet gone down the double-glazing route are wondering whether they should skip straight to triple glazing.
While ordinary double glazing is composed of two layers of glass with a sealed air cavity between the layers, triple glazing has three layers of glass with two sealed air cavities between the layers. So you might assume that these windows would be twice as efficient as ordinary double glazing. In fact, it’s is a bit more complicated than that.
More Efficient, Taken as a Whole
The efficiency of triple grazing depends very much on the overall thickness of the glass being used and both the thickness and build quality of the total installation. The Daily Telegraph quotes a figure of 30% more energy-efficiency compared to conventional double glazing, looking at the glass area rather than the frame and total installation.
The energy-saving capability of windows is measured using a U-value – the lower the U-value, the more efficient the window. In figures quoted by the Green Age website, the U-value for single glazing is 5, for older types of double glazing round about 3 and for modern double glazing 1.6. You can get triple glazing with very low values of 0.8, but these units tend to be more expensive as they use krypton rather than argon as their gas in the air layer. And to get to these levels, the frame of the window also has to be insulated.
Say Goodbye to Cold Spots
However, triple glazing is outstanding when it comes to eliminating cold spots, which can be caused by poorly insulated window surrounds or draughts originating in another part of the house. The attempt to eliminate cold spots originally motivated many homeowners to install uPVC windows in Dublin houses. Those available from http://www.keanewindows.ie/uPVC-windows.html were used especially in period homes with poorly insulated walls and badly fitting sash windows.
Triple glazing will help further reduce any cold spots in the house. However, bear in mind that if your walls and roof are not insulated, triple glazing alone may not completely solve the problem.