The benefits of double glazing have been known for some time. Walk down any residential street and you’ll notice more houses have double glazing than not.
However, there’s a growing trend to go one better, but is triple glazing worth it?
In countries that have extremely cold winters, such as Finland and Sweden, triple glazing is standard for most modern properties. However, in the UK, where we tend to experience much milder winters, houses with triple glazing are few and far between. But, that’s quickly changing.
So, should you immediately go out and replace all your windows with the latest triple glazing technology? Probably not, but it still could be worth considering an upgrade.
What Is Triple Glazing?
Put simply, triple glazing is three sheets of glass within a window frame, with a small gap between each pane. It’s basically double glazing but with an additional pane of glass sandwiched between the inner and outer pane.
Like double glazing, the gaps between the panes are filled with Argon gas which helps to provide insulation.
Benefits Of Triple Glazing
The benefits are:
- Reduced heat loss through windows
- Reduced noise pollution
- Increased strength and security
- Reduced condensation
The biggest advantage is the potential to save on your energy bills. It’s estimated that double glazing saves you around 10% on your energy bills compared to single. However, triple glazing has an additional 15% energy saving over double.
The extra pane of glass will also make it harder for noise to travel through a closed window. Plus, it provides extra strength, particularly if the middle pane is made of toughened glass.
Condensation forms on windows when the temperature of the glass is colder than the air around it. Therefore, as three layers of glass are better at stopping cold traveling through it, the inner glass stays warmer and condensation finds it harder to build up.
Disadvantages Of Triple Glazing
When asking ‘is triple glazing worth it?’ it’s important to also consider the negatives:
- Energy savings don’t outweigh the installation cost
- Extra glass reduces the amount of light coming in
- Condensation can form on external glass
The energy savings you’ll get are, unfortunately, not enough to outweigh the costs. You could be looking at around 50 years to save the same amount of money on energy as it cost to install the windows (by which time, you’ll be long overdue for replacing the windows again!). However, double glazing does not fare any better on this.
We might add windows to let light in, but, glass does actually block out a small amount of light. That means double glazing lets in slightly less light than a single pane of glass and three panes together lets in slightly less light than two panes together. However, the amount will be so small you’ll barely notice.
A final disadvantage is that while you’ll reduce the amount of condensation on the inside of the windows, you may find more condensation on the outside of triple glazed windows. That’s because the let less heat out of your house, leading to colder, more condensation-prone panes of glass externally.
Cost Of Triple Glazing
The cost of triple glazing varies considerably depending on where in the country you live, which supplier you choose, and the size and specification of the windows you select.
However, the typical cost of a 3 bedroom property with 15 windows is around £7,000. This is around 30% higher than the cost of installing double glazing on the same property.
In both cases, the energy savings will not outweigh the installation costs over the lifetime of the windows. Therefore, installing any form of new windows is a cost, not an investment.
Effect Of Triple Glazing On The Value Of A House
So, we’ve established that installing triple glazing will cost you more money than it saves you. But, does it affect the value of a house?
As triple glazing is still relatively rare in the UK, a house with it is certainly likely to have a novelty value to potential buyers.
With Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) now legally required for all properties up for sale, buyers are increasingly putting higher values on more energy efficient homes. Therefore, a triple glazed property is likely to attract more interest and a higher sales price than ones without it.
However, it’s unlikely your property will increase in value by more than the cost of installation. Therefore the value of your property shouldn’t be a major influence on whether or not you choose to install it.
So, Is Triple Glazing Worth It?
As with most thing, there are a number of pros and cons to consider when asking the question ‘is triple glazing worth it?’.
On the plus side, you’ll definitely notice your home stays warmer during winter and cooler during summer. You’ll also notice a reduction in condensation and less noise pollution from outside.
However, it’s around 30% more expensive than double glazing and you shouldn’t expect to recover the cost in reduced energy bills. While there may be an increase in the value of a property, it’s only likely to be a fairly modest increase.
Overall, it’s unlikely to be worthwhile switching to triple glazing if you already have perfectly good windows installed.
But, if you are in a property with single panes of glass, or your windows are nearing the end of their lifespan, upgrading to triple glazing can give you a warmer, more comfortable home – if you can afford it!