Fancy upgrading your windows – or about to choose windows for a self-build – but confused over which to type to choose? Then you’re not alone.
Unless you actually work in the construction industry, you’re unlikely to have read all that much research on the different kinds of glazing available today – such as double glazing and tripe glazing. And hence the reason for this article – to summarise the difference and the benefits of both:
The way double glazing works is by trapping a gas (usually Argon) inside two panes of glass. The reason Argon is chosen is because it’s heavier than air, making it a poor heat conductor. As a result, it traps more heat in your room.
Types of double glazing available
It’s possible to buy double glazing in different designs, such as Turn & Tilt, Bi-folding and in windows large enough to fit Conservatories and Orangeries.
Triple glazing has, as its name suggest, three panes of glass. Instead of Argon it’s often Krypton glass that is used for thermal insulation in between the panes.
The additional panes and gas make triple glazing at least two degrees warmer than double glazing. A room in a new-build home with energy-efficient double glazing will be around 16°C if heated to 21°C; but with triple glazing the heat can reach 18°C.
Experts have calculated that around 20 per cent of the heat in a room escapes via the windows so it’s important to get the right type of glazing for your home and current insulation needs.
For this reason, you’ll find triple glazing routinely used in countries such as Norway and Sweden. It gets colder there, of course, and whether triple glazing is necessary here in the UK with our milder winters, is a big point of debate.
Another criticism of triple glazing is whether it’s possible to recoup the additional costs. For instance, it could take at least two decades to make up the difference considering the savings in your energy bill may only be around £40 a year. The only way you could really maximise the benefits of triple glazing is if the whole house was insulated to the same extent and is what you can expect from a Passivhaus design concept.
Benefits of double glazing
- It’s cheaper (at least 20 per cent cheater than triple glazing)
- Double glazing today can have a U value (which is used to measure energy efficiency) of 1.6. This compares to 0.8 for triple glazing – so there’s really not a huge amount of difference between the two.
- They are light and easy to fit (heavier glazing, such as triple, usually requires more robust window frames to support the weight of the additional pane of glass).
Benefits of triple glazing
- You’ll save more money on your annual heating bills due to better insulation
- If your doors and flooring are insulated to the same extent (giving you a constant room temperature) then you’ll really maximise on the savings.
- Some Passivhaus designs claim energy bills as low as £120 a year.
If you’d like to chat about the type of windows that would be best for your home, then do give us a call here. We’d be happy to provide some guidance. Simply call us on 0800 1777 771.