If you're looking to renovate your period property, you may have heard about the recent trend towards installing triple-glazed windows over double-glazed. We look at the pros and cons of installing triple glazed windows in your home.
With Scandinavian countries now adding triple-glazed windows, it seems the UK is starting to follow suit, but is the extra layer of glass worth it?
Basically, a triple-glazed window has three panes of glass sealed within a frame, as opposed to one or two. Small gaps between the two sealed units created by the three panes are filled with argon gas, which is heavier than air and therefore provides more effective insulation against cold and noise.
Although there has been a lot of opposition to triple-glazed windows, they do have several benefits over double-glazed. The extra window pane prevents more heat escaping from the home, and blocks more heat out. This is important to bear in mind, considering that 20% of heat lost from the home could be attributed to old double-glazed windows
Moreover, triple-glazed windows are more energy efficient than double and single-glazed windows. The U-value is used to measure a window's efficiency, and the higher the value, the less efficient the window is. Windows with a single pane of glass have a U-value exceeding 5, while newly fitted double-glazed windows shouldn't have a U-value over 1.6, according to building regulations. However, some triple-glazed windows could have a U-value of 0.8 or lower.
Many people rely on triple glazing to make their home more comfortable. If your building's roof, walls and floor are fully insulated but your windows are only single or double-glazed, cold spots will appear around the windows at night, causing draughts and condensation.
Although triple-glazed windows keep heat out of the home during summer and stop cold entering during winter, many wonder whether they're necessary to have in the UK. Triple-glazed windows are very popular in colder Scandinavian climates because they retain more heat, but many have argued that because the UK's climate is a lot milder, we don't need as much protection against it.
Triple-glazed windows can cost a staggering 30 to 50% more than typical double-glazed windows, and those who have them would not benefit from much higher energy savings. Therefore, they may not be the most cost-effective option for every home.
However, they could be the perfect option if you're looking to reduce the effects of noise pollution. For instance, if you live near a busy road close to a city centre where the sound of passing traffic is a constant issue, installing triple-glazed windows could make your home a quieter place to live, and increase its value.
For those who are undecided, here's a quick list of the pros and cons you should consider when upgrading your property with triple-glazed windows:
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