There is no such thing as a free lunch!
Don’t be fooled by high pressure glazing sales people and their dubious free upgrade offers of triple glazing for the price of double glazing!
We can’t sell decent quality Triple Glazing for the same price as our double glazing (nobody can unless their double glazing is overpriced) but our A+ rated double glazed window offers a brilliant performance at a lower price and is by far the best value for your money!
Triple glazing – is it worth it?
Let me start by emphasising that we have no axe to grind insofar as we can competitively supply triple glazing, the equal of any currently available, as easily as we do double glazing or any other product we offer. For this reason the views expressed below are totally unbiased.
Many people think three glass panes is better than two, and that they are getting more for their money. It is, of course, relatively easy to convince those with little understanding of the science behind double and triple glazing that this proposition is true. It sounds plausible, sounds right, but is often wrong. More is not always better!
Perhaps an easily understood analogy can be drawn from the motor vehicle industry. Several decades ago great credit was placed on the perceived robustness of the vehicle – to be built like a tank was a much desired attribute. Many models were condemned for using flimsy, light sheet metal and improvements in those days usually consisted of beefing up much of the body and many of the components, and in consequence cars became heavier. This resulted in these ‘well-built cars’ using more fuel, offering less protection to passengers in accidents, poorer performance in acceleration and top speed, and increased costs.
The real advances in fuel economy, performance, relatively low running costs and safety came with the advent of lighter bodies with accident crumple zones and smaller, high performance engines. It was engineering that produced the massive efficiency increases, and it’s the same with glazing. It’s the high tech frame and sealed unit construction and advances in glass technology that have produced the astonishing improvements to the window industry’s products – not the addition of a third glass pane.
Triple glazing can vary enormously in performance and quality. Poor quality triple glazing, which is very often thrown in free for the price of double glazing, is very often less efficient at energy conservation than high quality double glazing. As yet nobody has successfully developed for the UK market, a purpose-made, optimal frame for triple glazing. All triple glazed frames are currently frames made for double glazing with, at best, a modified glazing bead to allow the glazing of a slightly wider sealed unit, and until proper frames are available, any perceived benefits in real living situations are likely to be non existent. At its best, triple glazing as used in Scandinavia, Germany and Canada is more efficient, but triple glazing of this quality is both expensive and not generally available in window styles acceptable to the British market. They are also products that are vastly over-engineered for UK climatic conditions.
Other benefits frequently claimed by proponents of triple glazing include vastly improved acoustic insulation, but these claims are almost always greatly exaggerated. Greater decibel reduction can usually be obtained by using acoustic glass in a traditional double-glazed unit construction.
Claims that triple glazing offer greater security are also fraudulent. It’s barely more difficult to break a triple-glazed glass unit than a double-glazed unit. If security is a significant issue, better results would be obtained by using a double-glazed unit constructed from 6 mm laminated glass. Moreover the issue of security is more complex than simply upgrading the glass.
Complimentary upgrades in window frame construction and locks are also required to optimise the security of a window.
With the UK triple-glazed option still in its infancy, many other issues pertaining to a good installation and its longevity are still unaddressed. Not least of these is the additional weight imposed by three glass panes on the window/door hinges and the inherent adverse potential for difficult to close ‘dropped’ window and door sashes.
Other triple glazing downsides include poorer light transmittance and solar absorption.
Finally, salesmen in some companies claim anything from a 4% to a 24% U value reduction by using triple glazing, although it’s not normally clear what is being compared. To this I would say 24% of an already extremely low figure = a very miniscule, probably theoretical cost reduction in your energy bill.
Readers will by now have deduced that, in our opinion, top quality A+ rated double-glazed windows and doors are the best option for achieving a balance of energy conservation, security, acoustic insulation, competitive cost and trouble-free longevity.
If you require further information or wish to discuss any aspect of window/door design and performance data, please do not hesitate to phone the team at Apollo Windows on 01622 744411.