Is Triple Glazing Superior To Double Glazing
Triple glazing is often promoted on the presumption that ‘two (panes) must be better than three’. But is there a difference in performance, and is that applicable in Australian conditions? Let’s leave aside the obvious fact that equivalent quality triple glazing is more expensive that double. Let’s take a look at the UK market, which is a much colder one than Australia. How does the glazing industry in the UK see the future of triple glazing?
Double Glazing Blogger is the foremost writer on the industry in the UK, and he actually owns a retail business in the industry. He has run a series of industry Polls. The latest asks “Has Triple Glazing Already Had It’s Day?” People taking the Poll were given three responses to choose from. The responses, and the votes they received were;
- Yes, not enough demand 72%
- No, it’s a slow burner 15%
- Not sure- has potential 13%
So that’s quite a compelling verdict from the industry. What could the factors be, behind that? Here’s the explanation from the Double Glazing Blogger.
“As an industry we moved from single glazed to double glazed windows. It was a roaring success because it addressed a number of issue s. Namely, energy efficiency and security, as well as some others. But particularly heat saving, that is why double glazing took root and became the standard we have today. There was a genuine need for it, so home owners chose it. You wouldn’t dream of buying single glazed windows now.
Over time, double glazing was improved and refined over time, to reach today’s very high end options, which are far more energy efficient than first generation double glazed windows. So naturally, you would think that the natural progression for this product would be to jump to a third pane of glass and make it triple glazed. Two was better than one, so why wouldn’t three be better than two?
Unfortunately, the marketing departments got hold of triple glazing before scientists did, and that natural assumption of “three is better than two” took over. It was the saviour to noise reduction and the next step in energy efficiency for windows. That was however, until it was proven that there was no tangible benefit to either unless your triple glazed unit was 44mm wide or more. Anything less was pointless. That was a bit of a crushing moment, and perhaps the first big dose of reality on a product that was struggling to find it’s natural place in the industry.
For home owners who wanted noise reduction, there was already an array of proven double glazed options already available, more cost effective than triple glazing too. And from an energy efficiency point of view, whilst WER ratings were higher, U-Values didn’t move in the same way, so in reality any actual benefits were negligible and were not worth the extra cost.
The reality is that for triple glazing, there were just too many reasons to not buy it. Effective noise reduction and energy efficient double glazed options were already doing the trick nicely. The UK climate isn’t exactly Scandinavian, so doesn’t warrant such a product. The minute benefits were not worth the extra cost for home owners. It offered nothing different in terms of design for home owners or indeed installers to get excited about, which is an absolutely key factor when choosing new windows and doors in modern fenestration.
For now at least, I think we can forget about triple glazing being the new double glazing. It’s best chance for now has been and gone, and there are more exciting and truly innovative products out there inspiring both the industry and home owners alike.”
Four Great Advantages and Benefits of Double Glazed Windows
October 30, 2014 by Viola Sacci
It doesn’t matter where you live or what you do, the benefits of Double Glazed Windows are going to make your house a nicer space to be in.
Here are the top 4 reasons why you need double glazed windows in your house.
1. A Double Glazed Thermal Dream
With heating and fuel costs going through the roof these days, getting double glazed windows really is a no-brainer! They’re thermally efficient and keep as much of your heat inside where it belongs. Your old windows may have been leaching out your heat (and your money!).
Not only do these wonderful inventions save you money in the winter, but they also help you save tonnes of money in the hot summer months. Your cooling costs can also be dramatically reduced by the implementation of double glazed windows. The glass acts as a barrier to the sweltering heat from outside that’s attempting to penetrate your icy fortress.
In a nutshell, it will keep you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer!
2. Double Glazed Windows; are (Noise) Killing Machines
One of the best features about double glazed windows (especially when acoustic glass is used) is that they’re practically sound proof. Do you live by a busy highway? Enjoy your AFL matches in surround-sound bliss with your double glazed windows.
Perhaps you live in a school district. Are noisy kids cantering past your house every day giving you the blues? Block out their high-pitched chatter with a brand new set of double glazed windows!
Do you live near a construction site? An airport? Or maybe you just have annoying neighbours. The fact is, with double glazed windows you can seriously reduce the noise pollution affecting your home. Hooray for silence!
3. Less Water Damage
Have you ever poured cold water into a glass and then watch the glass get super misty? Of course you have. That’s called condensation. Welcome to 5th grade geography class! Condensation happens when warm air is cooled. Our old single-paned friends have serious issues with condensation. You see, when it comes to windows, condensation is bad.
Think of your home as a giant glass of water. When your air conditioned windows come in contact with the heat from outside, it will form water droplets on your windows. The same thing happens when inside is warm and outside is really cold. Now the water droplets are harmless on their own, the real damage comes when they trickle down to your window frames or seep into your walls.
Over time, this could cause extensive water damage and cost you quite a bit of money in the long run. Double glazed windows aren’t immune to condensation, but if they’re installed properly and made with the right material, the chances of this happening are very slim. The inner pane of the window acts as a barrier between the sharp differences in temperature.
4. Double Glazed Windows are Greener Living
If you’re environmentally conscious (you should be!), then you will definitely appreciate this benefit of double glazed windows. More and more glass manufacturers are opting to use recycled glass for its environmental benefits. Apart from that, double glazed windows are very energy efficient and help to reduce your fuel consumption by controlling heating and cooling losses through proper insulation.
Double glazed windows are pretty amazing. They will save you lots of cash in the long run, they’ll protect you from annoying neighbours and they will reduce your environmental impact. They are an all-around good investment for any home-owner, whether you’re planning to sell or you’re in it for the long-haul.
Double Glazing in Europe vs. Australia
Over the last week, I Connected on Linkedin with Dimitri Geleen, who’s a creative IT professional with broad experience in Project Delivery, IT Ops and Business Analysis. Dimitri works in Berlin. So what’s the connection with double glazing, you ask?
Well, in the course of our discussion, Dimitri mentioned that he has double glazing. Now that’s hardly surprising. In most of Europe, double glazed windows and doors are the standard. In many cases, it’s triple glazing. Of course, in Australia, we’re very late to the double glazing game, and still trying to convince the local building industry to recognise that double glazing should be our standard, too. If we really cared about housing affordability, we’d give weight to the value of cutting our ridiculously high heating and cooling bills.
Anyway…. I asked Dimitri to tell me a little about his use of double glazing. So he did. Tell me a little. But, the little he told me was very powerful.
He sent me the photo you see above, with the words
“I made a picture of my little private office in Berlin with almost over 100 year old double glazing. Thought you might enjoy that.”
Enjoy that? I LOVE it. Shows that local practice is 100 years behind Germany.
So, are you a little shocked that we’re 100 years behind Germany? Well, buckle up your seat belt, because we’re some 2000 years behind the Romans!
Double Glazing In Ancient Rome
Yes, the ancient Romans used glass in windows, but not the clear glass we use today. Nevertheless, they went one step further.
According to Wikipedia, they found out that insulated glazing (or “double glazing”) greatly improved their ability to keep buildings warm, and this technique was used in the construction of public baths. Over 2000 years later, the vast majority of Australian homes still don’t have double glazing
No slouches in the field of energy efficiency, the Romans also developed underfloor heating, which today usually takes the form of hydronic heating, circulating hot water through a concrete slab floor. Australia, catch up!
Good Window Design & The Importance of Double Glazing
Is Double Glazing Worth The Money?
IS double glazing worth the money you invest? The answer is YES, but ONLY if it is installed correctly, without a cold bridge (thermal bridge). A window or a door is essentially a hole in the wall and responsible for most of the unwanted heat loss or gain.
Windows are essential for a house and the comfort and well-being of its inhabitants, as they let natural light and fresh air into the building and enable views. Appropriate window design, size, location and glazing treatment, combined with shading and internal covers, can significantly reduce the energy required for heating and cooling. Maximum solar access for north-facing windows can reduce winter heating bills up to 25%. External shading can block up to 80% of summer heat gain through windows. Double glazing and internal coverings can reduce heat loss in winter up to 40%.
Glass is the potential weak point of a building in terms of energy efficiency. A single glazed window can gain or lose up to ten times more heat than an insulated wall.
uPVC Double Glazed Windows in Australia: Video
Available across Europe and America for the past 60 years, uPVC window profiles are the most popular choice to deliver superior and proven performance worldwide.
More than half of all new and replacement residential windows worldwide are uPVC. That’s almost 290 million window units a year.
Chosen for their durability, low-maintenance, high energy efficiency, performance and style, the US and Europe have long focused on energy-efficient windows.
However, in Australia, we’ve traditionally used either timber frames which are good insulators but high maintenance, or aluminium window frames which need less maintenance than timber, but have poor insulation .
Thermal performance is one of the most important characteristics of a window. Double glazed uPVC windows can be as much as four and-a-half times more energy efficient than standard single glazed aluminium. The energy efficiency of a window system is commonly defined by two measures.
First, the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), a measure of the solar radiation going through the glazing into a building, and secondly by the rate of heat flow through a window system (uValue). For both measures, the lower the number, the higher the performance.
A common misconception in Australia is that double glazing is only for cold climates, to keep the cold outside. But double glazing is also just as effective in keeping the heat of an Australian summer OUT. In fact, standard glazed windows contribute to eighty-seven percent of the summer heat gain in a typical Australian insulated home. Choosing double glazed units with low solar heat gain and lower uValues reduces or eliminates the need for expensive artificial cooling. By replacing your windows with high-efficiency upvc ones, you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from household heating and cooling by more than one ton a year.
uPVC windows are considered durable, with expected life spans of 35 years, and leading brands have been tested specifically for resistance to australia’s high UV radiation levels. These windows will look good for years without the need for sanding or repainting, and being resistant to salt, are ideal for coastal locations.
uPVC window profiles have been carefully engineered to incorporate multi-point locking systems, providing a high level of security. They can be used in a wide range of styles for old and new heritage or contemporary homes, and they come in a variety of colors. Choose with confidence from a range of quality suppliers in Australia.