The world needs billions of new homes in the coming years, to keep pace with the expanding population and the natural desire to own a property. This huge demand for construction runs alongside the developing world’s bludgeoning priorities for homeownership; to find sustainable solutions, ‘improve, don’t move’, and manage household expenses more tightly.
All of this brings with it the need to look into windows, which are in the main, the primary way heat leaks from homes.
Every property owned or being built has them, and how they are specified and updated impacts on the aforementioned priorities. The simple question of double vs triple glazing is a crucial one, as it will dictate how successful property developers and homeowners are in ‘ticking all the boxes’ mentioned above.
Why does double vs triple glazing matter so much?
The choice of window in a new property, or home improvement project, can often come down to cost factors.
What developers and individuals must weigh up is whether the price of the more expensive option (triple glazing) represents a value proposition.
However, there are still substantial advantages to double glazing too. As these tend to be a more manageably priced window (as well as lighter), they make it possible for larger numbers of construction companies and homeowners to ‘get on board’ on important issues such as energy efficiency.
What are the differences between double vs triple glazing?
Apart from the cost differential, the truth of the matter is that for many properties in temperate climates like the UK, double glazed windows could be perfectly adequate.
To be transparent on what’s meant by double glazing, this is when windows in properties consist of sealed units containing two parallel panes of glass. The air trapped between acts as an insulator.
Compared to single glazed windows (traditionally found in countless homes in the past), double glazing reduces heat loss by up to 100%. So, it’s a far more energy-efficient option and can reduce fuel bills dramatically.
Double glazing offers the ‘improve, don’t move’ brigade of homeowners more important benefits too. For example, the materials used tend to be more durable and moisture resistant than traditional window construction materials, like wood. Double glazing can also help manage external noise levels and soundproof homes to a larger degree than single panes of glass.
Interestingly, most double glazed windows offer considerably more solar gain than triple – creating more warmth inside the property (three layers of glass have a 50% solar gain value, whereas double glazing is about 62%). (source: https://www.self-build.co.uk/double-vs-triple-glazing/)
Why triple is a growing trend
After saying that, when properties are built in locations prone to more severe dips in the thermometer, triple glazing offers important advantages. It can also be a preferred choice for high-end home construction and home improvement projects for properties where budgets are not so restricted.
It’s why triple glazing accounts for around 80% of all the new windows installed across Europe (this figure is much lower in the UK). (source FYI: https://www.self-build.co.uk/double-vs-triple-glazing/)
The benefits of triple over double glazing come from the latter’s construction.
Having three panes of glass in sealed units increases the energy efficiency rating substantially, trapping even more heat inside the property and repelling cold air from outside. Due to its engineering methodology, triple glazing is also less prone to trapping moisture (condensation) compared to double glazing.
Other advantages of triple glazed units include the fact they are even more sturdy and long-lasting than their double counterparts and can cancel out even more noise.
There are specialist triple-glazed windows that can reach the same solar gain levels as two panes of glass too.
The security factor
Which is better in terms of security, double vs triple glazing? This is another important consideration in deciding which option to fit into property builds, refurbishments or renovations. Triple wins again, though well-made double glazed units with properly fitted locks still represent an important way to prevent property intrusion.
Double vs triple glazing – choice, and not restricting adherence
Research into the different construction methods, structure and advantages of different window options helps to shed light onto a topic of interest to millions of property owners, and developers hoping to solve the world housing 'crisis'.
Clearly, promoting the value of triple glazing in billions of new properties, and for eco-conscious homeowners, is a priority for this sector. However, ‘overselling’ the more expensive option could place constraints on adherence and new build developments.
This makes it important to present a balanced promotion of double glazing as a cost-effective solution that still provides crucial energy efficiency and other key benefits.