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Double Glazing vs Triple Glazing Compared

Triple glazing is more expensive than double glazing, so you might be wondering about the pros and cons of triple glazing vs double glazing. In this article, we will compare the two in terms of the benefits offered, the lifespan, the costs and more.

You will get an idea of whether it is worth replacing double glazing with triple glazing depending on your circumstances. Read on to learn more.

What is the Difference Between Double and Triple Glazing?

In a nutshell, when comparing double glazing vs triple glazing, the difference is as follows:

  • Double glazed windows have two panes of glass.
  • Triple glazed windows have three panes of glass.

In both cases, the space between the sheets of glass is less than two centimetres. And, in both cases, the space between is filled with an inert gas like argon. The purpose of having more than one panel is to increase heat retention and reduce penetration of cold air from outside.

Both aluminium windows and uPVC windows are available with either double or triple glazing, meaning you can mix and match your favourite window frame style, colour or material with your preferred option of glazing.

Should I Get Double or Triple Glazing?

Triple glazing does offer some modest benefits for thermal efficiency over double glazing, however this could be seen as unnecessary except for during periods of extreme cold weather. It offers the same benefits as double glazing, with slightly increased energy efficiency, but at an extra cost.

Let’s do a little comparison:

  • Cost: Triple glazed windows cost around 20-30% more than double glazed windows.
  • ROI: Both window types will increase your property value however triple glazing has a longer payback period in terms of energy savings due to its increased cost.
  • Insulation: Triple glazing provides a little more thermal insulation than double glazing, depending on the quality of course!
  • Noise Reduction: Both can reduce around 35-40 dB of noise, with triple glazing usually on the higher end of that range.
  • Lifespan: Both will last for around 20 years, longer with proper maintenance.
  • Installation Time: Both window types take up to 3 days to install depending on the number of windows.
  • Maintenance: Cleaning twice a year should be sufficient for both, and servicing locks, hinges and handles is recommended.

Let’s take a look at the key factors in more detail.

Double Glazing vs Triple Glazing Cost: Will I See a Return on Investment?

Homeowners will usually see a return on an investment in double or triple glazing if they subsequently sell their property. This is because both types of windows will improve the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Homes with a good EPC rating can fetch a higher price tag by up to 14% if they go from the lowest rating to the highest.

In terms of savings, windows can take many years to break even on your investment through energy saving costs, although a warm and cosy home is payback in itself. The payback period of triple glazing is even longer due to the added cost of the windows and the minimal improvements in energy efficiency it offers.

Double Glazing vs Triple Glazing: Glass U-Values

Triple glazing offers a little more insulation than double glazing, though the modest improvement will not justify the extra expense for many. The reason it is slightly more energy-efficient is simple.

With triple glazing, you have 3 panes of glass and 2 air gaps, meaning it provides more of a barrier against heat transfer. This is reflected in the U-value of triple glazed windows as opposed to double glazing. What is the U-value of windows? It is a measurement of how effective it is at stopping heat transmission from inside to outside, and vice versa. A lower U-value means better insulation.

The U-value of double-glazed windows usually falls around 1.6. For triple glazed glass, U-values are around 0.8 at the very lowest. This means the increase in heat retention between the two is a maximum of 50%, though many will fall short of this. As mentioned, this increase isn’t necessary for most UK homes, where extreme cold is rare, and it won’t justify the additional investment of hundreds of pounds per window for many.

Double Glazing vs Triple Glazing: Noise Reduction

The difference between the two is negligible. In general, both will provide a 35-40 dB reduction in noise. This is vastly superior to single-paned windows, but there is only a minimal difference between double and triple glazing in this respect. In short if you live by a busy road or trainline, you might experience some additional noise reduction with triple glazing.

Double Glazing vs Triple Glazing: Lifespan

For that 20% extra investment in triple glazing, you won’t get any additional longevity. The average lifespan of both window types is 20 years, though this can range from around 10-35 years. Frequent exposure to rain or sea air can accelerate degradation, as can poor installation, but both window types have a similar life expectancy.

Double Glazing vs Triple Glazing: Maintenance

Both double and triple glazed windows are quite easy to maintain. The recommendation is that you clean them twice a year, or a little more if you live near the coast or in a particularly dusty area. You can clean them yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.

The other consideration for maintenance is breakage. Common issues include:

  • Difficulty opening/closing windows.
  • Broken locks.
  • Condensation issues.
  • Broken glass.

As windows age, these issues are equally likely with both double and triple glazed windows. However, both are very resistant to broken panes due to the pressure from the gas within the sealed unit. Also, regular maintenance and servicing can alleviate most of these issues.

Final Thoughts

If you are really keen to reap the benefits of triple glazed windows for additional heat retention, and you can afford the extra cost, you are free to do so. But those benefits are not extensive, and they are quite unnecessary in the type of climate most people experience in the UK. The cost of triple glazing is prohibitive for many, and the ROI is actually likely to be less if you splash out for that third glass pane.

Modern double glazing provides enough insulation for a home to cope with the UK’s winters. And the double glazing window thickness provides almost as much security and noise reduction as triple glazing. It can be helpful to seek a triple and double glazing quote to get an idea of the actual cost comparison. This might help you make your final decision.

Why choose Eco Thermal Design for your new windows?

Eco Thermal Design has transformed countless homes across Barnsley, Sheffield and other areas of South Yorkshire. We are experts when it comes to windows and can help you find the right windows for your home. We manufacturer our windows in our factory in Barnsley, and only work with quality brands such as Kömmerling, Schuco, Sheerline and Origin. We also offer Residence Collection windows, perfectly suited for period properties.

Our expert team can help you decide on the right window for your home, and our team of fitters can complete their work to the highest standards, causing you minimal disruption along the way. We’re proud of the quality of our products, work and people, which is echoed by our customers in our Which Trusted Trader reviews.

If you would like to speak to one of our window experts or get a quote, you can contact us here or give us a call on 01226 764841.

What Our Customers Say

“Quality products are only as good as the team that fit them and in our case both the product and the fitters resulted in a first class and professional installation. Respectful of our home and tidied up at the end of each day….Thank You”
Les Finucane

“Excellent service from Eco Thermal again. Would recommend to anyone. Also good to have a local firm that you can trust.”
Ross Duguid

“Very happy with the whole process and of course the finished installation.”
Michael Senior

You can also read our reviews on Which Trusted Trader where we are rated five stars.