Triple glazing has been with us for quite a while now. It’s introduction into the industry mainstream a few years ago was heralded as the next evolutionary step for our sector. But in it’s few years of existence, it has failed to make the sort of impact many were expecting.
When triple glazing was introduced to the market, there was quite a big difference price wise compared to double glazing. This will have put some people off it from the start. But as with most new technologies, prices come down and the difference is now not as wide. However, that gap is still too much for customers to pay for only a slight gain. Until the cost of triple glazing starts to drop to just a very small increase, it will still be a big barrier for most.
Then there is the actual requirement for triple glazing. There are some very advanced double glazed windows out there, some of which achieve numbers very close to triple glazing. Thermally, they achieve U-values not so far apart from each other, and in recent tests, double glazed windows actually perform higher on the A-G WER scale than triple glazed windows do!
The only occasions where I have been asked about triple glazing are from consumers that live next to high noise areas, such as main roads. And even then, demonstrating a significant enough difference hasn’t been that easy.
For whatever reason, triple glazing just has not caught the eye and the interest of the consumer as we thought it would. I think that the majority of triple glazing sales will be down to the company pushing the product rather than the customer actually asking for it. In an ideal world we want the consumers out there to be coming in and asking for it. But I guess until either prices come down or we start to demonstrate good enough reasons to pay more for it, it will remain a small selling item in the years to come.
That is however, unless construction standards in the UK improve. We have just had some recent Part L changes announced that did very little to improve the overall efficiency of the UK’s new-build housing stock. But, if you look to other countries where their standards are more robust, say Scandinavia or Germany, triple glazing is far more widely used. Germany for example has it’s PassivHaus building standard which has to have triple glazing in order for it to meet that standard. If the UK really wants to get tough on energy efficiency in it’s housing stock, then maybe if we made triple glazing the new standard and lowered the costs to ease it in properly, then maybe both the product and the carbon footprint (or reduction of it) would improve somewhat.
Good piece of info. Thanks buddy
I would say 1 out of 3 of our customers choose triple glazing. Some of these customers have asked specifically for it, but my salesman puts the upgrade price in with all of his quotations along with information about the product. With the pricing structure we use, its not much more expensive than double glazing and many of our customers are happy to pay for it. We sell far more than our sister companies which I think is down to my salesman truly believing in the product.
Would you say that your sales guys push it more than your customers ask for it?
I think that it depends what kind of triple glazing you put in. As with double glazing the make of low-e glass does make a huge difference; imagine what u-value could be achieved by putting in 3 lots of soft-coat planitherm with argon and krypton gas and a warm edge spacer! My other half is an acoustic consultant to the building industry and she states that the biggest difference to sound reduction is the air gap width. Though triple glazing will beat double glazing with regards to sound reduction it can not be used to its best potential in uPVC… Read more »
In order for triple glazing to perform optimally as an acoustic barrier it would require one of the panes to be a different thickness in order to disrupt the harmonic frequencies generated by traffic/aircraft noise, 6.4mm laminated glass to the outer pane would also enhance security and cut out 98 percent of the UV radiation. The improvement is something in the order of 3 Db, the contributor who pointed out that the gap is also significant is quite right as is evidenced by the acoustic benefits of secondary glazing, the down side of course is the poorer thermal performance caused… Read more »
A) We don’t live in a climate where we really need triple glazing B) Good double glazed units will be better than cheap triple glazed in both the short and long term. C) Triple glazing requires 50% more glass, twice the manufacturing costs of a double glazed unit, requires more heavily engineered frames, are heavier than double glazed and therefore puts more stress on the joints and hinges. Unless the investment in the manufacturing capabilities is sufficient, then buying triple glazing is a recipe for more disappointment and outrage about the replacement window industry down the track. So if one… Read more »
Greg 1711′s comments are exactly my thoughts, particularly the extra weight on the hinges causing failure and frustration. We have sold the two thicknesses of glass in a double glazed unit as a sound insulator for some years now – and it works a treat.The extra pane in triple glazing, on the other hand, uses more materials and energy that need recouping for both the planet and the pocket. I also feel that thepotential triple glazing failure rate will be higher than double glazed units in the future despite assurances to the contrary. Especially for large , heavy units that… Read more »
When there is a consistent 3/2/3 tough unit with Ali spacer without hot melt , triple will have a chance,
I seem to recall that a lot of European ‘triple’ glazed is a fancy combination of DG and secondary.