Given the focus on energy efficiency in almost everything we do, it remains a surprise that triple glazing hasn’t taken off yet. But I think in 2014 we could see that start to change.
One of the main reasons triple glazing has been stunted so far has been the price barrier. In some cases it remains significantly more expensive than double glazing for very little gain. But as with all types of technology, the older and more populous it gets, the cheaper it becomes. As people start to become more confident about the economy and their jobs, the idea of upgrading to triple glazing from double glazing may not seem that expensive.
There are tangible benefits to triple glazing. In high noise areas, the extra layer of glass can make a big difference and for those looking to maximise savings on heat loss and thermal gain, triple glazing does that better than double glazing does. But triple glazing is a product that came around at the worst time. It arrived during the worst of the recession, just as people were slamming shut their wallets and going into full panic mode about their jobs and the wider economy. The industry has had to be a little patient to really push triple glazing, but 2014 I really do think might by the year where we see it take off in a stronger way.
One of the bigger question marks surrounding triple glazing as a product is energy efficiency. Not efficiency itself, we know that 3 layers are better than two at keeping heat in. But there remains a question about which is the more accurate way to measure it. Looking around, most companies have decided to go down the u-value route. This is probably because there are disparities when it comes to using the WER certificate because solar gain is harder to measure. As a general rule I have always regarded u-values as the best way to measure the energy efficiency of a window because the tests are regarded as more accurate.
This leads on to a wider argument then. If triple glazing is going to be widely measured using u-values, surely the best way to move forward is to use u-values for standard double glazing as well? If we don’t, the industry risks causing confusion with the consumer, with the industry looking rather contradictory. How can we say as an industry that we know u-values to be more accurate, so we’re using them for triple glazing, but we’re sticking with WER’s with double glazing despite that? It’s an issue that I believe is going to come up more and more next year and we’re going to need some genuine and credible guidance on how to proceed with making a decision.
So, triple glazing, do you think 2014 is the year it is going to make it’s mark? Or are we still shooting a little high at the moment? All comments welcome in the section below.