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Last Updated on December 13, 2019 By Dave
As energy costs continue to rise, increasing numbers of homeowners are looking for alternative ways to keep their houses warm. With gas, electricity and oil all subject to substantial price hikes over the last five years, the conservation of heat energy is more important than ever before. The question is, what can we do to make a little go a long way?
The benefits of investing in high quality insulating materials extend beyond simple cost savings. It also helps to offset carbon emissions and increases overall comfort and satisfaction. Triple glazed windows, for example, can easily save homeowners hundreds of pounds every year just by preventing heat from escaping.
Currently, all new homes built in the UK must include double glazing. This has been the standard for many years, but triple glazing is expected to become the new norm. Double glazed windows are more heat efficient than single glazing, but they can still lose up to 20% of the energy from a property. Since the introduction of double glazing, we’ve learned a lot about heat conservation and there are better options available.
Aside from being poorer insulators, double glazed windows fail faster due to age because there’s only one air cavity separating inside from outside. If the window seal breaks and moisture gets into this cavity, the panes may fog up in areas you can’t reach. Once this happens, the window frame is in danger of becoming infected with mould.
Triple glazed windows have a finite lifespan just as double glazed windows do but they last longer because they have two air cavities. It’s much harder for moisture to penetrate their seals and frames. Internal condensation is also reduced as more heat gets conserved inside the building and that double cavity keeps cold air away from the warm glass indoors.
Certainly, if your current windows are aging and due for replacement, triple glazing is worth some thought. There’s no argument about whether it’s better for energy conservation; three layers of glass will always be more heat efficient than two. It’s the cost of installation which puts some homeowners off. So, let’s talk realistically about how much triple glazing costs.
The cost of installing triple glazing can be prohibitive because it’s a case of investing in a renovation that’s quite pricey in order to save money later. Like loft insulation, the annual savings provided by triple glazed windows are enough to recoup any original expense within five years. Yet, it can still be difficult to convince homeowners triple panes are the future.
This is partly because installation requires a full property survey and because triple glazed windows have particular framing requirements. To function at peak efficiency and offer maximum heat conservation, these windows must be framed with wood. If the frames are made from uPVC, the potential for conserved heat is much lower. Installing triple glazed windows is a very good idea if you have the money to do it right.
Though prices vary according to location, the average cost of a triple glazed window is between £400 and £500. In comparison, double glazed windows cost around £300. Taking these figures as guide:
It’s worth remembering the curious interplay between windows as a product (counted as individual units) and the process of installation. In most areas of the country, the higher the number of windows purchased, the higher the cost. However, the opposite can be said of installations; usually, the more windows you install, the cheaper the cost of fitting.
To reiterate our earlier point, if your current double glazed windows need replacing, it’s the best time to invest in triple glazing. Your entire property will benefit from superior insulation and the cost will be cheaper per window due to the installation savings.
The average annual cost saving on utility bills after installing triple glazing is £175. This is every year so and, while it’s just an estimated figure, it can help you figure out how long it might take to recoup the original expense.
To make the right decision for your home, you need all the facts. So, here are some of the downsides of choosing triple glazing. The biggest downside is obviously the extra expense; it’s a substantial investment and not everybody can afford it.
It’s also worth mentioning the small decrease in natural light that penetrates those triple windowpanes with their double cavity. Most people barely notice the difference, but some see a slight change in how their rooms look after installation.
Perhaps the most overlooked disadvantage is the fact other parts of a property must be adequately insulated in order to enjoy the full cost savings benefits of triple glazing. If the insulation in your walls is poor or non-existent, you won’t be saving as much on your energy bills because heat is still escaping from the building. This is why homeowners are strongly advised to conduct a property survey with a third party energy specialist before spending money on an installation.
The survey will tell you if there are any vulnerable points in your home which need improvements before triple glazing can be effective.
If you would like direct advice from triple glazing experts, complete the short form on our website. You will be contacted by professional installers who can answer your questions and tell you what steps to take next. They can also give you a quote for both the triple glazed windows themselves and the installation.