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Should I buy Double Or Triple Glazed Windows

Updated on January 9, 2014
Image showing the effect of Low-E glass
Image showing the effect of Low-E glass

Should I get Double Or Triple Glazed Windows

If you are thinking of changing your windows do you know what type of glass you should be getting Double glazing / Triple glazing / Low-e / Argon gas / Krypton gas.

First thing to remember Is don't rely on the sales person that is selling you the product, because most of the time they will just tell you what you want to hear. Or just try to guide you to the product which they make the most profit from.

So were do you go from here. Well the first thing you need is a small bit of knowledge once you have that you will be able to tell the sales person what you want. Plus when sales people think you know what you are talking about you will find that you will get a better price and a better job done.

I will start with a simple guide No. 1 is the worst for insulation number 2 is better and so on.

Note : The lower the U-value the better the glass is at keeping the heat in. U-values shown may not be 100% accurate but are pretty close. As different companies may have slightly different U-values depending on the type of Low-e glass they use.

1 : 4mm Single glazed glass ( Don't even think about it) U-value = 5.0

2 : Standard double glazing with aluminium spacer bar. This was the first type of double glazing which became popular it was a big step up from single glazing yet it is not even close to what can be done today U-value = 3.0

3 : StandardTriple glazing with aluminium spacer bar. Again this was the first type of triple glazing which came on the market U-value = 1.7

4 : Double Glazing with Low-E Glass & Warm edge spacer bar. The low-e means there is a special coating on the inside of the glass that reflects the heat back into the room. Than unlike standard double glazing the aluminium spacer bar is replaced with what is called a warm edge spacer bar made form a non metal component. U-value 1.5

5 : Double Glazing with Low-E Glass & Warm edge spacer bar Plus Argon filled Gas. This unit is the same as above on argon gas is used to fill the cavity instead of air. U-value = 1.3

6 : Double Glazing with Low-E Glass & Warm edge spacer bar Plus Krypton filled Gas. This unit is the same as above only the gas is changed to Krypton gas U-value = 1.1

7: Triple Glazed with Low-e & warm edge spacer bar. U-value = 0.9

8 : Triple Glazed with Low-e & warm edge spacer bar Plus Argon Gas U-value 0.7

9 : Triple Glazed with Low-e & warm edge spacer bar Plus Krypton Gas U-value 0.5

How to choose which glass is right for you : Well before you choose you should also know about Solar gain. This is letting the suns heat in to warm your house. So if your house is facing north you should put the best insulated glass in the front that you can afford. And in the back which is south facing you don't need as much insulation because you want to let the suns heat in to warm your house. Well this will work if your house has being designed to make the most of solar gain. But if it has not than forget about solar gain and just put in the same glazing right around the house. Because the real factor to consider here is when you are at home with the heating on. You want to keep the heat in as long as possible.

So what do you choose : Well most glazing companies if they are going to be honest will recommend Double Glazing with Low-E Glass & Warm edge spacer bar Plus Argon filled Gas. U-value 1.3 And this is fine in most case's because what you must remember is that the different between a 1.3 U-value and a 0.7 U-value is in fact very tiny. And the extra money you spend just to get that extra few points in U-value you will never get back in your heating bill.

But if you have very big windows than maybe you should consider Triple Glazed with Low-e & warm edge spacer bar Plus Argon Gas U-value 0.7 Plus what you also get with your extra insulation is better noise reduction due to the extra pane of glass.

Note : I would not bother with the krypton gas because of the extra money you pay for it. You will never get your money back and the extra insulation you get you will never notice it.

Well I hope this article was of some help. but it would be nice to hear some comments from people who have different types of glazing and what you would recommend.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Double / Triple / Low-e GlazingStandard Double Glazed Unit with Aluminium Spacer BarImage showing solar gain in a double glazed unitTriple Glazing with warm Edge Spacer Bar
Double / Triple / Low-e Glazing
Double / Triple / Low-e Glazing
Standard Double Glazed Unit with Aluminium Spacer Bar
Standard Double Glazed Unit with Aluminium Spacer Bar
Image showing solar gain in a double glazed unit
Image showing solar gain in a double glazed unit
Triple Glazing with warm Edge Spacer Bar
Triple Glazing with warm Edge Spacer Bar

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