What are the types of window glazing?
Renovating a property? Building one from scratch? There’ll be plenty to consider, with your choice of window glazing being up there as one of the most important decisions you’ll make. After all, your windows are not only an aesthetic feature but something that’ll essentially make or break your home.
Here we’ve shared a quick guide to the types of window glazing to help you make a more informed decision.
The different types of window glazing
Single glazed windows
This type of glazing is very basic. It’s simply made up of a single pane of glass. There is no layer of air or gas between and therefore, no extra insulation.
Single glazing is much cheaper than double and triple glazing. However, it’s only really a beneficial option if you live in a hot country (like Australia) where losing heat from your home isn’t a major concern.
A warmer home and reduced energy bills - the two most popular reason for choosing to install double glazed glass but does double glazing live up to its reputation?
First, let us explain what’s meant by double glazing. Basically, double glazed glass consists of two pains of glass, separated by a layer of air or gas. This acts as insulation from excessive noise and heat loss. The idea is that by installing double glazing, you can benefit from a quieter and warmer home than you would if you were to install single pane glazing.
What are the benefits of double glazing?
Lower heating bills
One of the key benefits of increased insulation, with double glazing, is lower heating bills. Your home won’t cost as much to heat, as very little air will escape from the windows and they won’t let in cold air from outside either. You’ll be able to heat your home much more efficiently and save your pennies in the process.
If you’re looking for the most efficient double glazed sash windows, it’s worth choosing a product that has gas between the panes - most likely argon. Keep an eye out for Low-E double glazed windows, which have a reflective coating that helps to bounce sunlight into the home, adding to its natural warmth.
Did you know that double glazing your windows can also improve your home security? Double glazed glass is much more difficult to break than single glazing, meaning intruders will be less likely to target your home.
How much does double glazing cost?
The price of double glazing will vary depending on several factors including the size of the window, the type of the window and how many windows you purchase at one time (you may receive a discount on multiple window installations.)
According to Which? you should expect to pay around £515 for a 60x90cm upvc window and over £3000 for large double glazed sash windows.
Is secondary glazing the same as double glazing?
Secondary glazing involves fitting an extra layer of glass inside your existing windows. It’s not quite as effective as double glazing, however, it should still save you a small amount on your heating bills.
One of the benefits of secondary glazing is that it’s cheaper to fit than double glazed windows. It’s also a great option if you live in a listed building and aren’t able to install double glazing.
What are triple glazed windows?
Over the last few years, triple glazing has massively increased in popularity. So much so that it’s quickly becoming the standard solution for newly built homes.
Whilst double glazed windows have two panes of glass with a layer of air or gas in between, triple glazing (as the name suggests) has a third pane.
What are the benefits of triple glazed windows?
One of the key benefits of triple glazed windows is that they offer increased comfort levels. With extra insulation, they’ll help keep your property warm and cosy, without having to spend a fortune on heating.
Another benefit of triple glazing is that they can help with noise reduction. If you live on a busy road, they’ll help to minimise the sound of traffic.
What’s more, you may find that some suppliers will apply special coatings to triple glazed windows to allow for increased solar gain - particularly beneficial in the winter.
However, all of these extra benefits come at a cost. Triple glazed windows are going to cost you much more than the other window glazing types available. If your budget does not permit you to install triple glazing throughout your home, we’d suggest selecting it for the coldest rooms, or perhaps those on the front of your house, if you live on a busy road.
Is it worth spending money on double glazing or triple glazing?
According to Energy Savings Trust, if you were to replace all of the single glazed windows in a detached house, with double glazed windows, you could save between £110 and £115 per year on your energy bills. Quite a big saving if you think about it! Seeing as triple glazing offers an extra layer of insulation, one would assume you could increase your energy savings even more.
If your budget permits it, it’s well worth investing in double or triple glazed windows.
Double glazed windows or triple glazed windows - Our top tips for your home
Check the energy rating - The energy rating system for double glazed glass goes from A++ (the best rating) to E (the worst). The better the rating, the better insulation the windows will provide. Keep in mind that if you’re installing new windows in your home, they’ll need to be at least C-rated to pass building regulations.
Check the U-value - Double glazed windows will have a U-value. This measures how easily heat can pass through the material. The lower the amount of heat the windows let through, the higher the U-value. Some double glazed windows will have a high energy rating with a lower u-value. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the energy rating judges the performance of the entire window (including its gas and glass) so they will offer better overall performance than those with a high u-value but low energy rating.
Read reviews - Window glazing suppliers will often overwhelm you with all sorts of claims about what their double glazing windows offer. Before buying into any of the claims, make sure you read reviews from other customers. It’s important to confirm the windows are as good as their supplier is making out to be, before parting with your hard-earned cash!