A desire for ever more energy-efficient windows and insulated homes coupled with our current climate of expensive energy bills, volatile weather and environmental consciousness have created a strong, and growing demand for triple glazing in the UK.
This demand has sparked debate within the industry and its customers over the benefits and disadvantages of that added glazing pane; and does it offer value for money? On April 10th ‘The Triple Glazing Question’ will be raised at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.
As a local window installation company, serving the North West of London, we have seen over the last year (2013/2014) a large increase in demand for triple glazing (currently around 20% of our installations are triple glazed).
So what is driving this demand? Triple glazing is certainly not a ‘new’ product, indeed it has been used for decades in Scandinavian countries and areas of similar, colder climes. From our point of view there can be several broad reasons for this demand.
Environmental changes are no longer the stuff of conspiracy nor media scare, but the proven irrefutable present and future; we need look no further than the recent UN report stating the impact of climate change to be “severe, pervasive and irreversible“. Or the Winter flooding which crippled much of the South West months back. The system also offers big improvements in sound insulation, making it especially desirable, from our experience, on busy roads, under flight paths or near railway lines.
It is not hard to imagine that, as a home-owner, the opportunity to future-proof your house against adverse weather; whilst doing your best to reduce your impact on the environment, would factor into your decision about your home improvements.
Energy bills are increasing, energy complaints have tripled between 2013 and 2014, energy-efficiency is on everyone’s lips whilst the large energy providers are having to explain themselves to the government. Indeed the biggest selling point of triple glazing are its Eco-credentials; easily performing with an A+ Rating and with U-values (an industry measure of heat transfer across a material) around the 0.7-0.8 region [an insulated wall has around 0.3 whilst standard double glazing sits at around 2.0]. The question is as to value people place on this additional energy efficiency and money saved, which brings us on to…
Money. Always a big factor in home improvements, not only in terms of products and quality, but the main reason our industry is so competitive at a local level. by its very nature triple glazing is more expensive; It is larger, heavier and takes more materials and time to make. Because of this, and additional training needed, it takes longer to fit (I can safely say from personal experience you need no gym membership if you are unloading triple glazed units every day!) All this adds up to a more expensive product, and again it comes down to the value you place on triple glazing’s additional benefits to standard double glazing. Currently we are running a 50% OFF deal to encourage customers to upgrade and the large increase in orders we have had can probably be attributed to this.
The way we see it ‘The Triple Glazing Question’ will be in favour of triple glazing, and rightly so; the final argument would likely be centered around the long-term benefits of the system, which makes its value, and return on investment higher than double glazing. It would be nice to see some strong opposition, but we imagine with the line up of speakers, which includes triple glazing installers and many manufacturers and component producers looking to benefit from higher triple glazing demand, any opposition would be thin on the ground.