The composition and efficiency of double and triple glazing
Every window and door window is either double– or triple-glazed. The panes of glass are separated by spacers, and the area between them is filled with argon, a gas that’s heavier than air and that considerably reduces heat transfer from the inside to the outside. The thickness of the panes plays a role in the window’s energy efficiency, sound absorption and weight. A low-emissivity (“low-e”) film can be applied to the internal wall of one of the panes of glass. This nearly invisible film blocks out some of the heat emitted from the sun—a major advantage during the summer months. You’ll also find glazing with one or two low-e films, offering maximum efficiency, but reducing solar heat gain during the winter.
A triple-glazed window has two air spaces. A triple-glazed window with a single argon fill has one space filled with argon and one space filled with air. In a triple-glazed window with a double argon fill, both spaces are filled with argon. This is the most widely available option on the market, as it’s much more efficient at controlling heat transfer.
Sound absorption in double and triple glazing
Many believe that a triple-glazed window should be more soundproof than a double-glazed window. However, this belief is false: using panes of two different thicknesses will actually have a greater impact on the sound that passes through them, as each one blocks out different wavelengths. As a result, a double-glazed window with panes of different thickness will absorb more sound than a triple-glazed window with three panes of the same thickness.
The best reason for purchasing a triple-glazed window is its energy efficiency. In fact, a triple-glazed window can easily surpass Energy Star or Novoclimat standards and will offer a level of insulation superior to that of a double-glazed window, thanks to the two chambers of argon. However, triple glazing is not suitable for use in sliding or sash windows, given the considerable weight.
The future of glazing
The argon used between the panes of glass is a heavy gas that slows down the phenomenon of convection. Now, there’s another inert gas that’s starting to come on the door and window market: krypton. Heavier than argon, krypton slows heat transfer even more, dramatically increasing the window’s energy efficiency. Its limited presence in the market is due to its cost and the fact that demand is low since the material still isn’t very well-known.
Even though double-glazed windows meet current Energy Star standards, the regulations are subject to change. So despite the current popularity of double glazing, trends indicate that triple glazing will be the wave of the future. Portes et Fenêtres Verdun and their numerous suppliers keep up to date with these changes and quickly adapt to consumer demand and new regulations. Contact one of our representatives for more details.