What makes your double and triple-glazed uPVC products high-quality?

What makes your double and triple-glazed uPVC products high-quality?

September 27, 2023
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The performance of a window depends on a number of variables including the type of gas or coating used as an insulator between panes, warm edge spacer bars that reduce thermal bridging and a frame with a high airtightness rating.

Triple glazing offers a range of benefits, including energy savings, noise reduction and protection for your family and belongings.

The Glass

uPVC windows, doors and french doors are usually supplied with either double or triple glazing. Double glazing is a great choice for most properties as it has good thermal and acoustic glass window insulation properties. Triple glazing, on the other hand, provides even better performance, with its extra pane of glass and argon or krypton gas filled cavity.

Both types of glazed products offer high levels of energy efficiency, with the best quality units being able to achieve a U-value of less than 0.8 W/(m2K), meaning they will stop a significant amount of heat from being lost from your home. Triple glazing will typically cost a little more than double glazed units, but it offers excellent value for money when the long-term household energy savings are taken into account.

A further advantage of our uPVC triple glazed windows is that they will also offer superior sound reduction, due to the extra pane of glass. We use a 36mm triple glazed sealed unit that is filled with krypton or argon gas, which helps to further reduce the transference of noise.

For increased security, our uPVC triple glazed windows can be fitted with laminated glass. This has a layer of plastic (usually ethyl vinyl acetate or polyurethane) put between both panes of glass and makes it far more difficult to break the glass.

The Frame

In addition to the glazing itself, the frame also plays a significant role in determining U-values and energy efficiency. Aluminium frames are good conductors of heat and therefore decrease the insulating performance of a glazing unit, unless engineered to be low in conductivity (which is often done by using a ‘thermally broken’ frame). uPVC frames are a better insulator than aluminium, and many of our products use a composite framing system with an aluminium outer section and uPVC inner sections for a combination of strength, durability and thermal performance.

Triple glazing creates not only a third pane of glass but also a gap or cavity between the two layers that can be filled with a gas such as argon to further improve insulation. This significantly reduces heat transfer and makes your home more energy efficient.

However, if you choose the wrong frame type the added benefits of triple glazing may be cancelled out by the higher cost and carbon footprint associated with it. To help you make an informed decision we have created a chart below showing the total carbon footprint of various frame types over 20 years, including embodied and operational carbon. This shows that a wooden frame outperforms both uPVC and aluminium in this timeframe, so choosing the right frame is more important than you might think.

The Hardware

uPVC window and door hardware comprises the parts that open, close and lock the windows and doors. It is vital for the windows and doors’ everyday function, and their ability to resist air, water and sound infiltration. Maco’s hardware meets the highest levels of testing for operation, durability and resistance to corrosion. Our shootbolt espagnolettes for casement windows are equipped with multi-point locking mechanisms that ensure security and provide protection against break-ins.

A third pane of glass makes triple glazing much more difficult to break than double glazed units. Triple glazed sealed units must also be much thicker, and this can place additional strain on the windows and hinges.

Good quality uPVC triple glazing has an air gap of around 14-16mm between the three panes of glass, which helps to increase thermal efficiency. Adding a low E coating to one of the panes can further reduce energy losses, as the coating will reflect the heat back into your home. Adding Argon gas to the gap can further increase energy efficiency.

Using a combination of these features will help to achieve a very low U-value, which in turn will significantly reduce your heating bills. However, triple glazing will only perform to its optimum when installed within an improved and well-insulated whole building envelope, along with efficient heating and ideally a heat recovery ventilation system.

The Finish

The insulating properties of our double and triple-glazed PVCu windows, doors and conservatories are enhanced by the high-quality finish we use to manufacture them. We apply a wide range of finishes, including gloss, matt, satin and a wood effect, to ensure the product is as stylish and low maintenance as possible.

Triple glazing is around 40% more thermally efficient than “A” rated PVCu double glazing so can further reduce energy bills and eliminate draughts from your home. It also offers outstanding acoustic insulation, reducing the transmission of sound vibration through the window glass and absorbing exterior noise to create a quieter living space, especially ideal for homes near busy roads or in city centres.

The gap between the glass panes of a triple-glazed sealed unit is filled with either argon or krypton, noble gases that have superior insulating properties to air. A warmer, more stable gas is used as it won’t condensate, helping to prevent the formation of cold spots between the panes of the insulated glass unit (IGU). All Hazlemere triple-glazed uPVC products feature warm edge spacer bars that are made from a special composite material that acts like a barrier to stop heat from escaping through the edges of the IGU. This improves acoustic performance and also helps to keep the IGU thermally optimised, which in turn helps reduce the overall u-value.

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