I remember when I first started working at Heathrow. I was based on an industrial estate adjacent to the airport and was shocked by the level of noise pollution. The aircraft were flying over the building every ninety seconds. At least once each day the Concorde passed over as it took off and that was quite simply like Armageddon!
Airport Noise Pollution
Many of the people that I worked with lived in the area and I began wondering how they could put up with all that noise! Their homes had been fitted with secondary glazing to improve the sound insulation and they appeared to have become accustomed to the racket. Nonetheless, the situation was less than ideal. I eventually learnt to ignore the planes during working hours but I wouldn’t have wanted to live anywhere near the airport.
It is relatively easy to find a home which isn’t next door to a major airport but busy roads are much harder to avoid. Many homes are blighted by traffic noise and my current property is one of them. Ironically, it is also close to a small airport. This is only used by private planes and training aircraft but my day is still interrupted by the occasional racket when a plane is on its final approach to the runway. I now wish that I had opted for triple glazing when I had my replacement windows fitted.
Widow technology has seen considerable advances in recent years. The government’s targets for greater energy efficiency have meant that the pressure has been on to make houses more thermally efficient. The efficiency of double glazing has been significantly advanced by optimising the width of the cavity between the panes and filling this with inert gas. Low-emissivity coatings are applied to the glass to prevent heat from escaping and aluminium spacers have been removed.
Windows are no longer the thermal weak spots that they once were and they offer better sound insulation. So is it worth considering the additional expense of triple glazing?
Cold Spots and Triple Glazing
Triple glazing will only marginally improve thermal efficiency but if you are concerned about the environment then even a small improvement is a step in the right direction. It is also important to note that triple glazing does significantly reduce the cold spots caused by your windows. Cold spots occur because even the most efficient double glazing has a U-value (thermal transmittance value) which is considerably greater than that of walls, especially insulated walls. The cold spots can cause condensation to form at night and make sitting close to the windows much less comfortable than being seated elsewhere in the room.
In short, triple glazing won’t reduce your energy bills to any great extent but it will make your home more comfortable in the colder months. Triple glazing will also improve sound insulation and it is this fact which makes the latest windows an attractive proposition. You can arrange your furniture to avoid sitting close to a cold spot but you can’t stop the traffic on the road outside! Triple glazing could be a fabulous investment if you are looking to improve your quality of life.