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Why Do Manufacturers Put Argon Gas Between Window Panes?

By Gates Dearen
Courtesy of  homeritejacksonville.com

If you’re looking to increase the energy-efficiency of your home, removing those old drafty windows and replacing them with modern double-paned windows is a great idea.  To make your new windows even more efficient, some replacement windows are manufactured with argon gas sealed between the panes.  What many consumers want to know is; why do window companies inject argon gas between the panes, and is it worth the money?


Courtesy of  homeritejacksonville.com
Argon gas helps makes more Energy-Efficient Glass

Everyone knows all creatures on earth inhale a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen and exhale carbon dioxide, right?  Well, yes and no.  While the atmosphere consists predominantly of these three gases, there are trace elements of other gases present in Earth’s atmosphere.  One of these trace gases is argon.  Colorless, odorless and inflammable, argon is a noble gas that is completely harmless.  In fact, the gas gets its name from the Greek, where Argos means “inactive” or “lazy”. That said, argon gas is extremely “lazy” when it comes to transmitting heat, being nearly 50% less conductive than most other atmospheric gases.  That’s a good thing that can be capitalized on as an insulator.  Since air is trapped between the panes of a double-paned window, replacing the air with argon can dramatically increase a window’s ability to minimize heat transfer.

Benefits of Adding Argon:

1.     Not only do windows filled with argon gas generate higher R-values that minimize heat exchange, it also improves sound proofing, since it is 30% more dense than air. Read the Thermal Test Report here.

2.     Another way in which argon protects your home is by reducing the amount of condensation that can occur during the hottest days of the year.  Not only is condensation a sign that your windows are less efficient than they ought to be, but heavy condensation can be a catalyst for mold and mildew in your home, not to mention a source of corrosion.
 
Courtesy of  homeritejacksonville.com
  
3.     Not only can energy-efficient argon-filled windows reduce your utility bills, they can also reduce the wear and tear on your air-conditioning system, since it won’t be forced to run as often during the hottest and coldest days of the year.

4.     Argon is non-toxic and will not contaminate the environment, even if the window is cracked or shattered.

Is Adding Argon Worth the Money?

The cost to insert argon gas between the panes of most windows is only $30-$40 depending on the size of the panes.  Once inserted, the gas is then sealed between the panes.  Unlike atmospheric air, argon gas doesn’t contract or expand no matter how hot or cold it gets outside. The argon will leak out if the seal fails.  Since argon is colorless and odorless, how can you tell if the gas has leaked out?  If the gas is all but gone, you will start to see condensation forming between the window panes.

Are There Other Alternatives to Argon?

While argon is the most popular inert gas used in replacement windows, it isn’t the only one. Another gas that’s used as an insulator is krypton. Everyone knows kryptonite is the bane of Superman’s existence.  Yet, krypton gas is super when it comes to making windows even more energy-efficient than argon.  Windows filled with krypton gas or a mixture of krypton and argon can be up to 40% more efficient than double-paned windows alone.  However, krypton is more expensive than argon.  This means you need to decide if the added energy-efficiency is worth the added expense.  Your friendly neighborhood replacement window professional will be glad to discuss the pros and cons of adding inert gas to improve the efficiency of your windows.

Courtesy of  homeritejacksonville.com
If you’re looking to lower your utility bills while improving the comfort of your home, while reducing wear and tear on your HVAC system, argon insulated glass panes could be your best choice when comes time to replace your windows.

If you’re ready to start the process of replacing those old, inefficient windows, contact us at HomeRite Windows and Doors by calling (904) 296-2515 or visit our showroom at 4801 Executive Park Court, Building 200, Suite 207, Jacksonville; FL 32216. 


Gates Dearen is the co-owner of HomeRite Windows and Doors in Jacksonville, Florida. He and Richard Walden have been serving the building products industry in Florida for over 25 years. They strive to match homeowners with the right windows and doors for their homes and budgets. They make the home improvement process pleasant with first-rate, energy-efficient products, affordable pricing, and award-winning installers who employ the best practices and who always treat customers and their property with the utmost respect.

2 comments:

  1. Great article. Never knew this about argon glass.

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