How Argon Filling Improves Windows Performance
When shopping for windows, you've probably heard of the argon windows; windows infilled in the glass panes to improve the overall energy efficiency performance of the window. Let's look into it.
What Is Argon Gas?
Argon is a colorless, odorless gas that is totally inert to other substances.It is often used when an inert atmosphere is needed. These properties make it suitable for a variety of uses.
Argon is used by welders to protect the weld area and in incandescent light bulbs to prevent oxygen from corroding the filament. It is also used in fluorescent tubes and low-energy light bulbs, which frequently contain argon gas and mercury. Luxury car tyres can contain argon to protect the rubber and reduce road noise.
The application of argon gas in the built environment is in window glass. Argon is used to fill the space between the panes of multi-glazed windows.It is one of gases that can be used in windows for this purpose; krypton, xenon, nitrogen or oxygen may also be used.
Why Is Argon Gas Used in Windows?
Argon gas is an excellent insulator. It does not conduct heat as well as air. During cold weather, gas-filled windows also prevent frost from accumulating at the bottom of the window.
Some people may be concerned about argon gas's safety and its use in window glass. Argon is a naturally occurring gas that is non-toxic and non-reactive. If the window seal fails and argon leaks out, no harm is done to the environment or the home's occupants. In an open, well-ventilated environment, the gas will dissipate quickly.
In comparison to the noble gases, Xenon and Krypton, Argon is the most abundant in the atmosphere, making it the most cost-effective inert gas for insulation. Because it is denser than air, it has a lower U-value (a measure of heat flow) than air, implying that it conducts less heat.
Argon is more affordable alternative to the other infill gas and does not sacrifice the energy efficiency of a window. Argon is also preferred because it does not contain moisture, which can condense on the inside of the glass units and cloud the window.
Argon vs. Krypton Gas
Most insulating glass windows are filled with argon or krypton gas, but some use a combination of the two infill gases.
The primary distinctions between argon and krypton windows are price and energy efficiency. Krypton is denser and krypton-filled windows typically have lower U-values which translates to better insulating quality and are more expensive than argon-filled windows. Argon is typically a better overall value, especially with double-pane windows. Because argon is dependable and a readily available gas, it is less expensive. It is typically used to fill the wider 1/2-inch spaces between panes in double-pane windows, whereas krypton, with its superior insulating properties, is frequently used to fill the thinner 1/4- or 3/8-inch spaces between panes in triple-pane windows.
Krypton, like argon gas, is odorless, colorless, and non-toxic. Neither gas poses a risk to building occupants due to gas leakage.
The choice between argon and krypton is usually based on the lifetime cost of the window, which takes into account the purchase price as well as the energy cost savings of the window over its lifetime.
Benefits of Argon Gas Windows
With argon being the most readily available infill gas and less expensive, most homeowners and developers prefer argon gas windows. Here are more reasons why you should consider argon-filled glass windows if you are in the market for new or replacement windows.
Argon gas improves the U-value, the measure of a window's thermal performance; similar to the R-value of wall insulation. Because of this argon gas filled windows are at the top of the list of considerations for homeowners looking for a residential window replacement that can help their home be more energy-efficient. This allows homeowners to significantly reduce their monthly bills.
Minimizes heat exchange through the window
Low-e and argon gas windows are excellent insulators, and windows that use both low-e and argon have higher R-values than windows that do not. Whether it's hot or cold outside, argon gas/low-e windows provide insulation in all temperatures and climates. Argon-filled windows reduce the amount of solar radiation that passes through the glass during the summer while maintaining a higher indoor temperature during the winter. These types of windows can be used in all climates.
Reduces the possibility of condensation and frost
During cold weather, the interior glass of argon-filled windows is closer to room temperature and warmer than the outside temperature. This helps to reduce frost and condensation.
Argon gas windows can be combined with low-E coatings for optimal window performance. Although argon-filled windows themselves don't significantly reduce the amount of radiation that goes through them on their own, producers typically treat at least one of the glass surfaces with a low-e coating. This coating helps to lessen radiant heat transfer through the air gap of an integrated glass unit. As a result, combining argon-filling with a low-e coating helps manage summer heat while still providing appropriate insulation and preventing the fading and damage it causes to interior furnishings, floors, and finishes.
Argon is absolutely safe and does not contaminate the environment at all. Even if the filled glass container breaks, the people within are not at risk from the gas. The sealed area between the glass panes can occasionally leak argon gas over time. Since some gas tends to diffuse through the seals, the amount lost typically relies on the quality of the construction. When the seals between the glass and edge spacer break, argon leaks can also happen. Thankfully, the gas is not harmful and the impact is very slight. In reality, studies show that after 20 years, a 5% yearly argon gas leak will only cause a 12% decrease in the value of the window.
Other notable characteristics of argon gas windows include:
● Better soundproofing-For people who live in noisy places, argon can aid with noise insulation.
● Being moisture-free, argon does not corrode window material as oxygen will.
● Argon gas windows are available in both residential and commercial sizes.
● The cost of windows is not greatly raised by argon. You may have to spend $30 to $40 more on each window, but you'll save a lot of money on energy in the long run.
Argon-filled windows have many advantages, but in order to fully make use of them for as long as possible, you should make sure that they are professionally fitted and properly sealed.