Argon Gas Windows
|Argon Windows, Argon Gas Replacement Windows|
|Replacement windows which have argon gas inserted into the space between the window's panes offer better thermal insulation and energy performance.|
Many replacement window manufacturers include argon gas as an insulating material which is pumped between the panes of a multi-pane window. This gas slows heat transfer and helps to maintain the cool temperatures of a cool house and the warm temperatures of a warm house. Argon gas is considered to be a quality insulating material.
 About Argon Gas
Argon gas is a chemical element and is the third most common gas found in the earth's atmosphere. It is an inert gas and, as such, presents an effective thermal insulator. Many window manufacturers have begun to include it as a fill between glass panes which create a more energy efficient window option.
 Argon Gas as an Insulator
Insulating a glass unit may be accomplished by reducing the conductance -- movement of heat through a solid material -- of the air space that exists between the layers of glass. That's the method that window manufacturers use when they employ argon gas to create a thermal barrier between two or three glass panes. The argon gas fill insulates the window and helps to reduce heat transfer.
Originally, the space between multi-pane windows was filled with dry nitrogen or air. The panes were then sealed into the window sash. The double or triple panes themselves provided a measure of insulation. However, air currents that exist between the two or three window panes carry any heat to the top of the unit, leaving cold pools of air at the bottom.
Argon gas is a less conductive and slower-moving gas. When inserted between the glass panes it minimizes the convection currents within the gap and reduces conduction through the glass. Overall, the transfer of heat between a home's exterior and interior is reduced.
 Modern Use of Argon Gas
By the mid '80s argon gas was being used as a gas fill which was inserted between multi-pane windows' glass frames. Argon is an inexpensive, nonreactive, nontoxic, clear and odorless. In large amounts it can cause asphyxiation but the small amount used in a window will not endanger the home's residents, even if the window breaks.
Argon gas fills within replacement windows are usually pumped into a 1/2 inch gap.
 Krypton Gas Alternative
Krypton gas is another gas which is sometimes used for thermal insulation of windows. Krypton offers a better thermal performance and is often used when there are especially thin gaps between the glazing panes. Krypton is a more expensive gas than argon, however, so argon is generally used in replacement window applications. In specific cases a manufacturer will mix krypton and argon gas to fill in a space between two or three glass panes.
On average, a home may lose up to 30% of its heating or cooling energy through its windows. Argon gas typically increases a window's insulating R-Value by half a point. Industry analysts note that this is not enough to make the process of changing a house full of windows a cost-effective move. For homeowners who are planning on replacing their windows anyway, including argon gas will add significantly to the savings that will result from buying thermal insulating windows.
 UltraViolet Rays & Infrared Radiation
Ultraviolet rays and infrared radiation transmissions serve to transfer heat into or out of a home. They can also cause furniture fabrics and wood to fade or discolor. Argon gas fill does little or nothing to reduce the transmission of solar infrared radiation or ultraviolet rays.
 Window Styles
Argon gas fills may be used in any replacement window style or size, from the traditional sliding, casement and double hung windows to specialty windows, special shaped windows and extremely large windows. Argon gas may be used with glass of any design or thickness. This includes privacy glass or colored or tinted glass.
Many replacement window manufacturers now include argon filled windows as a standard on all window orders.
Homeowners in many countries, including America and Canada, can recoup some of the cost of buying replacement argon-filled windows through tax credits and rebates as part of their country's efforts to reduce energy consumption.