Mar 11, 2020
Is Argon gas better for your energy-efficient windows?
It is rare to find someone who is not aware of Superman's original home— Yes, the famous planet Krypton. However, krypton is not just a fictional planetoid from a superhero series. In fact, it is one of the many inert gases used for insulating the glass panels in double and triple-pane windows.
Window manufacturers often make use of the gases such as Argon, krypton, and xenon to transform ordinary glazed windows into a super-glass that defies a draft. It might not be as cool as changing the Earth's orbit, but is good enough to keep you warm and toasty as freezing storms howl.
Types of gas used in Insulated windows
Xenon or Argon Gas-filled windows have several upsides over air-filled alternatives, but they also have their share of disadvantages — primarily a premium price tag. However, if you've got the pocket for it, gas-filled panels can make your apartment much more pleasant and cost-effective to stay, besides saving your windows from some issues that are likely to crop down the line.
You should usually see a significant improvement in the thermal efficiency of your window by using a gas- filled insulated glass. Several window panels have tiny holes and cracks between the glass and frames that might cause the air from inside to escape and from outside to infiltrate the house. Dual or triple glazing works because it prevents cold drafts from entering through those tiny openings, thus preventing them from reaching the interior of your home and vice-versa. However, air can travel much faster through the air than it can through a dense krypton, xenon or argon gas.
These gas-insulated windows, especially on very windy days, help prevent the air infiltrations from outside.
Primarily there are three types of inert gases that are widely used for insulating glass pane in double and triple-pane windows. These are:
Apart from enhancing the level of your home's comfort, insulated windows have several other perks to their credit. They help to block the noise pollution efficiently, besides restricting harmful UV rays. Additionally, the majority of them are certified with ENERGY STAR.
Argon gas vs Krypton gas – A comparative analysis
Krypton and Argon gas are the most commonly used by window makers to replace the air inside window frames. Argon, which accounts for just under 1 percent of the Earth's environment, is non-toxic, dormant, transparent and odorless. Its thermal conductance is approximately 67 percent that of air and it's affordable, thus making it an enticing gas filling alternative.
Krypton exhibits many characteristics that are quite similar to its fellow noble gas argon, except that it is an even finer, albeit costlier, insulator to manufacture. When considering expense and usability, argon is a more effective thermal blocker per dollar invested, particularly in the greater 1⁄2-inch (11 mm - 13 mm) openings in double-paned windows. On the flip side, Krypton is more frequently used in triple-paned windows in tighter settings ranging between 1⁄4-inch - 3/8-inch (6 mm - 9 mm) gaping. Occasionally, a combination of krypton, argon, and oxygen gases is used to conciliate reliability and cost quotient, and sometimes the mixture of xenon and nitrogen are also used.
Argon gas is undoubtedly the most popular choice for insulating glass window compartments, and for several good reasons too: it's the most inexpensive alternative that offers a highly satisfactory energy performance for households. On the contrary, Krypton has a marginally better thermodynamic efficiency — and it is a little denser than argon too— but argon is the best option for homes that can do pretty well without incorporating the most cutting-edge products. Typically, window manufacturers blend argon gas -insulated glazing with energy-efficient windows to create a complete money-saving package for the consumer. The shielding makes the interior spaces more pleasant during the winter times, while the same Low-E reflecting glass reduces heat intake in the summer season.
In order to enhance the overall energy performance of the edifice, double and triple glazed windows are often loaded with krypton and argon gases to minimize convection within the window assemblies.
Why do architects use argon gas in windows?
Have you ever noticed how your household energy bills keep piling up despite your power per unit cost being stable? It's even possible that your actual price per unit of energy might have reduced over the years depending on the source you are relying on— For instance, by switching over to the solar power generation units. That might not be getting indicated in your warming or refrigerating bill, though. It is quite possible that because of un-insulated windows and drafty doors, energy is perhaps getting dissipated in your house— And sadly you will still need to compensate for it.
Thousands of dollars of energy are drained out of ineffective windows each year across the world because of the same reason.
The Solution: Argon Gas Filled Windows
You can fill double-pane windows with argon gas to help insulate a room and reduce heat loss through the windows. It is a colourless, odourless naturally occurring gas which is in no way dangerous if leakage occurs.
Thermal windows, also popularly known as insulated glass units, or IGU, are either double or triple-paned, meaning that each window segment has 2 - 3 glass layers with an enclosed space between them. The gaps that are packed with argon help slow down convection via the window.
Benefits of using Argon gas in glazed windows
- It helps enhance the U-value— a unit for calculating the thermal efficiency of a window.
- Aids in sound-proofing your house.
- Reduces heat exchange through the window
- Suitable for all weathers
- Reduces the possibility of condensation or frost development on the window panes
- Can be paired with Low-E materials to offer the best window performance.
- Argon gasis non-corrosive to the window materials (unlike oxygen)
- A completely safe and non-toxic window filling gas that doesn't cause any harm to the immediate environment.
- Cost-effective in the long term— Argon gas-filling may cost in tune of $30 - $40 per window unit, but it can offer notable energy cost savings over the years in terms of reduced utility bills and window maintenance costs.