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Insulation with Argon-filled Windows

Insulation with Argon-filled Windows

September 15, 2014

Right now, with the colder months of the year approaching, it’s good to revisit one of the most essential aspects of the doors and windows that form part of your house: insulation. Whether it is separating you from the elements or from outside noise, home insulation is an intrinsic part of what makes your living space a comfortable one. This can be done especially in windows with the use of gas fillings, which is a simple, durable way of providing subtle yet energy-efficient insulation for your home.

The most popular gas filling for windows is Argon, the third most common gas in our atmosphere and the one that comprises at least 1% of the air we breathe. It is therefore an abundant, odorless, non-inflammable and non-toxic gas that belongs to the group of noble gases, being highly stable, almost non-reactive and at least 30% denser than air. Because of this, it has a low conductivity rate, of 34% less than regular air, according to GBA, which makes it an excellent barrier for heat transfer by minimizing the convection currents within the window’s space. In regular windows, air currents between the two glass panes move heat to the top along the inner pane while the outer pane has cold pools at the bottom, while those with gas filling have a stable temperature throughout them.

The main advantage of using Argon fillings lays on its position as part of the set of green building technologies available to homeowners: energy codes are very stringent nowadays and set a high standard that is typically only met through the use of these resources. Installing efficient windows on your house directly affects up to half of the overall heat loss and gain, so this allows you to reduce the need of using heating and/or cooling systems, decreasing the amount of electricity wasted and lowering the cost of this service. Therefore, the extra money invested in applying this insulative agent is soon regained thanks to this. Argon also has the added benefit of not corroding the window’s material the way Oxygen does.

To integrate Argon into windows, the gas is added in a space of around ½ inch between two (or sometimes three) panes of glass and then it is permanently sealed there. You can expect a very low dissipation of the gas throughout time, of at most 1% annually, which won’t affect its performance in a significant way, as it will be highly efficient even with just 80% of the original amount of gas. However, in the event that an Argon-filled window broke or leaked out, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t pose any danger for the inhabitants of the house, as it is a non-toxic substance. You can always check your window for signs that will show if it has no longer the necessary amount of gas, such as fog or condensation on the windowpane.

It is also relevant to notice that, while Argon-filled windows are excellent for insulation, they don’t provide the UV and IR rays protection that low-E coatings offer, which is why windows are usually given both types of treatments to make it as efficient and protective as possible. To analyze your options and select the best choice for your home, don’t hesitate to call Alma Windows & Doors for a free, no obligation quote with the knowledge that these products are locally manufactured and professionally installed.

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