Argon gas filled windows

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JoseVe, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. JoseVe

    JoseVe Monkey

    Hello all,
    It's been a long time that my wife is asking to install argon filled windows in our home. I haven't used them and I don't know how efficient they'll be. We are newly married, so I cannot deny her wishes. I'll be contacting the replacement windows and door service next week. But still, before taking a decision, I would like to ask suggestions from you all regarding this. Has anyone here used such windows?? I recently read many articles which gave a lot of advantages in installing argon gas filled windows. Is it really efficient?? What will happen if the argon gas leaks?? Is it dangerous??
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  2. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I don't have any personal experience with argon gas filled windows. Although the gas is non toxic and inert, Edit: so there shouldn't be any safety concerns. There may be some slight hazards associated with argon, and other inert gases (that are heavier than air) , which are used to fill double / triple glazed window voids. Argon gas filled windows | Survival Monkey Forums, Argon gas filled windows | Survival Monkey Forums,

    Pros and Cons of Argon-Filled Windows

    Argon Gas Filled Windows | Learn The Pros and Cons
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
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  3. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Argon is simply a method window makers use to get their windows to test with the highest R (or lowest U....the inverse) value at the time of testing so they can slap that on the label for sales/govt regulatory purposes. The seal in insulated glass will keep out the larger water molecule (unless the seal fails, which isn't uncommon), but the far smaller Argon atom passes through, and in a few years, there isn't much, if any, left inside the dual pane space.

    Argon usually isn't sold as a separate's in combination with LowE glass...which is an actual GOOD thing.....lowers heat loss or gain from radiant heat, and from all I understand, makes the window 20-30% more efficient. Given windows are a great big hole in the thermal envelope of a house, if you can up the efficiency that much, you ought to do it.....if Argon comes with it as a package, take it (with a grain of salt)....if you have to buy it separate, don't bother.
  4. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I thought all new windows were filled with gas. Double pane windows with gas in the middle is a strong selling point. Good windows will increase the value of your home and help with heat efficiency.
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  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    It isn't clear to me that there's a significant difference between any given gas between the panes and just plain air as long as the gas (or air) is dry. The dual pane glass is good on its own with air alone. As one that has dual panes windows, I can tell you that they do leak, and eventually moisture will get inside and condense where you can't wipe it off.
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  6. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I do not know why people think gas filled windows are better. We have them and they seemed to be a selling point. I do not even know if the gas is still in there but our windows do not get the moisture in-between. Jose is you are planning on selling your home in the future, IMO get the gas filled.
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  7. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Here's a money-saving suggestion:

    Look into the Gubbermint rebate available for the installation of energy-efficient windows. I think it's about 30% of the total cost. The catch, though, is that you have to apply BEFORE the windows are installed.

    See Google for details.
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  8. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Argon makes up about 1% of the air we breathe.
    Argon is so inert it's used protect the base metal in some kinds of arc welding. For some kinds of welding it's too inert.

    I guess the big question is how much extra money does argon filled cost and how much does heating your house cost?

    What I did when I replaced windows in my house was get off the shelf windows that I'm pretty sure were air filled and went with argon filled for the larger custom ones.
    Motomom34, sec_monkey and Ganado like this.
  9. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    We put in the Argon windows, the next month we saw a drop in our gas bill. IOW - they do make a marked difference, at least here in Alaska.

    Are they worth the dough? You will have to run the numbers for yourself, but in our case, we broke even in just over 5 years. It helped that the (dirtyword) gas company raised our fuel rates 55% in two years.
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  10. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    All I know is that if I ever buy a house again (I never will, I will build instead) that I will get windows with the highest/best installation rating possible no ifs, ands or buts, the very highest and the highest quality they make. My current house has lots of glass and it's very beautiful to look outwards at the trees waving in the breeze and deer walking by but these windows make it very difficult to heat the place and they have good ratings (U-factor .32). And, @TnAndy has it right, "unless the seal fails, which isn't uncommon" this is a real common problem and I recommend not purchasing any windows from anyone unless you can get a personal recommendation from someone and they have a rock solid guarantee. The problem is the quality of manufacturing and many of these windows are imported from China (of course!). I'm pretty sure this is what happened to mine as the house isn't even 10 years old yet. Do some Googling and research and save yourself some heartache in the future. Alaska has a firm that makes them there and is involved with a lot of research, can't remember their name, very low U-factor...
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  11. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    The very best window ever made in terms of seal failure was the Andersen with 'welded glass'...there was no seal TO fail....the glass was made with the edge of one sheet rolled into the edge of the other. That's the way my original house windows (circa 1984) were made. 30+ years later, zero failures. Unless you crack the glass, they will never fail.

    But soon after, Andersen gave into market forces (Andersen rep told me once they suffered a lot of cracked glass in transit which is why they got away from that process....personally, I think it was money) and joined the rest of the industry, which uses an aluminum spacer with a high temperature butyl caulk to separate the glass. The aluminum spacer has dessicant beads inside to absorb any residual moisture when the glass is sealed.

    SOME companies do a great job of the sealing process....I have Andersens from the 90's and later used on addition/remodels to my house, zero seal failure. But I use to install a LOT of replacement vinyl windows, and the failure rate on them was probably as high as 30% depending on the some do a good job, others not so much. Price doesn't really seem to be a determining factor.

    As for 'rock solid warranties', most building material warranties are not worth the paper they are written on, frankly....more loop holes and restrictions and limitations than you cn shake a stick at.
  12. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    JUST argon, or did the windows have LowE glass as well ? As I said, most companies it's a package....and the LowE glass is what is really saving you money.
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  13. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    TIG Welding with argon, I am told not to breathe the gas, because it is heavy and settles in the lungs ,
    That is about all I know so far as a safety concern.
    If the glass is broken ( we all know that never happens ) the argon would simply drift down into the floor/ground.
    Pressure changes in the atmosphere/altitude are likely to have less effect on these windows.
    Single pane windows, have no insulation value , what /cold are constantly exchanged .wind is constantly drawn heat off like a heat sink .
    dual pane windows that are sealed isolate buy dead airspace , but if /whn the seal eventually fails moisture can by differentials in barometric pressure be drawn in them and in time can only be replaced .
    I have known folks that actually had 2 separate windows with a 2" air space between windows . this works well but twice the trouble cleaning and opening and closing the also had double sliding doors as well . their house was extraordinarily efficient but that's the price you pay.
    Argon gas filled are the more efficient method and being an inert gas , should there be a fire and window breakage,have more of a positive effect, if any, during such an event.
  14. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Actually triple pane, low e and gas filled.

    If the windows start to fog, there is an outfit locally that will clear the fog and regas the windows. Yeah - I know, but the window stays clear long enough to sell the place...

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  15. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Get the argon filled windows,,the argon keeps the windows from building up moisture between the panes of glass. Also, get the Low-E glass. You will be glad you did. Shop around for a good company to do your replacements and to supply your windows.. Some places will give a lifetime garuntee on their windows,,but see how long they've been in business. I've got to replace a bunch of windows for a lady that had some of those lifetime windows put in when I added an addition to her house. But the company went out of business when the economy tanked back in 08-09. If you've got any questions let me know, I'll help you if I can.
  16. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Argon exposure is something welders are usually familiar with.

    Argon isn't poisonous, but it contains no oxygen.

    When welding with it, a person sitting quietly can gradually inhale Argon fumes, which will then settle into the bottom of the lungs and displace air.

    As long as the person doesn't get active, the lungs can slowly fill up, and steadily reduce the oxygen available to the bloodstream.

    About the time the person starts feeling dizzy, they sometimes stand up, run slap out of oxygen from the sudden exertion, and fall over in a faint.

    Then, unless the entire room is flooded with Argon, they're fine, as their lungs will naturally expel most of the Argon when they hit horizontal.

    With Argon windows, there simply isn't enough Argon around to be a problem. No danger in it at all.

    If the dizzy person just sits still and runs some deep breaths, the Argon flushes right out of their lungs and they're fine within seconds.

    No long or short-term damage from inhalation--unless you breathe it instead of air.
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  17. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I am leaning toward argon when we replace our windows in the spring.
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  18. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaArgon:
    Although argon is non-toxic, it is 38% denser than air and therefore considered a dangerous asphyxiant in closed areas. It is difficult to detect because it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.

    I've worked with it and sucked up minor amounts a few times. Never enough to get loopy.

    A few hard breaths stirs it up in the lungs and washes some out with each exhalation. Then, while not inhaling anymore, a few intentional deep exhalations will clear the lungs pretty quickly.

    Then you just go right back to work.

    Most argon inhalation comes from a welder putting his face right down by the torch and breathing real soft and slow.

    Bad technique.

    It usually means they need glasses--and a fan.

    I've never seen anyone fall out from it, but I've seen a few new chums get dizzy a few times.

    BTW: One of the best welding hacks I ever rigged up was a CPAP machine that I bought at an auction for $5.00. I set it up with a vacuum cleaner hose that ran outside the shop.

    Great (cheap) pressurized & filtered air supply. Comfortable, no more fumes, dust, or gasses in the lungs, plus I could still talk normally and drink on the job.
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