Cost, Benefits and Drawbacks of Argon Gas Windows

Pros and Cons of Argon Gas Windows

Fraunhofer Institute's Center For Sustainable Energy
••• Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

What Are Argon Gas-Filled Windows?

Argon gas windows feature a sealed unit, filled with gas between panes of glass to increase energy efficiency. Argon is an inexpensive, non-toxic, odorless gas that is used on residential windows to prevent frost from occurring at the bottom of the window and at the same time will increase sound proofing characteristics of the window. .Argon-filled windows are becoming an increasingly popular choice for many homeowners. Argon gas windows, energy star rated too, offer better insulation than natural windows because the gas is heavier than air.

There are also three paneled argon-filled windows that provide two layers of insulation. Low E Windows are not the same as argon gas windows, similar idea but different materials placed in between the panes.

Argon Gas Windows Benefits

Typicalle homebuilders will look for new alternatives during a remodling process and argon gas windows are a good way to start. Argon gas window can offer the following benefits:

  • Offer increased R-values
  • Increases the soundproofing characteristics
  • Minimizes heat exchange through the window
  • Triple pane windows offer superior benefits than even double pane argon gas windows
  • Reduces the possibility of condensation and frost
  • Can be used in all climates as the windows are sealed with the gas and it will not leak out.
  • This type of window can block ultraviolet rays
  • The additional cost of having argon gas windows will be recouped on a really short time
  • Available in different commercial sizes depending on how they are going to be used
  • Argon will not corrode the window material as Oxygen will do.
  • Your heating and cooling systems will work more efficiently when you install argon gas windows
  • Can be installed from floor to floor ceiling, shorter windows or open/close design
  • The gas is non-toxic and will not contaminate the environment.
  • The ideal spacing between glass panes for argon is ½”
  • Argon gas filled windows will only add $30 USD to $40 USD per window

Argon Gas Windows Cons

Argon gas windows although really beneficial for homeowners, also have some drawbacks, for example:

  • Argon gas windows will not expand or contract, however, the glass does and you would like to make sure it has been sealed properly, especially in high altitude area. Pay special attention if these types of windows are being installed at altitudes of 5,000 feet or more, you might have to look other alternatives.
  • It will eventually dissipate from the window; however, there is no actual information on the rate that this will happen.
  • If the window seal has even a small gap in it, you will lose your argon but worst of all you will not notice it.
  • When the window loses a significant portion of gas, it will be noticed. Condensation will build up inside the window indicating that the seal is broken.
  • If the argon has been pumped using two holes, the window is more likely to fail than one hole window.
  • Metal spacers are not good because they will allow gas to leak out over time as well as conduct heat and sound. Consider non-metallic spacer to reduce the failure probabilities

Argon Gas Window Alternatives

If you are not happy or haven’t decided on using an argon gas windows, there are other alternatives that you would like to consider, such as Krypton filled windows. Krypton filled windows are usually more expensive than argon, but krypton serves as a better window insulator. Krypton is a gas used to fill air spaces of ¼ inch and 3/8 inch between the panes, and even on thinner spacing although it is not the industry standard or even on triple paned windows.

These type of windows cost more than argon gas windows and twice as much as Energy star rated windows, thus the reason they are not that popular. However, normally they have a silicone paper to reduce moisture problems. Krypton gas windows can reduce up to 40% of a monthly energy bill. It could be ideal and many manufacturers recommend on using a blend of Krypton and argon gas to fill spaces between panes. This solution could offer homeowners with both benefits: krypton gas efficiency and cost savings from Argon gas windows.