Recently, the energy efficiency of argon gas windows has started to catch the attention of builders and the general public. Double- and triple-pane thermal windows are being used more and more often now that construction standards are rising to meet the challenge of sustainability and cost-effectiveness. While argon gas windows have numerous benefits, such as increased insulation, higher R-value, and enhanced soundproofing, there is one thing that can be an issue over time.
The gas can leak out from the window, causing the unit to become much less effective. That leaves many homeowners with the question: “Can argon gas be replaced in windows? Is it even worth it?”
Let’s find out.
What Is Argon Gas?
Briefly, let’s talk about argon gas and why it is often found in Insulated Glass Units (IGU), otherwise called double-pane and triple-pane thermal windows. In the most basic of terms, argon is a chemically inert, colorless, non-toxic gas that is used as a buffer between two sections of glass in thermal windows.
Argon gas is much more dense than air, making a better cushion. Not only is argon ideal for insulation, it can be used with low emissivity (Low-E) glass coating to keep the window cool and closer to the internal temperature of your house. Because of this, argon gas-filled windows are a much better choice than old-fashioned single pane windows and can save you money on utilities in the long run.
Replacing or Repairing Argon Gas Windows
As mentioned earlier, argon gas windows (or any gas-filled IGU) have one weakness. The gas will naturally dissipate over time. Under normal circumstances, it will take about 20 years for argon gas to decrease by 10%. Yet, this gradual release of gas can be accelerated by broken or missing seals or cracks in the window. You may start to notice that your windows are fogging or have condensation in the morning. Usually, argon gas windows will not get condensation or fog.
Another issue is with spacers. The spacer is meant to separate the panes of glass and are one of two types—metal or non-metal. Metal spacers will have rubber-compound seals that can conduct sound and heat that weaken over time, creating tiny cracks that gas can escape from. Conversely, non-metal spacers do not conduct heat and sound, providing a much better seal. If you have metal spacers, you can expect some gas loss over time.
In either of the aforementioned events, will you need to buy a new argon gas window or can you get it replaced? The deciding factor is how low the gas level as fallen and the extent of the damage. You will need to call window installation professional to come to your home for an inspection of the unit. They will be able to estimate the gas level. If too much gas has been lost, the gas can be replaced.
However, it is a short-term fix. If the windows were poorly installed from the beginning, gas will seep out relatively quick.
Repairing Broken Gas-Filled Windows
Missing, worn, cracked, or otherwise damaged seals in argon glass windows spell trouble. The gas will inevitably escape through the cracks or holes. This is when you start looking for professional window installation South Jersey, because there is not much that can be done to seal the crack in the glass. The good news is, though, that a professional can perform an IGU replacement.
Keep in mind that is isn’t a replacement for the gas but a new pane of glass to fit within the existing window.
Repairing Broken Seals and Foggy Windows
Can argon gas be replaced in broken or old windows? The short answer is yes. Argon gas can be added to a window, but it is not always the most practical solution. You can have a seal failure corrected with caulking or other methods and argon gas injected back between the sheets of glass. However, this technology is still rather new and never permanent.
Windows that have been worn down or thoroughly damaged will be easier to replace than to repair. Similarly, if you have single-pane windows installed in your home, you cannot add another pane. You will need to purchase Low-E/argon gas windows for a true upgrade.
Argon gas windows can be repaired, and gas can be re-added to the pane if the seals can be replaced. Otherwise, it can be a difficult process that is by no means a long-lasting fix. If your argon gas windows were poorly installed or damaged, gas will continue to seep out whether more is added or not.
If you are unsure whether to purchase new windows or have your argon gas windows repaired, or you are looking for window installation South Jersey, you can contact us with your questions. Simply fill out the contact form! We look forward to hearing from you.