Windows are more than just panes of glass placed inside a frame. In fact, insulated glazing units (IGUs) consist of panes of glass separated with spacers and sealed around the edges. And the invisible substance taking up the airspace between the panes is not just normal air. Manufacturers use special gas fillings to improve insulation and prolong the life of IGUs. Here is what you should know about this amazing glazing technology when shopping for replacement windows in Seattle, WA.
Double, Triple, or Quadruple Glazing
Normal glass is a highly emissive material, meaning it readily absorbs and transfers energy without blocking or reflecting much. That is why single-pane windows don’t do much to improve energy efficiency. The standard for modern products is two panes of glass. But you can also get windows with three or even four panes of glass. The main drawback is the cost of an extra pane is not offset by the amount of savings they provide. That is where inert gasses come in.
What are Gas Fills?
In the early stages, double-glazed windows had oxygen sealed between the panes. But normal air is too volatile. It retains moisture and expands and contracts with temperature fluctuations. This quickly wears down the seals and results in leaks. So today manufacturers pump out the air and insert noble gasses like argon, krypton, and xenon between the panes. These are inert, or noble gasses. They have a higher density than air and are not as reactive to temperature fluctuations. This helps minimize convective currents and can reduce heat transfer in both directions.
Argon Gas Fills
Argon gas is perhaps the most popular option for inert gas fills on IGUs. It makes up about 1% of the atmosphere and is readily available. This also helps make it one of the more affordable options. Argon has 67% better efficiency than normal air. It tends to work better in larger gaps, like those on double pane windows.
Krypton Gas Fills
Krypton is the next most common gas fill. Pound for pound it has better energy performance than argon but is not as readily available. It is more expensive and it performs better in windows with a thinner profile. So you might consider krypton for ultra-thin double glazed windows or triple-glazed windows.
Xenon Gas Fills
Xenon is cutting edge insulation technology. This gas has even better energy performance than argon and krypton. But the increased performance comes at a higher price. Because they are so expensive xenon insulated windows are permitted in exceptional circumstances, like for a business to achieve LEED certification for example. The application of xenon in residential circumstances is rare.
For more information about gas fills on replacement windows in Seattle, WA contact Signature Window & Door Replacement. Call us at (253) 887-7792 to talk to one of our experts today. Or if you are interested in seeing some products firsthand visit us at 22613 68th Ave. S. Kent, WA 98032. We deliver outstanding customer service and make sure you get the best products at fair prices.