Windows have come a long way in terms of technology and heat resistance. Most home windows these days are double- or triple-paned. This means that two or three sheets of glass are placed in succession of each other. This adds further hot and cold resistance from outside temperatures.
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Between each pane of glass in a window is a narrow space. This space is filled with a gas to provide additional temperature insulation. The most common gas used is air. Air provides decent insulation capabilities and is extremely cheap in relation to other glass window insulation gases.
Argon gas is an increasingly common gas used in window insulation. The chief benefit of argon is that it is approximately five times heavier than air. This extra weight limits the total movement of the gas, which serves to further bolster window insulation. While more expensive than air-filled windows, argon gas windows have the potential to save homeowners a considerable amount on energy bills. Over time, these savings may result in a long-term reduction of costs.
Like air, argon is completely transparent. It also is odourless. This means that air-filled windows and argon-filled windows look exactly the same. It is also important to note that argon gas is nontoxic. As such, a cracked or broken argon window is just as harmless as an air-filled window (except for the shards of glass, of course).
While the main difference between air and argon windows is insulation, other differences are apparent. For instance, the raised internal temperature of argon windows minimises the potential for condensation to accumulate on the glass. This may be beneficial in cold climates where cold weather has a tendency to fog up windows. Argon-filled windows also reduce sound transmission through the windows.
If you are considering having argon windows installed in your home, it is important to weigh the cost savings against the higher initial price tag. Typically, it takes several years for the energy savings of argon windows to become cost-effective. If you live in a climate with extremely cold weather or extremely hot weather, then the benefits of argon windows will likely be more advantageous to you and your home.