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replacement windows in Phoenix, AZ

Why are There Gas Fills on Replacement Windows?

You might not know it, but there is a special gas between the panes on replacement windows in Phoenix, AZ. That’s right, it isn’t just air or a vacuum. It is one of three noble gasses and it is there for good reason. Here is what you need to know about the gas fills on insulated glazing units (IGUs).

What are IGUs?

Windows used to have just one pane of glass separating the inside from the outside of the home. But today it is very rare to find a window with a single pane. They provided very little protection or insulation. They easily break, fog up, ice over, and transfer heat. So manufacturers began making window panes with two or three panes of glass sealed as a single unit. For the best insulation, the glass is separated by a spacer, and the airspace between the panes is filled with a noble gas.

What are Noble Gasses?

Noble or inert gases are chemical elements with similar properties. They are not reactive. They are odorless, colorless, and non-flammable. When originally discovered and identified they were believed to be rare and could not combine with other elements in chemical compounds, but it is now known that several noble gasses are abundant on earth and some of them do form compounds. But they still retain the designation that sets them apart as noble gasses. The noble gasses, in order of density, are helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, radon, and oganesson. Of these, argon, krypton, and xenon are used in IGUs to improve insulation, increase protection against ultraviolet light, and reduce outside noise.

Argon Gas

Argon is the most common gas used between double or triple glazed windows. It makes up 0.93% of the atmosphere, which is far more common than the other gases. Argon has more density than air and is a better insulator.

Krypton Gas

Krypton is another noble gas manufacturers use in IGUs. It has more density than argon gas and works better for windows with thinner profiles. But Krypton only makes up 0.00011% of the atmosphere. Because it is not as readily available krypton is more expensive.

Xenon Gas

Xenon has even more density and better energy performance and noise performance. But it makes up only 0.000009% of the atmosphere, and the cost doesn’t justify the insulation. For this reason, it is not widely used in home windows.

Disadvantages of IGUs

Because they are multiple panes of glass sealed together, there is no easy way to repair broken glass. Any type of accident that results in a broken window could mean hundreds of dollars to replace. Also, because of the pressure differential, the inert gas leaks out at a rate of about 1% per year. Eventually, the amount of gas will get replaced with air and windows will lose efficiency.

To learn more about inert gas fills on replacement windows in Phoenix, AZ contact Freelite Inc. Our experts can help you navigate the options and choose the best options for your home and the local climate. Visit us at 331 W. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85003. Or contact us by phone at (602) 233-1981.