One of the common statements that window companies often make about their windows is that they have “gas fills.” It sounds like a good thing, but what does it really mean, and does it make a difference? Let’s go in-depth about the benefits of having gas fills in multi-pane replacement windows.
Are Gas Fills Necessary?
There are three types of heat gain/loss that a glass/window manufacturer needs to deal with. The specific way that manufacturers choose to deal with these things are similar; what’s different is some of the processes and materials that are used to combat these problem areas. Glass packages that combine the most efficient parts of these ideas offer the best combination of performance and longevity. It’s really a system, where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
One of the easiest ways to improve the thermal performance of replacement windows is to add an inert gas between the glass panes to reduce the conduction of heat in the space. There are two main types of inert gases used in replacement window glass; argon and krypton. Both are heavier and denser than air. Argon has become the standard in most gas-filled windows, as it can cost as much as 1000% less than krypton.
How Does the Gas Get Into The Glass Unit?
There are a couple of ways. First, it can be injected into a previously sealed unit. Another option is called immersion, where an unsealed insulated glass unit is placed into a chamber that is already filled with gas. The gas introduction method is typically dependent on the type of spacer system used. While a gas filled window that uses injection has a unit that is already sealed, that spacer must have a hole for the probe that injects the gas into the unit. Immersion-filled units are most often “one piece” units with no hole for gas insertion.
Why Use Gas in the First Place?
Heat rises and cold falls. So, when it’s cold outside your home, cold air continuously falls against the exterior panes of your windows. Inside, heated air rises against the interior pane. The combination of these two actions creates a thermal roll of sorts, where the air molecules between the glass panes are bouncing around. The effect of this is convective heat gain and loss through the panes and in the airspace on the other side.
By adding the argon gas, the convection movement between the panes slows, minimizing heat and cold transfer into, and out of, your home.
Does the Amount of Gas Matter?
Yes. Because the gas is heavier and denser than air, the insulated glass should be completely filled. Otherwise, the gas will gather together towards the bottom and leave a pocket of air that, again, promotes convective heat gain and loss. When injection is used to fill a window unit with gas, there’s a chance that the window won’t get enough gas. For immersion-based units, the unit is sealed once it’s completely filled with gas, so there’s less chance of any air pockets remaining.
Look to Sunrise Windows
Gas fills are just one of the many features of Sunrise windows that help improve thermal performance. We offer double- and triple-pane glass packages and 90% argon and krypton gas fills, depending on the product. All of our windows are ENERGY STAR® certified and can greatly improve your home’s overall energy efficiency.
Would you like more information about our windows? If so, click here to find an authorized Sunrise Windows dealer in your area.