The space between panes on insulated glazing units (IGUs) isn’t filled with normal air or even a vacuum. Manufacturers use inert gas fills on replacement windows in Los Alamitos, CA. And while you can’t see it, these gases have an important role. Here is what you should know about inert gas fills:
What are IGUs?
IGUs are multiple panes of glass set apart with spacers and sealed together as a single unit. These are what make up the glass panes on modern windows. Most windows feature two panes of glass, but homeowners can get three or even four layers for added protection and insulation.
What are Noble Gases?
Inert or noble gases are a group of chemical elements with similar properties. They are called noble gases because they are non-reactive and when they were first discovered it was believed they could not combine with other elements into chemical compounds. They were also thought to be pretty rare. It is now known that some inert gases do form compounds and some noble gases are quite abundant on earth. In order of density, the inert gasses include helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, radon, and oganesson. Manufacturers use argon, krypton, and xenon as gas fills in IGUs. They help improve insulation, protect against ultraviolet light, and cut down on outside noise.
What is Argon Gas?
Argon gas is the most commonly used in IGUs because it has great energy performance and is a bit more readily available, making up 0.93% of the atmosphere. And argon gas works best in larger spaces between window panes.
What is Krypton Gas?
Krypton is the next most commonly used gas manufacturers use in IGUs. It makes up only 0.00011% of the atmosphere but has better energy performance. Because it is not as available and is more expensive manufacturers generally use this noble gas for windows that have a thinner profile and not as much space between the panes.
What is Xenon Gas?
Xenon is the least available, making up only 0.000009% of the atmosphere, but has the highest level of performance because it is so dense. It is not commonly used in residential construction because the cost of the products is not often compensated by energy performance.
What Are Some Disadvantages of IGUs?
Modern IGUs are not perfect. While they do go a long way in protecting the home and insulating against heat transfer, there are some drawbacks. Because of the pressure differential, about 1% of the inert gas will leak from IGUs per year. The gas is not toxic or flammable, but if enough of the gas leaks out it could impact the energy performance of the windows. Also, because IGUs function as a single unit broken glass means you have to repair the entire assembly instead of just the broken pane.
We strive to be on top of the cutting edge technology in the window industry. For more information about the technologies on replacement windows in Los Alamitos, CA contact Seaport Windows & Doors. Call us at (714) 220-3939 to set up a consultation. Or stop by 4201 Katella Ave., Los Alamitos, CA 90720.