argon gas

truxpinNovember 26, 2007

I recently built a home and bought some windows from a local window company. They are argon filled low E windows. I had the company replace a sash that would not lock and when the serviceman came he said it didnt look like I had either low E or argon in any of my windows. How can I be sure that the company didn't just put on a sticker claiming these additional items. is there a test for argon gas or low E??

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izzie

M old rotten draftly ones were gas filled per my new window salesperson. One had failed and was all cloudy. They had somekind of marker, couldn't read it though. My new ones are supposed to be argon gas but there is no mark. I had to replace my windows because all of the wood was rotten. I looked at alot of windows and one of the things the sales person does to show what a difference with/without is to put a heat lamp up to window to show that no heat is transmitted through because of the gas. But I am sure my old ones would not have passed the test. Maybe the thickness and type of glass has alot to do with it also. My old ones couldnt have had more than 1/4" of space between the glass, my new ones have 3/4" between the glass. My sister has Anderson windows they put in when building. She thought there was something wrong with a few of them after 13 years, they were frosting up when the hadn't done before. They had someone come out and tested and the gas had leaked. He somehow was able to re-inflate them, she wasn't quite sure exactly how it was done. Look at my other post re my new window posted today

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 11:15AM
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tru_blue

A simple way to usually tell if argon gas is in your window is to look for the plug on the glass spacer. Windows with argon usually have a hole drilled in the spacer to pump the gas in, and then that hole has to be plugged. If you don't see a plug, you probably don't have the gas. I say "probably" because 95% of the insulating glass manufacturers use this method.

You can use a match to test for Low E coatings. If your windows are double glazed without Low E, when you hold a match or flame up to the glass you would see two reflections of the flame, one from each layer of glass. If the glass is Low E coated, you would see a third reflection, and the third one would be a different color. It's best to test when it's getting dark out so you can see the reflections better.

Another way to test is to use a digital infrared thermometer, typically about $30 from Radioshack. An infrared thermometer will measure the surface temperature of anything the invisible beam touches (a 60 watt lightbulb is 212 degrees, my ice cubes are 4 degrees, etc.). Your new replacement sash with Low E/argon gas should perform the same as the other one that wasn't replaced if they both have the same glass. When it is cold out, if one window is significantly colder than the other, then it would indicate that one may have Low E and the other may not. The windows being compared should preferably both be in the same room, and should not be covered with window treatments for a while before measuring. For the record, if it is 0 degrees outside and 70 degrees inside, clear non-coated insulating glass would measure about 44° at the center of the glass, Low E coated would measure about 52°, and Low E with argon gas about 57°.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 9:14AM
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breenthumb

tru_blue, interesting. I've never noticed that third flame before. And I'm going to look into that infrared thermometer too. I thought that technology was still thousands of dollars and years away from home users. Thanks for the info. Sandy

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 9:23PM
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mhays21

every window i ever sold that had lowE with argon has a green tint. clear glass is clear. and the gas does slowly dispurse. but it is suppose to be like 1% every year.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2007 at 11:29PM
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haus_proud

You can get the best windows in the world, and they won't perform right if they are not installed correctly. Unfortunately, identifying really competent, conscientious installers is not easy. You have to ask around.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 9:55AM
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izzie

My sister built their home and installed Anderson about 16 years ago. She is happy with them but a few years ago she was getting condensation on a few of them. She thought it was a humidity problem and was wiping down those 2 windows every morning in the winter. Late last year she had someone,(not sure if it was a Anderson rep) come out and they tested the windows(not sure if I am stating everything correctly) and it showed that the gas presure was low so the gas had leaked. The window guy was able to fill it with gas again. Hope this isn't a reoccuring problem for her. She no longer has condensation problem now. I did look at my new vinyl windows and there is a plug on the ones I looked at.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2007 at 11:05AM
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