Columbus Roofing: Article About Gas Filled Windows
Energy efficient windows are a great way for homeowners to cut down on their heating and cooling bills. There are several different technologies that can increase a window's insulating ability, such as low E coating and insulated glass. One of the most effective methods for increasing a window's R value is the use of double or triple pane glass. Many Columbus roofing contractors install these windows along with providing traditional roofing services.
The insulating properties of multiple pane units come largely from the space between the panes. By creating sealed pockets of gas between the panes, manufacturers cut down on convection currents that are a major factor in heat transfer through windows. The trapped air between the panes moves more slowly than the open air on the outside, allowing less thermal energy to pass through it into the next pane and eventually through the window.
To slow the convection currents even further, many manufacturers fill the spaces between panes with inert gas. The two most popular choices are argon or krypton gas. The advantage of using one of these noble gases is their greater viscosity compared with the nitrogen and oxygen mixture of earth's atmosphere.
Greater viscosity means the gasses circulate more slowly than air. This slower movement makes thermal energy take longer to transfer through the process of convection.
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The slower the convection currents move, the less heat is transferred through the assembly. Argon, for example, conducts heat at around 67 percent the rate of normal atmosphere. Krypton is even more effective at slowing heat transfer, but the downside is it costs a good deal more to produce.
Another great aspect of inert gasses is their nonreactive nature. This means they don't readily interact with other elements. It also makes them completely harmless to humans and pets alike should the gas ever leak out of a multi pane window.
While major leaks are not common, slow leaks do occur. Most estimates put this leakage at around one percent per year. The good news is these gases still provide an effective barrier to thermal transfer even when mixed with moderate amounts of air. Most multi pane windows filled with inert gas will operate as rated with up to 20 percent of the original gas replaced by air.
Once too much of the filler gas has been replaced by air, homeowners may start to notice moisture forming a fog inside the panes. Before deciding to replace the windows, be sure to wipe them down well and make sure the fog is actually between the panes.