Argon Gas in Denver Windows - What You See Is What You Get!

Published: 07th March 2011
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If you live in Denver Colorado and you are considering replacing your windows with new energy efficient replacement windows you may be paying for something that's not there - Argon Gas.

According to the American Recovery And Reinvestment Act of 2009 homeowners who replace their windows may be eligible for a $1,500 Federal Tax Credit for thermal pane windows that meet certain criteria.

New windows must have a U-Value of.30 or less and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of.30 or less. The U value measures how much heat the windows will keep in your home during the winter, while the SHGC measures how much solar heat the windows keep out during the summer. In order for window manufacturers to meet this criteria all thermal pane windows must have a LoE coated glass strong enough to block the sun's UV rays. The windows must also be filled with argon gas.

Argon gas is an inert gas that is colorless and odorless. Argon is heavier than dead air, thus creating a better thermal barrier than windows that are not gas filled. This is where the problem lies.

Most glass manufacturers agree that capillary or breather tubes are necessary when an insulating glass unit is traveling through or being installed at an altitude that is more than a 2,500 ft differential from where it was manufactured. Without these tubes the change in altitude could easily cause a stress crack which could lead to a seal failure.

If you live in Denver, Colorado, and you are buying windows from an out of state manufacturer, the windows must have breather or capillary tubes inserted into the insulating glass unit to equalize the air pressure while the windows are being transported. Argon gas will diffuse through these tubes very quickly, possibly even before the windows leave the factory.

Windows that are sealed at sea level and are being transported to Denver must have capillary tubes, and windows with capillary tubes cannot be filled with argon gas.

Window manufacturers do not warrant argon gas and they know that the gas will diffuse through capillary tubes, yet they continue to build and ship these windows. The windows come with certification stickers that have the U-value and the SHGC numbers on them. Since windows are not tested after they reach their final destination the manufacturers have no liability. You paid for something invisible and that's what you got - nothing.

If you live in Denver Colorado and you purchase replacement windows from out of state that are supposed to meet the tax credit criteria you may have windows with stickers that say it's gas filled, but the odds that the gas will stay in the windows is almost zero.

Another factor in argon gas retention has to do with the spacer. The spacer is what separates the two panes of glass around the perimeter. Most manufacturers use metal spacers with a butyl rubber silicant. This does not provide a very good seal. Argon gas will gradually leak out over time when metal spacers are used.

The most reliable spacer in the window industry is called Super Spacer. Super Spacer is a polymer foam with 100% memory combined with a mylar barrier and a butyl rubber seal. Super Spacer is manufactured by Edgetech out of Ohio. Super Spacer has become a global brand and Edgetech has factories all over the world including China and Germany.

Super Spacer not only retains argon gas better than any other spacer in the world, but since it is a NO-Metal spacer it does not conduct cold, heat, or sound like all metal spacers.

In addition, if you live in a climate like Denver, Colorado with very erratic temperature swings, Super Spacer will do a much better job of preventing a seal failure than metal spacers because of the cushion it provides for the glass.

The bottom line is that if you live a mile high you must buy windows that are sealed a mile high without capillary tubes, and the window should have been sealed with Super Spacer for the best insulation and overall performance.

If you want to have the energy-efficient patio doors and vinyl windows that can serve you for better, then Amerimax is the best solution. If you are around Denver, then you should employ its services because it has installed most Denver Windows in every home.

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