Can I Add Argon Gas to a Window?

window glass with multiple panes sealed together
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
What You'll Need
Screwdriver
Metering tool
What You'll Need
Screwdriver
Metering tool

Argon gas windows insulate spaces by preventing heat transfer. They're manufactured using highly specialized equipment, so they're very difficult to create in a home setting.

Regular Maintenance Inspection

Just because you can not add argon gas to a window doesn't mean you can't repair an existing window with argon gas. Before you begin repairs, inspect the window, paying special attention to the border and the hinges. Drops of condensation inside the window can be a sign of a leak.

If any hardware has become loose, you can use a screwdriver to tighten the fasteners. If they are defective, you can replace them. Make sure you get the same hardware to replace the old one, and not one of a different size or shape. If the seals are worn, or even worse, cracked, you will have to replace them. Measure the window to make sure you order a seal in the right dimensions. Remove the existing seal and install the new one. Make sure to clean the window after removing the current seal and again after installing the new one.

Is It a Project You Can DIY?

Not really. If you want an argon window, you should probably just buy one yourself. Argon is added to the area between the windowpanes during the manufacturing process. The manufacturer has to create a vacuum in between the window panes while the space fills up with argon. Without the necessary equipment, you can not insert gas in between two window panes and then seal it up effectively. This process has to be done before you buy the window.

hands tightening window hardware with a screwdriver

Benefits

People use argon gas windows because they are energy efficient. They can keep cold air in the home in the summer months and warm air in the home in the winter months. Energy-efficient windows generally mean savings on the power bill, which everyone wants.

Argon gas is readily available too, so the initial cost of the windows is not that expensive.

Metering tool

The levels of argon gas in the window can be measured with a metering device. If your window has been damaged or seems less effective, you can use the metering tool to make sure gas is still there.

Associated Dangers

Argon is a gas that can be found in the atmosphere. Argon is not toxic. It is, however, 25% denser than air. As such, it can be dangerous in small, enclosed areas. Only a small amount is used in the windows, though, and is unlikely to be harmful to the people in the home, especially since it is inside the sealed windows.

window corner sample with multiple panes

Potential Issues

While argon gas windows are considered safe and environmentally friendly, they do have some issues. Over time, the gas can leak out of the windows, rendering the windows less effective.

Argon gas windows are usually not used at higher altitudes because such windows are usually manufactured with a capillary tube through the sealant to keep the super-imposed glass panes from exploding due to the difference in pressure between the ambient air and the chamber inside the glass. The capillary tube serves as an escape route for the pressure to stabilize making it impractical for argon. The capillary tubes are then sealed during the installation.