Gas or No Gas in Energy-Efficient Windows?

  • windows
  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Tim in New Mexico is on the line with a question about energy-efficient windows. Tell us what’s going on at your money pit.

    TIM: Well, I am considering – my wife and I are considering putting in some energy-efficient windows, so we’ve been shopping energy efficient windows a little bit. And it seems that there’s quite a myriad of available products in that market. And one thing that I was looking at was just the air-void-type windows versus the gas-filled windows. And one salesperson told us that he recommended that just get the air void because the gas-filled – that gas, after a year or two will dissipate out of the window, which I had never heard that before. But in essence, you’re just left with an air void.

    So, anyway, I’m just looking for some guidance in that subject.

    TOM: Alright. So, when you say “air void,” what exactly do you mean? Because I’m not at all familiar with that term.

    TIM: Well, basically, the double-paned window with just dead space in it and there’s – it’s not gas-filled, per …

    TOM: So instead of argon between the window panes, it’s just got air?

    TIM: Right.

    TOM: That’s not going to insulate. The reason to use those gases is because the gases are insulating gases. And I don’t buy at all the fact that the gases leak out; that’s just not true.

    LESLIE: The only way the gas will leak out is if you have a seal that fails.

    TOM: Yeah. These good-quality windows, these seals will last a long time. Twenty years is not unusual for these glass seals to last that long. So this sounds to me like you’re getting advice from a salesman that wants to move his product over another one. It’s not a given that this gas leaks out in a year. That’s ridiculous.

    I would buy a good-quality window from a name manufacturer, you know? Buy a Marvin, buy an Andersen, buy a Pella. Stick with a good name brand and you’re going to get a good-quality glass panel there that’s going to last a long, long time.

    TIM: OK. OK. I believe these were – Henredon, I think, was the brand of these?

    TOM: Yeah. I mean there’s a lot of really small brands out there that are basically made for the remodeling industry and for the replacement-window industry.

    TIM: OK.

    LESLIE: And they’re just manufacturing a replacement window in their own brand. They’re just putting the whole thing together but there’s not a super-manufacturer behind it that, should you have a problem down the road, would have your back.

    TOM: Yeah, I would look at the name brand and I would look at, also, at ENERGY STAR-certified windows.

    TIM: OK. I appreciate it.

    TOM: Tim, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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