The Argon Gas Trick – How Much Argon Gas is in Your Windows?

We can tell a lot about your window shopping experience by the questions you ask us. One common question we get is about the percentage of argon gas in a window we’re offering. This one tells us that you’ve met yourself a creative window salesman.

There is a certain type of window salesperson out there who likes to tell creative stories about the products he sells and about the products sold by “the other guys”.

One of those stories has to do with how much argon gas is in a window. I’ve been through quite a few window plants over the years. When you tour these facilities one thing you notice is that they all use the same types of equipment. You see the same welders, the same cleaners and the same argon filling stations. There could be small changes in the end result, but I’ve never seen any substantial difference.

Why would they lie like that?

I think the window salesperson telling this story is always selling pretty expensive windows. He needs a way to explain why you should pay thousands for for his windows than other options in town. This isn’t the only reason he’ll give, but it’s one of many.

He’ll give you a laundry list of reasons why his windows are far superior to any other window a layperson like you has ever laid eyes on. Then, when he finally shows you the secret price and you gasp, he’ll politely remind you of all of the reasons that his products cost so very much.

I believe he thinks he can get away with this story because argon gas is clear and you can’t see it. Unfortunately for him the National Fenestration Rating Council posts efficiency ratings for every residential window out there. Every window comes with a sticker that shows the ratings and the website shows how the ratings were achieved. The argon’s percentage is right there on the website.

But that’s not completely right?‽!

When I recorded this video yesterday the only examples I found on the site we’re 90/10 meaning 90% argon gas and 10% air. I asked in the video for anyone with any other info to post a comment and someone did in just a matter of hours. You guys are the best.

He posted that 2 manufacturers in the DC area offer options that are 95% argon and 5% air. He was absolutely right.

I checked it out this morning and found just what I expected to find. The addition of 5% more argon gas didn’t seem to make any substantial difference in the efficiency rating. The U-Factor for those options were still in the regular range for any double pane window meaning these options were not any more efficient. Just what we suspected, the additional 5% of argon gas didn’t make the window any better.

If anyone thinks I’m wrong about that post a comment or send me a message. I’d love to hear from you.

If a tree falls in the forest…

If there is 5% more argon gas in one window than another, and the windows have the same efficiency ratings is one better than another? In my humble opinion, no.

I’m not suggesting that manufacturers aren’t being truthful about the efficiency ratings for their products. Rather, I am suggesting that there are in-home salespeople who are comfortable tell stories that are disconnected from the truth.

If you’re interested in looking up any of these things for yourself you certainly can. The website is here and you should know that it’s not very user friendly. It can be a bit of a challenge to navigate, but all the info is there for you to see.

So, when you hear a window salesperson tell you that his windows have more argon gas than another product I would suggest you quietly roll your eyes and show him the door the first chance you get.

Unfortunately, the salesmen that use this type of tactic tend to be the pushiest so you’re likely to hear about the super special discount you can get if you buy right now and then once you say no he’ll probably call the manager for a super special deal.

Should I by from them anyway if the price is great?

My advice is to not feed the wild animals. No matter how high his original price or how fantastic his discount may seem there’s definitely a better value out there and a company that treats you honestly isn’t that hard to find.

Good luck with your window project!

As the YouTube channel gets going we’re going to be looking for new and interesting topics to use for our new videos. If you have a window question that you’re struggling with post a comment to let us know. We might just use it for an upcoming video.

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As always if you’d like to get a quote for your project from my company or a company I recommend check this section here. To stay updated on our new Window Wednesday series you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here or just come back to the site every Wednesday.

Have fun!

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4 thoughts on “The Argon Gas Trick – How Much Argon Gas is in Your Windows?”

  1. A salesman told me that the silverline windows he is selling me do not have argon gas in them. He said they only have air. What? I didn’t jump on that at the time and now am wishing I had. Is it possible that gas is a thing of the past? I have not agreed to buy any windows from anyone yet. Thanks. Bob

    1. No, it’s like because Silverline tends to make some of the cheapest projects out there. A window without argon gas will be less efficient (and possibly less expensive) than one with argon gas. There are windows available without certain efficiency options. They won’t be Energy Star rated and might not be worth the cost.

  2. I recently had a sales visit by RBA where I was told their windows has 100% argon. They were built in large tanks by robots in order to achieve 0% air. I now have my doubts that it’s true, but even if it was, the benefit of having the 5-10% difference seems like it may be negligible.

    Thanks for all the insight you have made available to others, like me, out there!

    1. Glad we could help. Just look at the efficiency ratings. If they’re better that’s better and if they’re not then no amount of storytelling will make any difference. You’d want to look at the air infiltration rate on the Renewal by Andersen windows as well. From what we can find they let in a lot more air than a nicer vinyl window. They tend to leave that part out of the sales pitch. Good luck with the project.

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