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How to Test Argon-Filled Windows

Catherine Chase

Buildings lose or gain heat through windows. Older, less energy-efficient windows can create significant drafts in a home. The U-value of a window indicates its energy efficiency; a window with a low U-value, which is less than one, is ideal. Argon-filled windows are double-pane windows filled with argon gas, which is not highly conductive, reducing heat transfer. Testing argon-filled windows reveals the amount of the gas they contain and their degree of energy efficiency. The specific testing procedure varies with the brand of argon analyzer used.

Gradually, argon gas may leak from window panes.

Step 1

Place the operating end of an argon analyzer against an argon-filled window's glass. If the window has a low-emissivity (low-e) glass coating, then test the side of the window that isn't coated.

Step 2

Turn on the argon analyzer. The analyzer will measure the amount of argon in the window.

Step 3

Interpret the result that appears on the argon analyzer's display screen. The result probably is a percentage. The ideal percentage of argon in windows for maximum energy efficiency is 90 percent or greater. A window has no or very little argon if the analyzer displays an error message or a very low percentage.