How to Test Argon-Filled Windows

Buildings lose or gain heat through windows.
Gradually, argon gas may leak from window panes.Gradually, argon gas may leak from window panes.
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.

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.

Things You Will Need

  • Argon analyzer

About the Author

Catherine Chase is a professional writer specializing in history and health topics. Chase also covers finance, home improvement and gardening topics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American studies from Skidmore College.