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Costs and Benefits of Argon Gas Double Glazing

Improve energy efficiencyIf you’re installing double glazing, you want to save as much as possible on your energy bills, right? Argon double glazing can help make that happen with increased efficiency. However, if you’re going to invest in your home, you need to know how much it will cost and how much your new windows will save you.

In this article, we’ll review the costs and benefits of argon glazing to help you make the best decision for your home.

  • Argon double glazing typically costs 5-10% more than standard glazing.
  • You can expect to pay prices starting from about £375-675 per argon double glazing window with casement frame
  • Gas filled units like argon glazing improve thermal efficiency 16-30%
  • Gas filled units typically have a warranty of 10-25 years

 

How Much Does Argon Double Glazing Cost?

 

Argon double glazing typically costs about 5-10% more than standard glazing.

Material  Cost C Rated Cost Argon (A rated)
UPVC £250-570£325+
Aluminium  £500-605£675+
Composite  £575-625£747+
Wood  £845 – £910£1098 +

In each case, you will save about £30-£40 per year by installing A rated argon gas double glazing instead of a C rated unit. This rate will increase if you have a large house or larger windows. If you’re comparing Argon with traditional air filled A-rated glazed windows, argon will cost about £30-40 more per window.

How much can you save? In most cases, a C rated window has a U value of about 1.6. An insulated argon filled double glazing unit (24mm) can have a U value as low as 1.1. That’s a 31% decrease in heat loss. For the average detached, you’ll lose about 17.5% of heat through C rated windows and just 12.25% with an argon filled A rated window. That’s a big change!

Why is Argon More Expensive? – Any gas filled unit costs more than a standard air filled unit, because the gas costs more than air. Gas double glazing also requires sealing.

What Affects Costs?

  • Brand – Some brands cost more than others
  • Installation – Installation factors such as the condition of your home, stories, and installation difficulty affect costs
  • Frames – More complex frames and more expensive materials cost more.

 

How Does Argon Filled Glazing Save You Money?

 

Double glazing typically comes with a 5-12mm gap between the panes. With a standard air filled unit, a 5mm gap or cavity doesn’t provide enough of a barrier to really stop hot and cold air. However, a 12-mm gap can encourage air circulation inside of the pain, which may lower your overall efficiency.

A gas filled unit features argon gas between the glass, which allows you to use a wider gap without air circulation. The inert gas is also typically denser than air, which slows air circulation down even more.

How much does this affect the energy efficiency of your windows? Argon glass double glazing offer a 30% increase in thermal performance over an air-filled unit. This will dramatically reduce heat loss, saving you anywhere from 16-20% on your total energy bills depending on your existing windows.

A quality argon double glazing window might feature 4mm of glass, a 12mm argon gas gap, and a 4mm pane of glass. However, you can also find thinner glass and smaller gaps, which will be less energy efficient?

 

What Does That Actually Save You?

 

While Argon gas can seem like a great bargain, it’s important to check the actual specs on the window. Without them, you can’t see how much energy you’re saving or will save.

For example, if you’re upgrading from an old D class window to a new A class argon filled double glazing, you could save 20% on your annual energy bills, for a savings of about £110 or more per year. However, if you’re upgrading from C class air filled double glazing, you may save closer to £40 per year.

Argon gas is just one of the many elements that affect the efficiency of your windows. You should also consider glass, the gap or cavity, pane spacers, and frame materials.

U Value – U value measures the heat transference of a material, or how effective the material is as an insulator. Modern building regulations require that any new windows you install have a U value of no worse than 1.6 W/m2K, or about an energy rating of a C or higher.

Energy Rating – Energy ratings can be issues by BFRC, Certass, or BSI but are listed as C, B, A, A+, and so on. A and A+ or A++ glazing offers high energy efficiency and will reduce your energy usage. This is the most important value to consider when calculating how much money you will save with argon glazing.

Glass – Different types of glass offer lower or higher efficiency. For the most savings, look for Low Emissivity (Low-E) glass, which features a metal oxide coating on the internal panes.

Filling – Gas and air filling between the panes affects how much air can move between the windows. Argon offers one of the highest cost vs. return values, but xenon and krypton both offer high efficiency.

Gaps – Gaps can range from 4-16 mm. Larger gaps block more air, but gaps over 6mm should be filled. Gaps over 15mm are only common with triple glazing.

Pane Spacers – These are inserted between the glass to prevent the panes from moving. For maximum efficiency, look for ‘warm edge’ spacers with no metal.

Frames – Frames are available in uPVC, wood, aluminium, and composite. UPVC frames offer the best cost vs efficiency, however, wood and composite frames add more value to your home.

The Energy Savings Trust estimates that you can save an average of £90 and £120 with A-rated argon gas glazing, for a savings of £1,600 to £2,400 over 20 years.

What About Triple Glazing? –  Triple glazing is typically argon or Krypton filled by default, and will offer better energy efficiency. However, most triple glazing offers an average U value of about 0.8, or a 27% increase in thermal efficiency. This can save you an average of £11.2 per year over A rated double glazing, £60 over C rated, and £180+ over D rated. However, triple glazing typically costs about 40% more than double glazing, and may not be worth the increase in costs.

 

Argon vs. Other Gas-Filled Units

 

  • Xenon – Xenon gas offers very high efficiency but is not typically used because it is too expensive to warrant the cost.
  • Krypton – Krypton gas glazing offers up to 27% increased energy efficiency over air without thermal insulation or Low-E glass.
  • Argon – Argon typically reduces the insulating value by about 16% without Low-E glass or other insulation measures.

 

Do Argon Filled Double Glazing Units Lose Gas?

Most installers will guarantee their argon filled glazing for 10-25 years. For example, top UK glazing installers like Anglian offer a standard 15-year guarantee against leakage on all their gas-filled units.

Argon fillings should last for the lifetime of the window, and should not lose more than 5% of the total gas over a period of 25 years.

If you want to save as much as possible with argon double glazing, you have to get the best deal on installation. Use our free quote tool to find and compare quotes from the top double glazing suppliers in your area, to save up to 37.5% on your installation.

 

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