Patio door replacement
Hat to look for in a patio door replacement? Do they do argon gas in these also?
Argon is used but makes little difference in the end - just an advertising/sales item. Any way you cut it (with or without argon) with little real difference and is still like a hole in the wall that keeps the wind out. An uninsulated 8" concrete block wall in the hole is far better and has far less radiant heat loss at night.
I have a wonderful over size slider, but still have to pull down the 1" aluminum blinds (R value = about 1 at most) at night to be comfortable in the winte
Sorry window peddlers!
If you pull the door out concider adding one of these under the door to prevent damage to the subflooring.
Also consider installing an out opening french door instead with an adjustable sill.
More air tite, looks far better, will have a full opening if you ever need it, less maintaince.
No worries as they main guys that post on "window stuff" (HomeSealed, Oberon, and me), we would never quote or promote misinformation.
Your are right that windows, in most applications are big holes in the side of the home from a thermal standpoint and certainly weak points in most wall assemblies.
In this case, the wall assembly that you quoted (8" hollow block wall) will have an R-Value of about 2.5-3 for the assembly with a 5/8th drywall interior. That being the case, an insulated window (even double pane) can be an R-4 and therefore out perform the block wall from a radiant loss standpoint.
In that comparison, it is still very likely that the window (unless it is a casement) will leak more air than the block wall and will also allow for more radiant heat transfer in the summer.
The surface temperatures on that window will appear lower than the surrounding block wall because of the thermal mass of the block and its resultant resistance to temperature fluctuations. At the end of the day though, the comparative R-Values are what they are.
There are also a myriad of windows available today without exotic construction whose R-Value are approaching 7+. Given that most 2x4 wall assemblies average out very near that number, the age of windows being the weak point in walls may be over. Of course there are much more efficient wall construction methodologies out there now but there are more than a few occasions where we put a window in the side of a wall where the window is more efficient than the surrounding wall.
Argon most certainly does make a difference and is hardly a "advertising/sales item" at this point. Argon is just about a universal in non-altitude sensitive applications for sealed IGU construction and improve the comparative R-Value of the window/glass by about 20% over a standard air fill.
Given that it is a standard item in most window construction now, it is almost "free" in most situations. You will have a harder time finding and insulated window without it or trying to specify an air fill. It is incredibly cost effective when you are figuring it as and option and is about 1/20th the cost of krypton at this point. As long as you have the proper IGU spacing and gap width, it is a 100% recommended addition and will almost universally be included as a standard.
To you last point, cellular shades are great additions regardless of the window and the performance data. They definitely are efficiency improvements.
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