What comes to mind when you hear the word “krypton”? Does your consciousness drift to Kryptonite and a weakened Superman? Unfortunately, the way we use krypton in the window industry isn’t as cool. But we haven’t overlooked the debilitating powers of the element. We use krypton to diminish heat and cold’s impact on the comfort of your home.
Brennan has 40 years of proving insight, products, and services. We’ve completed thousands of remodeling projects in and around Dallas-Fort Worth. Our aim is not just to provide new and replacement windows, doors, roofing, and siding. We’re focused on being a trusted advisor for homeowners.
Photo by Joseph A Garcia
Windows are one of the most important upgrades you can make to your home. This isn’t just because the frames and panes are prominently displayed on your home’s facade. Windows play a crucial role in the functioning of your home’s HVAC system. Poorly fitted windows with poor performing glass is a recipe for drafts. A drafty home is one that relies heavily on the AC in the summer and the heat in the winter.
A less efficient home doesn’t have to be your destiny. Insulated Glass Units (IGUs) or, double and triple pane windows, with krypton fills, can help to decrease heat and cold transfer for your home. Let’s take an overview of the gas and why it’s considered a premium quality insulating gas.
What is Krypton Gas?
The 36th element on the periodic table, krypton is a noble gas. It’s produced when liquefied air and its more volatile elements are boiled away. Krypton accounts for 0.0001% of our atmosphere. You may recall from high school that in their purest forms, noble gases are inert (stable), colorless, and odorless. Noble gases are used across industries for a variety of purposes.
You may be more familiar with neon’s use in flashy lights and radon’s underpinning of radiation. But what of krypton? Those “neon” lights you see may not be neon at all. Krypton is the gas in luminous signs when a greenish-yellow glow is desired. It’s also used in other types of light bulbs and photographic flashes. Krypton is a high performing choice for Insulated Glass Units because of its density.
Krypton is 164% denser than oxygen. When it comes to double or triple pane windows, the gas included plays a major role in slowing the transfer of heat. Oxygen has a lower density compared to the other gases in our environment. This is great for us because this sparseness allows us to actually breathe the air in the atmosphere. But, this also makes oxygen a low-quality insulator. It’s very easy for heat and cold to move through the element. For a multi-pane window, oxygen doesn’t offer a lot in the way of resisting heat or cold fluctuations. The denser the gas, the better it functions as an insulating component. Think of it this way: when it’s cold out, wearing a windbreaker provides some shielding from the chill in the air. A puffy coat will provide more.
How Krypton Gas Drives Energy Efficiency
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Because of the dimensions of a triple pane window, Krypton is often the gas of choice. Triple pane IGUs typically have a ⅜ inch gap between the panes. It’s more cost effective to use Krypton in these smaller spaces. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures a window’s ability to block heat causing solar rays. The U factor measures the window’s ability to reduce heat and cold transfer. Both these measurements should be considered when selecting windows.
Energy Star developed zones to determine what a highly efficient window looks like. North Texas is designated as a part of the South-Central region which is “mixed”. This means our homes need both heating and cooling (mostly cooling). For exceptional efficiency in Dallas-Fort Worth, a krypton-filled window needs a SHGC at or below 0.25 and a U factor at or below 0.30.
Costs And Other Considerations For Krypton Gas Windows
Krypton is one of the rarest gases on earth and this scarcity drives up its value. Because they’re more expensive to construct, you may find that krypton fills are harder to find than argon fills. Pricing for double and triple pane windows are reflective of the complexity of their construction.
Poor window construction and installation can lead to krypton leaks. Krypton is non-toxic, but to maintain the highest function of the window you need to retain as much krypton as possible. If condensation starts building up between the glass panes, you've probably got a leak and that likely means you’ve got a seal failure that needs addressing.
The gas in your windows is invisible, so it can be hard to tell if it has leaked. You can avoid gas leaks from the initial installation by ensuring that the window is installed by experienced professionals.
Krypton is just one type of inert gas used in Insulated Glass Units (double or triple pane glass). It’s non-toxic, colorless and odorless properties make it a safe choice for gas-filled windows. Krypton’s density makes it a capable insulator. Though more expensive and a bit harder to find, it can be a good choice for households with high energy efficiency goals.
If you’d like more information on krypton IGUs and if they would be a good choice for your home, contact Brennan at 817-860-9767. Our home improvement professionals are available to help you select the best assets for your home.