Low-e and Argon Gas windows

by Barbara
(Brampton, Ontario, Canada)

I am considering replacing several windows in my house. I have 3 parrots located close to 2 of the windows with plants in front of the windows to provide some shading and safety for the birds. Most window manufacturers offer low-e coated and argon gas filled windows. Is there any disadvantages to the birds with the low-e coating? I do not want to have to supplement with any kind of extra lighting. Also, is there any danger to the birds if the argon gas escapes the window into the room? I have tried to find some answers but couldn't find anything for birds. Thank-you very much.

Comments for Low-e and Argon Gas windows

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Feb 17, 2010
Birds need UV light
by: The Avian Vet

Birds need UV light for two reason: one, it helps them see better because they can see in the UV spectrum; and two, UV light converts vitamin D precursors to vitamin D3 in the skin and on the feathers. This is the only natural source of vitamin D3. All glass blocks some of the UV rays. Low-e and other specialty windows block all or nearly all of these rays. They are otherwise safe for your bird. For energy reasons, you should have the windows installed. You can counteract the negatives for your birds by giving them a full spectrum light. The best one is the ZooMed AvianSun Lamp and bulb.

Feb 13, 2010
Low-e and Argon Gas windows
by: Linda

I did some research on the net and came up with some things about the argon gas. Supposedly it is in the air we breathe and in light bulbs. According to several sites, the argon gas will leak out at a very slow rate over a period of years, and as far as I can tell, it is not toxic to humans at any rate. Of course, we don't go around breaking light bulbs though sometimes they do break for one reason or another, and I've never or my birds have never experienced any problems with it, so I'd say it is safe, but then, I'm NOT an expert on this by any stretch.

What I suggest you do is to contact the manufacturer of the windows you are going to use and ask them that specific question about rate of leakage and your birds to be on the safe side.

As for not wanting to supplement light, you already need to be doing that. The full color spectrum DOES NOT COME THROUGH ANY KIND OF WINDOW, and they make the full spectrum lights for birds and reptiles that do give them the benefits of the full spectrum of colors and not the harmful rays. Doctors Foster & Smith carry a fixture that comes with one of these bulbs, and it can be hung above cage or cages. We use the 24" above each section of our double cage and have used this type of light for years. They have been fazing out the fixtures for the F series and Foster & Smith is still carrying bulbs and fixtures. There are new fixtures for the newer bulbs too. The truth is that NO full spectrum light is coming from your windows already, and with the e-coating, even less light will be coming in making bird's room darker and less inviting to them. Plants probably will not grow with the e-coating on windows either, so you should go ahead and invest in some of the full spectrum bulbs and fixtures for over each bird's cage and over the area where you now have plants.

Lots of people think putting their birds in front of windows where sun is coming in is all that is needed to give them the full color spectrum they need for healthy bodies, skin and feathers. This is not true now and has never been true. There are materials for skylights where the full spectrum can come through while also cutting down on heat, and you could check into that though the lights and fixtures would be cheaper.

So, get in touch with the window manufacturer and ask about the argon gas leaking and your birds' safety. The truth is that they start leaking some of the gas almost immediately, so you WILL NEED TO ADDRESS THIS WITH THEM BEFORE YOU DO THIS.

Thanks for writing, and let us know what the manufacturer says as this can help all of us when we need to replace our windows.

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