ARGON vs VACUUM in double pane windows

i was under the impression that all (vinyl) double pane windows were constructed using a gas such as argon between the panes. i need to replace all of my old aluminum double pane windows, about half of which have leaked and have interior fogging (condensation).
HOWEVER, one of the local companies here, uses a VACUUM between the double panes, instead of ARGON.
my question is: wouldn't a vacuum be more likely to leak moisture inside, over time, than a double pane window constructed using an inert gas inside?
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To an approximately, the diffusion of moisture or the filler gas or just plain old air just depends on the relative concentration of the gas (vapor) in the atmosphere compared to that inside the window.
A seal that can maintain a vacuum is less likely to permit significant moisture than a seal that's barely "gud enuf" to keep the argon in and the water vapor out. Older designs included some moisture absorbing stuff in the metal channel around the perimeter so that any water vapor than gets in will be absorbed before it can coat the inside of the window and be noticed.
I find myself questioning just how practical a true vacuum would be. With a vacuum, the inside pressure is zero PSIA while the outside pressure is about 15 PSIA. (That's POUNDS/sq it.) If your window is only 12" x 12" there would be a TON of force pressing the two sheets together.
I suspect that your local company isn't giving you all the details.
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On Thu, 12 Feb 2009 22:38:36 -0500, "John Gilmer"

And the companies that do good argon units, its not "gud enuf" - theirs are usually the higher quality stuff. Joe Blow can build an atmospheric unit in his back room -
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Joe Blow can build an argon filled unit in his back room just as easily. There is nothing magic and no exotic equipment needed to purge the window unit with argon gas. The only additional equipment needed vs. a "vacuum" window is a cylinder of argon and a regulator / flowmeter.
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On Thu, 12 Feb 2009 16:54:06 -0800 (PST), nucleus

Don't even think about wasting your money on a thermal unit without argon fill. The incremental cost is negligible, and generally the argon units outlast "vacuum" units by a significant amount - particularly if they are "warm edge" or "thermal spacer" units with a triple mastic seal.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I would just point out that argon fill in windows isn't used when the installed elevation is somewhere above 5000' or so... Furthermore, the use of Argon in warm climates is not of much value. Unfortunately, we don't all live above the 49th parallel :)
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wrote:

Argon fill is still good in warm climates - you DO air condition, don't you? The difference in temperature between the inside and outside is about the same in Phoenix as it is in Toronto or Kitchener.
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On Thu, 12 Feb 2009 23:58:11 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Cost of Argon is pennies on the dollar. In the Mojave Desert the little cost is worth it.
Defer:
Does argon gas in a window refract sun light in the summer, out of the house and keep heat in the house in winter?
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No, but it insulates better than air.
My 8 new site-built low-mass sunspace "windows" are 4'-wide x 16'-tall twin layers of $1/ft^2 10-mil HP92W polycarbonate film on flat 1x3 frames with 3M 4432 double-sided vinyl tape and 1/8"x3/4" painted steel cap strips and silicone caulk at the corners.
Each panel has 2 1/8" ID polyethylene tubes at the bottom. They are inflated in series with DOT push tubing couplers (truck parts) to 0.15" of water with dry air from a $10 12V tire compressor (PV-powered, of course) in a boxful of Tyvek clay desiccant bags, with a Dwyer 1710-0 pressure switch, for less wrinkling and wind fatigue.
It looks like they don't leak at all (we tested them with a soap bubble solution.) If the compressor never runs again, we plan to fill them with argon.
Nick
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nucleus wrote:

I have mixture of both sealed units. Been replacing leaky vaccuum ones with exactly identical looking one but with Argon filled one. Latter is doing better job. Price difference minimal.
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I have generic non argon that 10% are bad in 3 years. I have Pella and Anderson low E argon that are fine with a 20 yr warranty. I have seen at HD lifetime warranty glass. But a warranty can be void from day one if windows are not Plumb, Level and Square installed, Pella and Anderson allow 1/8" tolerance. I had two installed wrong and out of warranty before I paid the guy. Get a good warranty, check plumb, level and square Before you pay the guy. If you have a question call the window maker, I had a rep sent out. I would opt for Low E argon. www.energystar.gov has window info, research before you buy.
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you could just replace the sealed glass units far cheaper than new windows, if you wanted too
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On Thursday, February 12, 2009 6:54:06 PM UTC-6, nucleus wrote:

1st let's discuss the company that states it has a vacuum glass! That's false, no company has perfected it. A company in Pewaukee Wisconsin is close but they don't expect anything until 2018. 2nd if vacuum exist,than no condensation at all because there's no air to condense. To your point about leaking,this is why it's taking so long to perfect,and my guess is they'll end up placing a visual device to let you know when the vac has left.
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On 6/10/2014 11:56 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

14.7 psi doesn't sound like much until you figger that it takes less than a 12" x 12" pane to experience a TON of force. Once you start putting internal supports, buyers start to object.
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On 6/11/2014 2:56 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

to run power lines to each window for the vacuum?
And it's been since Feb 12, 2009, maybe now the windows have solar power vac, and don't need electricity?
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The glass in a regular unit would break. I can see the temperature condition of argon filled panes. The glass either contracts inward or goes out. You can see that in the reflection from outside the house.
Greg
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Thanks for that URL!
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