What about insulated windows that are fogged up between the panes?

I believe that insulated glass, in its present form, is a fundamentally flawed idea. For those who don't know it, an insulated window is made of two pieces of glass with an air space separating them. This dead air space, filled with inert nitrogen gas, is supposed to reduce outside noise and lower temperature loss through the widow. It does do an excellent job of noise reduction, but it does a negligible job of saving energy.
The dead air space is protected by a rubber, silicon or petroleum based seal that keeps the totally dry, dead air in and the moist air out; for a while. The basic problem with this concept is that these windows get alternately hot and cold 365 times a year, especially if the windows get a lot of sun exposure. That means the seals expand and contract until the inevitable breach occurs. It may take 15 years, or 15 days, but it's coming. When it does, the air inside the window will expand and escape out the breach in the seal.
When the window cools, the air inside contracts and sucks in the highly humid air we have here in Florida. Thus begins the fogging effect that we begin to notice as that air gets hot and the moisture turns to steam in between the panes. It usually starts as just a small amount, but it grows and grows until the window is actually dripping wet inside when it cools. I have seen this happen for 20 years, even to windows that have never been power washed.
More stuff by Don the Window Cleaner http://www.donaldmarsh.com
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The Doctor of Cool wrote:

Now that you critcized the idea, what do you offer as a superior method? Sure, thermal windows are not perfect, bu t they are far better than single pane and vastly superior to your alternatives to date. -- Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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How 'bout like a old thermos bottle, with a vacumm and glass all around?
TS

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Terribly impractical, the flat panes of glass would collapse from the air pressure of the atmosphere. 14 lbs per sq in, times how many sq inches?
Aerogel is the wave of the future, it is what NASA used to capture pieces of the comet. Perfectly clear, and perfect thermal efficency.
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The Doctor of Cool wrote:

Sure. However my home is 10 years old and every window (save the one that was broken by a neighbor's baseball) are all still like new, no leaks. They are all doing a great job of keeping my home warm in winter and cool in summer.
There are differences in quality of windows. If you buy cheap, you must expect cheap and poor life and performance.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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I can remember, as a child, one of my winter chores was to chip the accumulation of ice off the aluminum single pane window frames, and scrape the frost off the panes. Our house was built in 1959, and by 1970 we were replacing the interior sills, which all had water damage from the wintertime freezing.
Insulated, double and triple pane windows may not be a perfect solution, but they are one helluvan improvement.
Mike
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