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Old 05-15-2008, 03:53 PM   #16
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"Defogging" double-pane windows .... a gimmick??


Seems like I am up the creek again, have the old style Kolbe & Kolbe windows with the solid wood inside and a snap in vinyl strip on the outside that cannot be removed without wrecking it. A Kolbe rep came over, said these windows are not argon filled, just e-glass, and when that vinyl shrinks moisture can get it. And that is why I have moisture between the glass. Said I should seal those cracks where that vinyl has shrunk to protect the good windows, they will last a lot longer, better do that.

He let me in on a secret, http://www.cardinalcorp.com/ is a key supplier to all the major window manufacturers and their plant is only 50 miles from me. I feel the only way I can save my old windows, if replacement glass doesn't cost me an arm and a leg, is to route out the inside of windows and use a matching window molding that I can easily make while sealing the outside. Otherwise can buy new panels with the glass already installed for about 200 bucks a piece, that can add up in a hurry.

Terrible how this country of ours as become, while natural gas is strictly a domestic product in the last four years the price here went up from 64 cents a therm to $1.56, it's criminal as natural gas has nothing to do with OPEC, man, are we getting screwed.

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Old 05-16-2008, 08:15 AM   #17
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"Defogging" double-pane windows .... a gimmick??


I just thought I would toss this in - The Handyguys did a how-to podcast/blog post on replacing an IGU in a modern window. We didn't cover every possible window type but hopefully provide enough information for a DIYer to be able to do this themselves. We also covered how to glaze old windows.
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:07 AM   #18
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"Defogging" double-pane windows .... a gimmick??


Thinking about looking at real estate built in the 30's, hey it's 80 years later and some of these old homes still look great yet. These new story book homes with a two story high bunch of windows as wide as the front wall facing south are sure going to give someone problems down the road, and well before that last payment is made. One neighbor in a new story book home with a huge curve glass argon filled window had the outer glass pop up in our sub zero weather, he got a new window under warranty, but that does not cover installation. The windows I got stuck with, hey they were the greatest thing in the world are removed from the outside with that now unavailable vinyl strip that was told was epoxied in with no way to remove it.

Went to a couple building supply stores and looked at new windows, many of them you have to remove the entire frame to remove the panel to change a piece of glass, what happens if a kid throws a baseball at that? You're screwed, what are they thinking? But it is that way everywhere, if the motor and heater element goes bad in a dryer, it's cheaper to buy a new dryer than the price of those two parts. But then you are also stuck with a 30 buck recycling bill to carry your old dryer to the dump, they won't even pick it up!

I don't like the way our world is going.
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:05 PM   #19
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"Defogging" double-pane windows .... a gimmick??


I have read much but no real answers. First I will have to look up desiccant in the dictionary, then convert to the every day word.
Not sure what happened to my large Thermal window slider but I have 10 more just like it and some very large Thermal windows, basically every window in the house is the same (Andersen) and no help from them at all.
My windows are 3 years out of warranty and yet the company states the seal they use is 50 to 100 year flexible, guess not!
So some say seal break some say not seal problem, these windows were not cheap at installation and the manufactures are not offering any help or solutions for the window problems they have been aware of for 30 years.
My question is why haven't the thermal window manufactures come up with a home kit to resolve this 300,000,000 window problem in 2 countries??? There must be some serious money to be made in these window home kits at $50.00 bucks a pop. After all the manufactures make plenty of dough replacing broken windows from storms and from new contruction. So lets get some lobbyist going to Washinton and force the Companies to give something back to the suckers that fell for the pitch, maybe offer a vent repair kit with every window sold like it or not!
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:02 PM   #20
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"Defogging" double-pane windows .... a gimmick??


Broken seals are more cosmetic than energy losers.

Look at the R-values or U-values of the different window panes.

1. A leaking seal is not as good a good seal, but it may look O.K.

2. A good seal will rovide a clear view and and percentage improvement in insulation.

3. An Argon fill cavity will offer a bigger improvement over a unfilled normal glazing.

All are just small degrees degrees of insulation and none of them are very good compared to the rest of the walls (R2 compared to R19). In many cases, curtains or blinds drawn at night will offer more savings annually that fancy glazing.

It is very difficult to cost-justify the replacement of IGU panels. If you have a fogged window that is unattractive, that is a different story. The window insulating game is just that, when you consider that you probably lose more from infiltration around outlets in exterior walls than the benefit of up-selling glazing systems.

I replaced an oversized IGU panel in an old sliding door that was sound and had low infiltration because it was visually not acceptable. I was glad to pay the installed price for the panel. I have three other panels that are leaking, but it is difficult to find (depends on the time of day and the sun angle), so there is little reason to do so. My annual heat with R13 2x4 construction in Minnesota is very low (max of $85.00 for heat and hot water in the winter in Minnesota) for a 150 sf townhouse. Due to my north and east exposure, my AC is only a max of $50.00/mo over the average for lights, so sun is not an issue. In the winter, all windows coverings are obviously open during the day and most are closed at night. - I have a hard time justifying replacing a good looking panel or four on energy savings compared to what I normally spend.

Dick
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Old 06-21-2008, 04:19 PM   #21
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"Defogging" double-pane windows .... a gimmick??


Good point what does Holiday Inn do for fogged windows?
I guess the point of my venting this situation, our income like many others has gone sour. Gasoline, food and the utilities companies has a death grip on our throats and can't afford to replace anything. I can only work part time at 60 and hubby at 65 will never be able to work again and nothing to show for it.
My neighbor said if I ever find a solution he will be happy to defog my window along with many other seniors in this community.
Rust is starting to show at the bottom between the glass of that Vinyl door window by Andersen.
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Old 07-02-2008, 05:31 PM   #22
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"Defogging" double-pane windows .... a gimmick??


What's the solution sprayed inside the window (see video: http://www.cvwei.com/video.html)?
Alcohol? Methyl Hydrate?
I have many fogged windows (34 panes in 19 windows).
So, I decided to experiment on one small fogged window (with two about 18" x 18" panes).
I drilled a tiny hole (pin-hole size) with a diamond bit and Dremel in a small window (interior-side, upper-left and lower-right).
Waited a few days.
The fog was still there.
Drilled another tiny hole in the exterior-side (upper-right).
Waited a few hours.
Still no change.

So, I took the other pane apart.
There are tiny desiccant beads in the hollow aluminum border between the two panes of glass.
If you shake or turn the the window, you may be able to hear them rattling inside the frame.
What's up with that? Well, it turns out that window manufacturers put desiccant beads in the window to absorb moisture.
However, that desiccant has a limited effectiveness.
Also, few windows are truly air-tight (hence, the reason for the desiccant beads).
Therefore, most (if not all) two-pane windows have a built-in obsolesence.
Imagine that?
That's nice if your business is selling windws, eh?

Therefore, since the window is still fogged, I'm wondering if the solution injected in the window has some evaporation and desiccant qualities?
It would be nice to know how to do this since $45 per pane (for 34 panes) would run about $1530, and replacing the 19 windows would be triple that cost (or much more depending on the quality of the replacement windows).

And replacment windows might fog-up too within a few years (if not sooner; especially for cheaper brands).

Hmmmmmm . . . so, I guess the next step will be to try and wash and drain the test window pane with alcohol.
And there's still one other unknown: the seals on the holes. Whatever is used should be semi-transparent, allow air to escape when air pressure increases, and keep insects out.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:42 PM   #23
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"Defogging" double-pane windows .... a gimmick??


Made the holes in the upper-left and lower-right side of the windows a little larger (about 1/8 inch diameter), and the fog and water drops disappeared completely in both panes in two days (and there was quite a bit in both windows).
So, it appears that the holes can not be too small.
Next, I ordered some small one-way valves (which come on degassing coffee bags), and will (next) attach one to the top of each window, and place an air-permeable gauze over the lower holes of each window, and wait to see if the fog returns.
I believe the top valve must be a one-way valve (out), while the lower hole must have a simple two-way gauze (preferrably a transparent gauze to be less noticeable). If this works, it will be much less expensive than replacing all windows 17 windows in the house.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:51 PM   #24
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"Defogging" double-pane windows .... a gimmick??


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Originally Posted by d.a.n View Post
Made the holes in the upper-left and lower-right side of the windows a little larger (about 1/8 inch diameter), and the fog and water drops disappeared completely in both panes in two days (and there was quite a bit in both windows).
So, it appears that the holes can not be too small.
Next, I ordered some small one-way valves (which come on degassing coffee bags), and will (next) attach one to the top of each window, and place an air-permeable gauze over the lower holes of each window, and wait to see if the fog returns.
I believe the top valve must be a one-way valve (out), while the lower hole must have a simple two-way gauze (preferrably a transparent gauze to be less noticeable). If this works, it will be much less expensive than replacing all windows 17 windows in the house.
That's pretty cool. Assuming these holes were on the inside. I would be curious if you just used some clear tape and covered the holes how it would do. Or, if you could just leave them as is. The tape could easily be removed to defog as needed, if needed at all. Put the tape on when the humidity is very low and maybe you would be fine. Put it on when humidity is high then things may fog again.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:53 PM   #25
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"Defogging" double-pane windows .... a gimmick??


how industrious, dan!

let us know how that turns out over the long term. the treatment of my windows by a 'professional' has been less than adequate to date.

its beautiful sunny warm weather now and my skylights are clear... any other weather and they are fogged!
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:13 PM   #26
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"Defogging" double-pane windows .... a gimmick??


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That's pretty cool. Assuming these holes were on the inside. I would be curious if you just used some clear tape and covered the holes how it would do. Or, if you could just leave them as is. The tape could easily be removed to defog as needed, if needed at all. Put the tape on when the humidity is very low and maybe you would be fine. Put it on when humidity is high then things may fog again.
Brik, I drilled the holes on the inside (i.e. inside the house).

Brik, That's a good question (i.e. tape over the holes). I might try that (tape) and let you know. However, I believe there needs to be a one-way valve at the top to let air-pressure out, and a two-way valve at the bottom to let air in (and keep insects out). I'm going to use a little silicone caulk on the one-way valve so that it can be replaced (if necessary).

Jupiter2000, Thanks. I'll let ya'll know what happens. I was very impressed that the fog and water drops disappeared, and the window looks quite good. I have one window that is etched, and plan to try a dental-water-pick (except using alcohol) to see if it can be cleaned.

I think the minor loss in R-value due to the small holes (with a one-way valve) will be minimal, and with a dryer air-space, the window may in fact be more efficient than when it is full of fog and water drops. The elimination of the fog and water droplets will be much preferrable to a tiny loss of R-Value (if any, since a dry air space will also improve the R-value).

By the way, it rained the other day, and it was quite humid afterward (at 95 degrees F), and the fog did not return with the top and bottom holes open. Of course, the question remains, will the fog return when the valves are attached to the window.

Last edited by d.a.n; 07-15-2008 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 07-15-2008, 05:24 PM   #27
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"Defogging" double-pane windows .... a gimmick??


The only question is what is the energy efficiency of the window now that you have holes in them?
How does it work if you have triple panes with the sheet of plastic up the center?
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:23 PM   #28
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"Defogging" double-pane windows .... a gimmick??


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The only question is what is the energy efficiency of the window now that you have holes in them?
How does it work if you have triple panes with the sheet of plastic up the center?
Good question.

With a 3 pane window, it may be necessary to do the same thing on the outside of the window. I've seen some of the service franchises doing their (e.g. Window Medics, defogit.com, etc.) process on both the inside OR outside. For a 3 pane window with fog on both sides of the center pane, it may be necessary to do the same thing on both the inside AND outside.

First of all, most windows only have an R-value of 2-to-4.
Expensive windows are only slightly better.
Compare those R-Values to that of a brick wall of about R-12.

__________________________________________________ ____________
Table 1. Clear-Wall and Whole-Wall R-Values for Tested Wall Systems
#, System Description, Clear Wall R-Value (Rcw), Whole Wall R-Value (Rww), (Rww/Rcw) x 100%
1. 12-in two-core insulating units concrete 120lb/ft3, EPS inserts 1 7/8-in thick, grout fillings 24 in o.c., R=3.7, 3.6, 97%
2. 12-in two-core insulating units wood concrete 40lb/ft3, EPS inserts 1 7/8-in thick, grout fillings 24 in o.c., R=9.4, 8.6, 92%
3. 12-in cut-web insulating units concrete 120lb/ft3, EPS inserts 2 1/2 in thick, grout fillings 16 in o.c., R=4.7, 4.1, 88%
4. 12-in cut-web insulating units wood concrete 40lb/ft3, EPS inserts 2 1/2 in thick, grout fillings 16 in o.c., R=10.7, 9.2, 86%
5. 12-in multicore insulating units polystyrene beads concrete 30lb/ft3, EPS inserts in all cores, R=19.2, 14.7, 77%
6. EPS block forms poured in place with concrete, block walls 1 7/8 in thick, R=15.2, 15.7, 103%
7. 2 x 4 wood stud wall 16 in o.c., R-11 batts, 1/2-in plywood exterior, 1/2-in gypsum board interior, R=10.6, 9.6, 91%
8. 2 x 4 wood stud wall 24 in o.c., R-11 batts, 1/2-in plywood exterior, 1/2-in gypsum board interior, R=10.8, 9.9, 91%
9. 2 x 6 wood stud wall 24 in o.c., R-19 batts, 1/2-in plywood exterior, 1/2-in gypsum board interior, R=16.4, 13.7, 84%
10. Larsen truss walls 2 x 4 wood stud wall 16 in o.c., R-11 batts + 8-in-thick Larsen trusses insulated by 8-in-thick batts, 1/2-in plywood exterior, 1/2-in gypsum board interior, R=40.4, 38.5, 95%
11. Stressed-skin panel wall, 6-in-thick foam core + 1/2-in oriented strand board (OSB) boards, 1/2-in plywood exterior, 1/2-in gypsum board interior, R=24.7, 21.6, 88%
12. 4-in metal stud wall 24 in o.c., R-11 batts, 1/2-in plywood exterior + 1-in EPS sheathing + 1/2-in wood siding, 1/2-in gypsum board interior. NAHB Energy Conservation House Details, R=14.8, 10.9, 74%
13. 3 1/2-in metal stud wall 16 in o.c., R-11 batts, 1/2-in plywood exterior + 1/2-in wood siding, 1/2-in gypsum board interior, R=7.4, 6.1, 83%
14. 3 1/2-in metal stud wall 16 in o.c., R-11 batts, 1/2-in plywood exterior + 1/2-in EPS sheathing + 1/2-in wood siding, 1/2-in gypsum board interior. AISI Manual details, R=9.9, 8.0, 81%
15. 3 1/2-in metal stud wall 16 in o.c., R-11 batts, 1/2-in plywood exterior + 1-in EPS sheathing + 1/2-in wood siding, 1/2-in gypsum board interior. AISI Manual details, R=11.8, 9.5, 81%
16. 3 1/2-in metal stud wall 24 in o.c., R-11 batts, 1/2-in plywood exterior + 1/2-in wood siding, 1/2-in gypsum board interior. AISI Manual details, R=9.4, 7.1, 75%
17. 3 1/2-in metal stud wall 24 in o.c., R-11 batts, 1/2-in plywood exterior + 1/2-in EPS sheathing + 1/2-in wood siding, 1/2-in gypsum board interior. AISI Manual details, R=11.8, 8.9, 76%
18. 3 1/2-in metal stud wall 24 in o.c., R-11 batts, 1/2-in plywood exterior + 1-in EPS sheathing + 1/2-in wood siding, 1/2-in gypsum board interior. AISI Manual details, R=13.3, 10.2, 77%
__________________________________________________ ____________

Windows with fog and water drops inside (moisture) have a slightyly reduced R-Value (than the same window with a dry airspace).
The holes are small (about 1/8 inch), and a one-way valve at the top, and a two-way valve at the bottom should restrict significant air-flow, but allow moisture to escape at the top of the window.

The R-Value (insulating quality) of the dry window (even with two small 1/8" holes (in upper-left and lower-right) covered with the one-way and two-way valves) may have a better (or equal) R-Value of a window full of fog and water drops.

The fact is, the R-Value of a fogged window is not too terribly less than an unfogged window (of the same quality).

The real problem is more of a cosmetic nature, and repairing the windows is preferrable to the cost of replacing 17 windows (with 34 separate window panes) if the R-Value of the window has not been significantly altered by the two holes.

I'll know in a few days if the one-way valves work. I also plan to try a simple bead of clear silicone caulk at the top hole, with a few pin holes in the caulk. That may be enough to allow moisture to escape, while being much less conspicuous than a small one-way valve (which came from a degassing coffee bag; see below).

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Old 07-16-2008, 08:16 AM   #29
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"Defogging" double-pane windows .... a gimmick??


Given that you have a bunch of windows you have a perfect opportunity to measure results with different methods.

I do not know how to measure r-value so I think thats off the table. My gut is that a 1/8" hole in one pane of a double pane window is statistically insignificant.

So we need to measure defogging and how well windows stay defogged.

1 window - do nothing to cover holes
1 window - tape over holes
1 window - your valves
1 window - caulk with pinholes
1 window - caulk only
1 window - caulk one hole only

you get the idea - Report back if any windows fogged up again and if any draft is noticed for holes not covered.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:35 AM   #30
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"Defogging" double-pane windows .... a gimmick??


That's a good plan.

However, any strategy should include something covering the hole, even if it is gas-permeable, in order to keep insects from getting inside (between) the window panes.

It will take a few weeks to try all of the combinations, but I'll let ya'll know what happens, since I have 17 windows to work with.

Worst case, the windows have to be replaced anyway, so there's not much reason to not try to fix the existing fogged-up windows.

Here's another issue: tempered versus non-tempered glass. Drilling into tempered glass will shatter it. It's hard to tell what is tempered or non-tempered glass. So I tried using a camera flash to see if there was any difference. The first photo below is a non-tempered window (one I've already drilled). The second is a shower-door that I know is tempered glass, but there are no markings on it to identify it as being tempered glass. Notice the strange pattern on the tempered glass? But I'm not sure that is a definitive determination. Does anyone know of an easy way (aside from a $350 to $500 tempered glass detector) of detecting tempered glass?

Thanks!

NON-TEMPERED GLASS:


TEMPERED GLASS:


Last edited by d.a.n; 07-17-2008 at 10:30 AM.
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