Did You Know: Windows Can Get Altitude Sickness?

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Double-pane windows have a hermetically sealed airspace between two sheets of glass, the gap provides the insulation. If the seal between windowpanes breaks, moisture can get between the glass sheets and cause fogging. However, the engineered, hermetic seal traps more than gasses between the panes, it traps the ambient air pressure as well.

Sort of like a scuba diver must decompress on the way up from a dive, windows made at low elevations face their own risk of “the bends” when traveling to the high country, which is where I live near Vail, Colorado.

A sealed glass unit built at low altitude and then installed here at higher elevation must incorporate tiny, stainless steel or aluminum capillary tubes that allow the insulated glass windowpanes to equalize and remain flat and parallel.

If you want to learn more, a lot more, check out: “Residential Windows: A Guide to New Technologies and Energy Performance 2nd Edition.”