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We generally run our AC most of the day. I am wondering if it is a detriment to leave the storm windows on (b/c they create a pocket of hot air) or a potential benefit (by reducing the escape of cold air).

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  • Im no expert here, but the fact you trapped the heat seems important. Removing the storm window would increase solar radiation inside. From your question it's also impossible to know if any of the glass have energy efficient coatings.
    – Tyson
    May 25 '16 at 14:53
  • An analogy: my attic traps hot air, should I remove my roof?
    – Tyson
    May 25 '16 at 14:54
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It's an intriguing question. On one hand, trapped air is heated through radiation. On the other, it acts as an insulator. Keep in mind that we aren't talking about airflow, but heat flow (by conduction, convection, and radiation).

The answer probably depends on how many of your windows are exposed to the sun, where extreme temperatures are generated between panes. In those cases, the insulation benefit of the second pane is probably outweighed by the efficiency lost due to greenhouse effect.

For those windows which are usually shaded, the second pane creates a trapped-air buffer, which dramatically reduces conduction loss.

I don't think a conclusion can be drawn with the information given. You might update your question to describe the building and property features in more detail. (Don't put it in a comment.)

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