Some homes have a problem with windows sweating on the inside. This even happens on newer homes that are well insulated. In this blog we will show you how to deal with the familiar problem of condensation on windows. The blog explains common sources of condensation and how you can diagnose the problem in your own house but before we go any farther with this blog, let’s talk about what condensation is, or is not.
What is Condensation?
Condensation is not a leak in a window. If the condensation is appearing between two pieces of glass in an insulating unit, that is a defective insulating glass unit and needs to be replaced. A discussion of the reasons this fogging or seal failure in an insulating glass unit occurs will be reserved for another time. For now, we will deal with condensation.
Condensation is water vapor—humidity if you will. This water vapor in the air will collect on any surface at or below what is known as the dew point. When air with a lot of moisture in it meets a cold surface, it needs to give up some of that humidity; it just can’t hold it. Water vapor starts depositing itself on cold surfaces. This is condensation.
Typically, the coldest surface in a home or building of any type is the interior side of a window. When the water vapor in the air of a house or structure encounters that cold glass surface, it will deposit itself there, and that becomes condensation. If cold enough, it may even form frost or ice.
Types of Window Condensation
Window condensation can be irritating and can even cause damage to your home. There are three types of windows condensation, Interior, exterior and between windowpanes condensation. Interior window condensation is caused due to excessive moisture in the house, and it often occurs in the winter when the warm air inside condenses on the cold windows. Exterior window condensation is dew that occurs when the window is colder than the dew point. Condensation between windowpanes occurs when the seal between the panes is broken or when the desiccant inside the windows is saturated.
Usually people don’t really care about the scientific causes of condensation; they just want to get rid of it! In addition to possibly damaging the house, it’s not any fun to have to peer through hazy windows just to get a peek at what’s going on outside of the home. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to reduce condensation on your windows.
The condensation that occurs on the inside of the windows, is the most common type, and there are a variety of things that can solve the problem.
- Turn down the humidifier, it will release less moisture into the air and will hopefully reduce condensation.
- Buy a moisture eliminator to remove excess moisture from the air.
- Use your bathroom and kitchen fans every time you cook or shower because they remove moisture from the air.
- Circulate the Air by rotating your ceiling fans in a clockwise direction to push warm air off the ceiling back down to the floor.
- Open Your Windows to release some of the warm, moist air that is trapped in the house.
- Raise the Temperature by using blinds, curtains, or drapes to avoid condensation.
- Buy a Dehumidifier, it’s an easy, expensive way, to remove the moisture in your home.
- An air to air exchanger is another way to reduce moisture, and therefore condensation, in your home.
- Window insulation kits installed on the inside of the window can prevent interior condensation.
Exterior Window condensation normally occurs in the summer months when exterior humidity levels are higher. It forms in the same way as room side condensation when the temperature of the glass is cooled and comes into contact with that warm, humid air.
To combat exterior window condensation, you can open window coverings at night to warm up exterior glass. You can also trim shrubbery near windows as this will help promote air circulation. Raising the temperature setting on your air conditioner will also help keep your window glass at a warmer temperature.
Condensation Between Window Panes
If there is condensation between window panes, you are likely losing money on energy costs. Here are a few tips on how to remove moisture from between your window panes:
Try Cleaning the Windows
If you think that you have condensation between the windows, be sure to clean them off first. The haziness can be caused by condensation or it may be due to a buildup of something, such as a cleaning product or grease.
Replace the Window Panes
Unfortunately, if there is condensation between window panes, you will have to replace the glass units. Window Panes replacement may or may not be possible depending on the type, age, and manufacturer of the original window.
Replace the Window
In some cases, you will not be able to replace the glass units, instead you will need to replace the whole window. If the windows are old, it is a good idea to replace them. Window technology has been evolved over the years so replacing the entire window may have added benefits as well.
If you are considering replacement windows for your home, consider James Kate Windows! A James Kate Windows professional can answer all of your window condensation questions and help with your window replacement needs.