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Window Condensation: Understanding What It Means

Window Condensation: Understanding What It Means

It’s almost that time of year where energy efficient windows can impact your heating costs by keeping more temperate air in your room while keeping the elements outside. However, you may start to find condensation gathering on your windows and doors during colder months.

If you find condensation on your window, don’t worry! It isn’t time to start diagnosing your window. The fact is, condensation on the inside of your windows—known as roomside condensation—isn’t a sign of a defective window at all. Rather, it means your windows are being efficient.

So, what is causing the condensation on your windows? And, more importantly, what kind of condensation should cause concern about your window’s strength? Here are the facts about window condensation:

Do my new windows or doors create condensation?
Some homeowners pair the presence of condensation in the months after installing new windows with possible problems during the installation process. Condensation on windows and doors is not produced by the window or door product. Actually, it comes as a result of high humidity levels in your home.

As a matter of fact, the presence of condensation more often than not is an outcome of the improved energy efficiency of your new windows. Air with more humidity retains water vapor until it touches a surface temperature less than or equal to the dew point—the temperature at which air becomes saturated and produces dew. Due to the fact that glass surfaces are often the coldest part of the house, condensation can be seen on windows initially, in the indication of water droplets or frost on the roomside of the window. As the air inside grows drier, or as the glass surface heats up, condensation begins to disappear.

More than a few factors go into whether you might notice condensation on your windows. You might even find that a window in one part of your room has roomside condensation while one on the other side doesn’t. Air circulation, changes in room temperatures, air register location, and the type and size of the window can all impact the likelihood of roomside condensation. Other influnences such as glass type, window coverings and screens and proximity to a water source can all play a role in what levels of humidity are around a window.

Why do I at times see condensation on opposite sides of the window?
Your previous windows may have been drafty or didn’t have the advanced, energy efficient technology of present-day windows. Additionally, other home repairs, such as adding a new roof or siding, might also create a tighter seal against air infiltration in your house. Due to that, your home may hold more humidity making condensation more likely to happen than before.

In the summer months, this same phenomenon can be seen on the outside of your windows. Exterior condensation can gather due to high outdoor humidity, little or no wind, and a clear night sky. It forms in the same way as roomside condensation, when the temperature of the glass is cooled below the dew point of the outside air. Since the cooler air inside your room isn’t leaking due to increased energy efficiency, it’s more likely to see external condensation at these times.

You can deal with exterior condensation by opening shades at night to warm up exterior glass and increase air circulation by cutting back any shrubbery that might be blocking windows. Adjusting the air conditioner a few degrees warmer can also improve the situation.

For roomside condensation, there are a group of factors that can influence the humidity in your home. Here are a few common culprits that can lead to roomside condensation:

Sources of humidity in your home 

The most commonly seen way roomside humidity increases is through everyday activity. Taking showers and baths, cooking and washing dishes, doing laundry, even the dog’s water bowl can all add moisture to the air in your home–topping out at four gallons or more per day in some homes. Add today’s energy efficient, well-insulated homes and you can start to see why that humidity can often find no way to escape.

Because of this better insulation, some windows can build a strip of condensation that appears all the way around the roomside of the window. Usually, this is created when the center of the glass stays warmer than the glass closest to the edge. It isn’t a sign that the window is leaking air or not functioning correctly.

Can Roomside Condensation Ruin My Windows?
One area where condensation on windows should become an immediate issue, however, is if condensation is appearing between the two sealed panes of insulating glass in multi-pane windows. In this instance, condensation is a sign of seal failure and the insulating glass will need to be replaced.

More often than not though, condensation on your windows doesn’t mean there is a defect with your windows. It serves as an alert to the possibility of other unseen, potentially expensive problems to be found in your room.

igh indoor humidity can lead to structural damage and even upset your health. Because these effects frequently go unnoticed in the wall cavities, attics and crawl spaces, the visible indication of condensation on glass is a good sign that humidity levels are too high. And while window condensation and musty odors might be seen as annoyances, they can grow into more severe concerns such as water stains on walls and ceilings if left unchecked.

In the same way, left unaddressed, condensation issues can mean window problems over time. Make sure to take reoccurring roomside condensation seriously. Think of it as an early alarm to high humidity in your house, one that can easily be resolved before it gets more severe. Understanding condensation is just the beginning to keeping your home comfortable and maintaining your windows. If you have any questions about condensation and whether your windows and doors are doing their jobs as they should, give Prairie Pella Wyoming LLC in Casper a call or stop by the showroom.

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