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All About Window Condensation and How to Get Rid of It

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fogged up windows by Bradley Gordon on Flickr

For many homeowners, the start of the winter season means cozy weekend days spent in front of a crackling fire, cold starlit nights, and…window condensation. Even though you may appreciate the “I love Mom” messages inscribed on your interior window glass, they are an indication that something needs to be adjusted in your home. Window condensation can be caused by older single pane windows or it can be from a lack of air flow across a window surface that’s covered by curtains or blinds. Whatever the reason, it is an issue you’ll want to remedy because excess moisture absorbed by your walls can result in mold and mildew problems. Fortunately, window condensation is an easy situation to remedy.

What is condensation?

You may remember learning about condensation back in your general science classes. Water can be a solid, liquid, or gas/vapor, depending on its temperature. Condensation occurs when water in its vapor state comes into contact with a surface whose temperature is lower than that of the surrounding air.The point when water in its vapor state transitions into a liquid depends on the ‘dew point’. The ‘dew point’ is a moving temperature target because warm air holds more moisture than cold air. This causes the difference between a hot humid day, where the water vapor remains in the air, or a cold rainy day where the water vapor is converted to a liquid and falls from the clouds in the form of rain. When the outside temperature drops, while your home’s interior temperature remains warm from your furnace, the water laden warm air meets the cool window surface and, voila! Condensation is the result.

How can you manage window condensation?

Window condensation is not always a sign of poorly manufactured windows, as people can erroneously believe. In fact, it can be a sign of how efficiently sealed your home really is. If your home is properly sealed, it is keeping all of the warm moist air inside.

Here are some simple tips that will mitigate your interior window condensation:

1. Make sure your interior window surfaces have access to warm air movement by keeping drapes and blinds open from time to time.

2. While it’s good to be conservative with your thermostat, keeping it set too low will prevent the air from being able to retain water vapor and it will convert to condensation on your windows and mirrors.

fogged up windows (2) by Bradley Gordon on Flickr

3. Turn on the exhaust fans in your bathrooms and kitchens when you are running warm/hot water, or have liquids cooking on the stove top, to ventilate excess moisture.

4. When the temperature is a little warmer outside, go ahead and crack a window or two so that dry air can come in and force some of that warm moist air outside.

5. Buy a hygrometer. This is an instrument that monitors humidity levels. Your home should remain between 35 – 40% in most cases.

6. Invest in a dehumidifier to regulate interior humidity levels. You can buy standalone units or talk to your local HVAC vendor about dehumidifiers that can be added to your existing HVAC system.

7. Use your ceiling fans, or consider installing some if you don’t have any. They will keep warm air circulating over window surfaces preventing it from condensing.

8. If you notice condensation on your windows or slider doors, use a clean dry cloth to wipe it off and prevent excess moisture from leaking into your interior wall spaces.

Even the best quality windows can experience condensation from time to time if the interior humidity of a home isn’t controlled, but the above steps can help your windows remain condensation free.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Call us at 1.877.579.1994 or click here to price your project. Come and see us for a Dan Good Deal at 199 Victoria Street South, Kitchener, ON N2G 2C1.