In this article, you will learn:
1. What is Window Condensation, and is it a Problem?
2. 3 Types of Window Condensation
3. 15 Ways to Prevent Window Condensation from Damaging Your Home
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Condensation on your windows is a common problem for many Canadian households, especially during the winter season.
While the canvas for smiley faces might have been a fond childhood memory, foggy windows can actually signify a number of potential problems within your home!
Unfortunately, the root of the problem isn’t always easy to identify.
From cracked glass and window damage to poor ventilation and humidity concerns, the problem with window condensation is that it can often lead to internal property damage, potential health risks and even expensive repairs.
At Simpson Windows and Doors, we are committed to helping our customers get the most out of their residential window replacements.
To help you prepare for the colder months ahead, the following article will explain how window condensation happens, the 3 different types to watch out for and 15 ways to prevent window condensation from damaging your home.
What is Window Condensation, and is it a Problem?
A naturally occurring phenomenon, condensation occurs when humidity (or water vapor) comes into direct contact with a cold surface; causing it to transform from gas to liquid form.
When an object is cooler than the air around it (such as your windows, in this case), any existing humidity in the air will cause the water molecules to “stick” to its cold surface, creating a thin layer of water droplets.
While this effect is much more enjoyable when it comes to cold beverages, the presence of indoor window condensation is a common sign of poor ventilation and/or high humidity levels within your home.
Although not all window condensation is bad (as this largely depends on where on the glass the droplets are accumulating), it is important to note that prolonged interior window condensation can evolve into much bigger problems if unaddressed; including water damage, rotting wood, mold and even skyrocketing energy and repair expenses.
3 Types of Window Condensation
While foggy windows may be frustrating to look at, they can also give you a clear indication of how your home is performing.
By determining where on the glass the water condensation is collecting, you can also identify the following details:
Interior Window Condensation:
– most common type of condensation, typically during the winter months
– caused by excessive moisture within the household
– common with hot showers and stove tops, creating increased humidity levels
– can often point to a ventilation problem
Exterior Window Condensation:
– naturally occuring “dew”
– appears when the window is colder than the environmental dew point
– condensation outside of your windows is actually a good sign – indicates effective insulation
– typically disappears when warmed by the sun
Condensation Between Window Panes:
– occurs when the seal between the panes is broken or deteriorating
– the air-tight seal holding the insulating gas is no longer working, allowing water vapor between the panes
– common with double-glazed windows
– Will require a window replacement
15 Ways to Prevent Window Condensation from Damaging Your Home
While window condensation may sometimes feel like it’s out of your control, there are actually a number of things you can do to protect your home, family and overall budget.
Depending on where condensation is accumulating on your residential windows, here are 15 tips to prevent window condensation from damaging your property:
INTERIOR WINDOW CONDENSATION:
1. Open Your Windows:
By opening your windows, you will be able to release some of the warm, moist air that has been trapped within your home.
2. Increase Air Circulation:
As circulating air can greatly reduce the risk of internal window condensation, try rotating your fans in a clockwise direction to push the warm air down (away from the ceiling).
3. Turn up the Heat:
Try warming your windows by slightly raising the temperature! As warmer windows will not attract moist air as much as cold windows would, this will greatly reduce visible condensation.
4. Cover Your Windows with Blinds, Curtains or Drapes:
Similar to the last tip, covering your windows with blinds, curtains or drapes will increase the window’s temperature and reduce the amount of condensation that occurs.
5. Add Weather Stripping:
Weather stipping does an excellent job of keeping warm air from escaping your home. In addition to reducing window condensation, it will also make your property much more energy-efficient overall!
6. Use Your Bathroom and Kitchen Fans:
While cooking and showering release quite a bit of moisture into the air, we highly recommend that you use your bathroom and kitchen fans for about 15-20 minutes after every shower or meal.
7. Relocate Your Plants:
As plants release moisture into the air, keeping them near your windows can sometimes result in unwanted window condensation. Try moving your beloved houseplants to a new location and see if this solves the problem!
8. Turn Down the Humidifier:
Although it is not uncommon for parents of young children to make use of a humidifier, this increased humidity in the air can often result in harmful condensation on your windows. If you are experiencing increased condensation in your child’s nursery, try reducing the humidity levels in your settings.
9. Make Use of Storm Windows:
Older windows are the biggest target for window condensation, and sometimes a window replacement is just not in the budget. In this case, try using storm windows during the winter months to not only reduce condensation, but also save on overall heating expenses.
10. Purchase a Dehumidifier:
If the above tips don’t seem to do the job, try manually removing humidity from your home by using a dehumidifier. With a variety of sizes and options available on the market, some devices will even allow you to monitor the humidity level in your home for optimal peace-of-mind.
EXTERIOR WINDOW CONDENSATION:
11. Apply “Rain X”:
A popular product for reducing windshield condensation, Rain X can also help with your residential windows! If you are experiencing increased condensation on the outside of your windows, applying Rain X to the exterior glass will encourage raindrops to gather together and slide right off.
12. Allow Nature to Help:
Similar to how the sun evaporates morning dew from your car and front lawn, allow the warm sunshine to clear any visible signs of condensation – no interference needed!
CONDENSATION BETWEEN WINDOW PANES:
13. Try Cleaning Your Windows First:
Unfortunately, condensation between your window panes will most likely require a replacement. However, be sure to confirm the problem by cleaning your windows first! In some cases, cloudy windows may not be related to condensation, but cleaning products and/or kitchen grease instead!
14. Replace Your Window Panes:
Depending on the age, type and manufacturer of your existing windows, you may have the option of simply replacing the glass panes if there is no damage to the frames or surrounding areas.
15. Upgrade With an Energy-Efficient Window Replacement:
In most cases, window condensation between the glass panes will indicate that your window is damaged and no longer performing as efficiently as it should. In this case, we highly recommend working with a roofing professional to determine the best energy-efficient window replacement options for your personal style, needs and budget.
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If you are interested in learning more about your window replacement options, allow our team at Simpson Windows and Doors to help!
Click here or call us at 905-853-2519 for an obligation-free consultation.