Guide to Understanding Window Condensation

Guide to Understanding Window Condensation

As a home owner it is always concerning to find water in areas of your home that you do not expect it. After all, even small amounts of water can lead to significant damage in your home. This is why many home owners are concerned when they find more condensation on their replacement windows and doors than they have seen on their older windows and doors. But, is this condensation a cause for concern?

We spoke with several of our windows and doors specialists to better understand window condensation, below is what they had to share.

What is Condensation?

If you notice that there is some small amount of water or sweating on the inside or exterior of your window panes, this isn’t always a cause for concern. The water deposited on your windows may just be condensation that was caused by excess humidity in your home. Warm air can hold more moisture than cool air, so when the warm air in your home connects with a cooler surface, like your window, the air cools down rapidly forcing it to release some of the moisture. This moisture then becomes visible as condensation on your window. This is the same reason why a cold drink sweats on a hot summer’s day.

What Causes Condensation?

The main reason for condensation is the moisture content of the air in your home. The moisture in your home can be affected by our daily routines, such as showering, cooking, running appliances like dishwashers and so forth. As new windows are designed to be more energy efficient, that are manufactured to be more air tight. This will lead to more condensation than your older windows. With older windows the air can evaporate or escape more easily, leaving less moisture rich air to create condensation on the windows surface.

Not all window condensation should be ignored. Like in the case where there is condensation in between the glass panes of your window, this is condensation that should be cause for concern. Your double, triple or quadruple pane windows are manufactured to be air tight. In fact, many of them are filled with a gas, such as argon gas to increase their energy efficiency. If condensation occurs between your window panes, it means that the seal around the panes has failed and this window has lost its efficiency.

Can You Control or Reduce Condensation?

No matter if the condensation is temporary and caused by a specific action such as cooking, washing or completing other regular day to day items or if it is more problematic such as high levels of humidity in your home you need to take some action.

When you notice sweating on the interior or your windows, try to soak up the water using a sponge or cloth. Even though this condensation doesn’t point to an issue with the windows, this collected moisture can still be absorbed into your drywall or window frames leading to rot and mold.
You can take steps to reduce the moisture in your home by running a kitchen fan when cooking and running the bathroom fan when showering. Both work well to pull the moisture rich air out of your home. You can also invest in a dehumidifier to help pull the excess moisture out of the air in your home. And finally, by opening your windows even a few minutes a day, will allow for fresh air to circulate around your home and allow for the moisture filled air to escape.

So, if you have recently had your windows and doors replaced and you are noticing more condensation built up on your glass, there is no need to be overly concerned, as this is a natural process. Taking actions that will help reduce the moisture in your home will help reduce the condensation on your windows as well as reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth in your home.