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Condensation on Windows

Wondering why there is condensation on your old or new windows? Keep reading learn why!

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Window Condensation in Northbrook, IL

Are you puzzled by the appearance of moisture on your windows, especially after installing new ones? You’re not alone. Many homeowners experience this phenomenon and often wonder if it signals an issue with their windows. In this guide, we’ll unravel the mysteries of window condensation, explaining its causes and offering practical tips to manage and prevent it.

Continue reading to learn more about why your windows have condensation and what to do about it. If you need to get in touch for window installation, please call us at (847) 485-1033 or fill out a contact form today!

Room with new skylights installed to let in more natural lighting

Manufacturer Guides on Window Condensation

Bak Brothers, Inc

Why Is There Condensation on My windows?

If you notice water or a misty layer of moisture on the glass, it indicates an imbalance in humidity between the inside and outside of your home, leading to condensation.

Regardless of window types such as european, vinyl, aluminum clad, or fiberglass, condensation becomes an issue indoors when it’s exceptionally cold outside, and the humidity level inside exceeds the recommended level. To prevent condensation during extremely cold weather, it’s crucial to regulate the indoor humidity and keep it in line with external conditions.

Cooler surfaces within the house, such as glass and hardware, are more prone to condensation. These surfaces, being closer to the exterior, tend to stay cooler than walls or tables. Consequently, excess moisture in the air condenses on these cooler surfaces. This airborne moisture is commonly referred to as humidity.

Where Does Humidity Come From?

Simply put, humidity that creates condensation on your windows comes from the moisture you create inside your home. Common sources include:

  • Showers: Steam generated during showers contributes to indoor humidity.
  • Sinks: Activities like washing hands, cooking, and doing dishes release moisture into the air.
  • Breathing: the moisture you exhale adds to the overall humidity levels.
  • Laundry: Drying clothes indoors releases moisture into the environment.

The interplay between air temperature and humidity defines the dew point temperature, the threshold at which condensation occurs. If condensation is observed, it signals a need to reduce humidity, ensuring the dew point temperature falls below that of cooler surfaces.

Understanding the impact of dew point temperature involves recognizing that when the interior of your home is warmer and more humid than the outside, condensation forms on the inner surfaces of windows. 

Consider a glass of iced water with condensation on the outside. The moisture appears because the air near the cold glass has cooled to the dew point temperature, reaching its moisture-holding limit and causing condensation on the exterior surface.

Skylight window installed in a home in Chicagoland

12 Ways to Reduce Condensation

1. Monitor Indoor Humidity:

    • Use a hygrometer to measure indoor humidity levels regularly.
    • Maintain indoor humidity between 30-50%, as recommended for comfort and to prevent condensation.

2. Ventilation:

    • Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to expel moisture.
    • Ensure proper ventilation in high-humidity areas, such as the attic and crawlspace.

3. Air Circulation:

    • Open blinds and drapes during the day to promote air circulation around windows.
    • Use ceiling fans to improve overall air movement.

4. Heating Adjustments:

    • Adjust heating settings to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the home.
    • Avoid drastic temperature differences between rooms.

5. Seal Leaks and Gaps:

    • Inspect and seal any gaps or leaks around windows and doors to prevent outside air from entering.

6. Use Dehumidifiers:

    • Install and use dehumidifiers in areas with persistent moisture problems.

7. Remove Moisture Sources:

    • Dry clothes outside or in well-ventilated areas.
    • Fix any plumbing leaks promptly to eliminate additional sources of moisture.

8. Insulate Windows:

    • Improve window insulation with weather-stripping or window film to reduce temperature differences.

9. Check and Repair Seals:

    • Inspect window seals for any signs of wear or damage and repair as needed.

10. Consider Thermal Curtains:

    • Use thermal curtains to add an extra layer of insulation around windows.

11. Limit Indoor Plants:

    • Reduce the number of indoor plants, as they release moisture into the air.

12. Position Furniture Wisely:

    • Avoid placing furniture directly against exterior walls to allow air circulation.

Condensation on the Outside

Condensation on windows during spring and fall is common and typically harmless. To minimize it, consider raising your home’s temperature and trim plants around windows for improved air circulation.

Home exterior windows
condensation between window panes

Condensation Between Panes

Condensation between window panes indicates seal failure. While repairs may be possible, severe cases may require window replacement to ensure optimal performance.

By implementing these measures, you can effectively manage indoor humidity levels, mitigate condensation-related issues, and maintain a healthy and comfortable indoor environment.

Expert Advice and Window Solutions

If you encounter condensation-related issues or need window replacement, consult with local window professionals. They can inspect your windows, identify problems, and guide you on the most suitable solutions, including potential replacements.

Ready to get in touch for a window installation? Please call us at (847) 485-1033 or fill out a contact form today!

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