Understanding Window Condensation

Understanding Window Condensation

What Is Condensation?

If condensation on your windows is something you always wanted to understand, here is a good opportunity for you. You have probably noticed condensation either in your home or other places. Have you ever bothered to find out what can be done to prevent them? As far as it is important to understand the science behind the formation of condensation, prevention of condensation is equally important. To help you understand the most important things about window condensation, we are going to address this issue in form of questions and answers. Let’s go straight into it.

Want to Learn More about Exterior Condensation?

What causes exterior condensation?

This type of condensation occurs when moist air and cool surfaces come into contact with each other. Cool surfaces can be plastics or glass. Exterior condensation usually occurs when the temperature of surfaces such as glass is lower than the dew point in air. You have probably observed that condensation in most cases occurs when a warmer day is followed by a cool night. In most cases, exterior condensation occurs during fall and spring seasons.

How is exterior condensation affected by low emissivity?

Heat conducted through glass surface from its warm interior to its outer surface is reduced by low-emissivity. Do you know that the heat conducted can be reduced by up to 50%? However, this is only possible with a highly efficient Low-E coated glass.

The outside glass temperature is reduced by the reflected heat energy. This reduction in energy may lead to condensation on the glass. When this exterior condensation occurs, it indicates that the insulating glass that is installed on the window is performing its function appropriately.

About Interior Condensation

What causes interior condensation on windows?

This is yet another important thing that you should know about window condensation. It is easy to determine whether there is excess humidity in your home because condensation occurs on cold areas of your wall. In most cases, condensation occurs on windows. Warmer air retains more moisture than cold air. When colder glass surfaces come into contact with the warm air, it is cooled and moisture is subsequently released on the glass in form of condensation.

Is it possible for windows to cause condensation?

No, it is not possible. The window has nothing to do with the condensation formed on it. However, if you install a siding, a new roof or replace drafty windows, you will significantly reduce the flow of air in your home thus tightening it. It is worth noting that tighter homes are more effective in retaining more humidity.

Where on windows does condensation form?

If you are keen enough, you will find out that condensation usually forms at the bottom of the lower sash and the meeting rail both on the interior of the glass.

Why does condensation form on windows?

Immediately warm air cools down, it falls on the inner surface of the window when the temperature of the air is also falling. Afterwards, the air contacts the surface of trapped water vapor thus escaping and forming on the meeting surface of the rail. When air comes into contact with the edge of the meeting rail, it gains speed and encounters the bottom of the sash. It is at this particular point that the water vapor exits and eventually lies the lower side of the sash.

Is it possible to reduce condensation on windows?

Yes, window condensation can easily be minimized. How do you reduce window condensation? Well, this condensation can be reduced by controlling humidity. You also should ensure that air movement is generated. When the exterior temperature reduces, the level of humidity should drop if condensation has to be controlled.

What are steps that people should take to ensure that humidity in their houses is reduced?

Well, if you had humidity problems in your home, worry no more. You can easily manage humidity by following simple steps. Before we go into these steps, there are two main things that you should do. There are: increasing ventilation and controlling the source of moisture.

Follow the steps below if you want to control/reduce excess condensation and humidity. Pay attention to all details for the best results.

  • Make it a habit to air out the house for a few minutes daily
  • Make use of exhaust fans in different rooms such as your bathroom and kitchen
  • Open fireplace dampers to ensure that the moisture-laden air gets an escape route
  • Vent cloth dryers and gas burners among other equipment to the outside
  • Close off humidifying devices such as furnace humidifiers in your home
  • Ensure that the ventilating louvers in crawl spaces, basement and the attic among other places are open and of ample size.

Facts about Condensation on Windows

  • Condensation on windows is caused by high humidity and not poor window installation and defective windows as most people think. The air-tight design of modern houses is a contributing factor to window condensation
  • Your family lifestyle can affect the humidity level of your house. Activities such as washing clothes, bathing, and cooking generate moisture that increases humidity in the house. If your family has more family members engaging in such activities, expect high humidity levels
  • Interior condensation is promoted by uncontrolled indoor temperature. You can easily control this by balancing outdoor and indoor temperatures
  • Exterior condensation is caused by outdoor environmental conditions
  • Condensation affects various types of windows differently. For instance, aluminum windows are highly susceptible to condensation. Moisture seeps into wooden windows.

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