It’s that time of year when many homeowners start to see condensation on their windows. The moisture that appears in cold weather on the interior or exterior of windows and patio doors can block the view, drip on the floor or freeze on the glass. It can be an annoying problem.
Why do house windows get condensation ? While it may seem natural to blame the windows or doors, interior condensation is really an indication of excess humidity in the home. Exterior condensation, on the other hand, is a form of dew—the glass is simply a surface on which moisture condenses.
Causes of Home Humidity
The important thing to realize is that if excessive humidity is causing condensation on windows , it may also be causing problems elsewhere in your home. Here are some other signs your home has excess humidity:
- A “damp feeling” in the home
- Stained or discolored interior surfaces
- Mold or mildew on surfaces or a “musty smell”
- Warped wooden surfaces
- Cracking, peeling or blistering interior or exterior paint
- Sweating pipes
There are many things that cause indoor moisture. A family of four’s daily living activities can add more than 18 gallons of water a week to the air in their home. A family of four adds about half pint of water to the air every hour due to normal perspiration and breathing. Cooking three meals a day adds four or five pints of water to the air. Each shower contributes another half pint.
In fact, every activity that uses water (like dishwashing, mopping floors, doing laundry) adds moisture to the air. And the more water vapor in the air, the higher the relative indoor humidity. Other contributors include house plants and burning fossil fuels (especially kerosene, natural gas and oil).
How to Prevent Condensation on Windows
Regardless of the window manufacturer or whether the window is made of wood, vinyl or aluminum, humidity will condense on any window if conditions are right. The situation is usually temporary and can be handled by making adjustments to reduce interior moisture.
Here are few actions to take to help the humidity in your home:
- Track moisture with hygrometers, inexpensive humidity-measuring instruments that can be purchased at most hardware stores.
- Use exhaust fans and vents throughout the house.
- Turn off any humidifiers and use a dehumidifier.
- Take your indoor plants outside. If you have a sunroom that stays dry, you can also keep your plants there.
- Close doors when bathing and cooking.
Most experts agree that relative humidity can affect your health. They suggest maintaining indoor humidity levels between 30% and 50%. According to the World Health Organization, upper respiratory illness might occur in people suffering from asthma and allergies when humidity levels are 65% or higher.
Want more information? Check out Andersen Windows and Doors “Guide to Understanding Condensation.”
Omni is here to help
While condensation on windows may not be caused by the window itself, if your windows feel drafty or the wood around them is rotting, it may be time to replace them (see our blog for more signs on whether windows need replaced). Call 920-233-3333 or stop in our showroom to talk with a window replacement expert.