How to Avoid and Remove Window Condensation

One of my clients recently mentioned that a lot more customers were calling in for quotes about excessive window condensation and related issues, no matter how often the homeowners wiped or cleaned the windows.

I decided that this was the perfect opportunity for me to discuss the causes of this problem and provide a few home DIY solutions.

What causes window condensation?

Window condensation ruins your view and damages your windows, especially in older homes. Excess moisture can rot the wood, damage plaster, and excess interior moisture within your home can damage a lot more than just the areas around the windows.

Interior Condensation

If the air is warmer inside than the air outside, this can lead to dampness and condensation forming on the inside of your closed cold glass window.

Turn down the Humidity

Turning down the humidifier will cause less moisture to be released, and will cause less difference between the in- and outdoor air temperature’s, hopefully decreasing condensation.

If you don’t have a humidifier but still have condensation, consider a moisture eliminating product in damp areas like a cupboard to remove excess moisture from the air. Dehumidifiers and air-to-air exchangers also work but are much pricier options.

Circulate the Air

Open some windows and turn on ceiling fans, especially if steam from cooking or showering is present.  This will release and circulate the moisture in the air.

TIP: If your fan rotates in a clock-wise direction it is more effective at pushing warm air off the ceiling and down to the floor.

Raise the Temperature of your Windows

Use science to your advantage- blinds, curtains, drapes, or simply raising the household temperature can raise the window temperature as well.

Weather stripping, storm windows, and window insulation kits are also great methods for reducing interior condensation on your windows.

Exterior Condensation

This usually evaporates with the sun, but using the same products you use on your car to prevent excessive rain from causing a dangerous situation, like Rain-X, and similar products will help.

Condensation between the Window Panes

Insulated glass is used to make windows more energy efficient by sealing air or gas between two panes of glass in order to improve their thermal efficiency. Additional gasses (like krypton and argon), coatings, and additional panes can also be used to drastically improve the insulation properties of your windows.

Excessive moisture build-up as a result of condensation between the actual window panes themselves can cause your windows to become foggy.

Cause: A ruptured seal is usually identified as the culprit, but the real destructive forces are temperature and pressure fluctuations from the sun and other factors.

Solution: You will either need to replace the panes or the whole window. Some companies have de-fogging machinery that installs an additional valve to restore full function.

TIP:  It is important to make sure that any windows you install have proper safeguards to prevent water from pooling on the surface and breaking down the seals.

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