Condensation on the outside of windows or in your home is quite normal. It occurs predominantly in the winter months because of the contrast between the interior and exterior air temperatures. Condensation in your home is caused by high levels of humidity, and it can happen in both summer and winter.
Is Condensation on Windows Normal in Winter?
Exterior condensation is just dew as a result of differences in temperatures. Condensation on the inside of windows is usually a by-product of inadequate ventilation, cooking, and showering. Moist air and water vapor can cause high levels of humidity which condensates upon touching the cold windows. Direct sun exposure can cause window seals to break, thus allowing condensation to form between window panels. In addition, a saturated desiccant inside the window unit will also result in condensation.
Condensation can damage both newer and older windows and doors. Humid air around windows can rot wood, create mold, and damage the plaster. Moreover, excessive moisture can cause dampness throughout a home which can damage drapes, upholstery, and wooden flooring. Moisture in the walls can take a long time to dry because of the humidity already in the house from bathrooms and kitchens.
- Limit humidifier use to reduce indoor air moisture.
- Reduce the number of plants in the home as they give off moisture.
- During cooking, bathing and showering, open the windows and turn on kitchen and bathroom fans to improve ventilation.
- Repair broken window frame seals. Consider installing new energy-efficient windows to ensure a tight seal.
- Install exhaust fans. Exhaust fans are very good at removing moisture from the air.
- Make use of a Moisture Eliminator. These can be placed in the parts of the home where you suspect there is a lot of moisture. Moisture eliminator products come in buckets and bags and can be safely placed in kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms. The bags can be hung up in the closet to protect moisture from seeping into linens and clothes. They work by extracting and absorbing moisture from the air.
- Invest in an Air to Air Exchanger. These not only bring in fresh air and reduce condensation, but they also remove pollutants and moisture.
- Adding weather stripping to windows will help prevent warm air inside from escaping. This will help to reduce condensation in winter if you are using storm windows.
The most obvious way to remove condensation is to clean and then dry the window glass. This will remove any build-up that isn’t condensation. Here are some other ways:
Turn on ceiling fans, especially in the bathroom and kitchen, when showering and cooking. Run the fans for up to twenty minutes after you have finished. Have the ceiling fans rotate in a clockwise direction. This will push warm air down to the floor.
Open windows and ceiling fans to help the air circulate throughout the home. Warm air will escape through the open windows and take the moisture with it.
Reduce condensation by raising the temperature. This will warm up the windows and reduce the condensation on the inside. You can also draw the curtains and close the blinds and drapes, to warm the windows up.
Plants give off moisture. Relocating them away from the windows will also help to reduce condensation.
Old House New Tricks
Persistent condensation in winter makes it difficult for furnaces and heating systems to operate efficiently. If you live in an older house, consider investing in new windows. Modern windows can help to bring down energy costs, reduce condensation and increase property values too.
Additional Reading: Control Moisture In Your Home (EPA)
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