At one time or another we’ve all seen the phenomenon of windows that are “foggy” on the inside, or covered with condensation, or even feature a thin layer of frost. Moisture on the inside of a window does not necessarily mean the window is leaking, and can even be caused by something happening inside your home.
Condensation occurs when warm, moist air comes in contact with a cool surface. On a chilly winter day, a window that is not properly insulated can allow cold to seep through a cool the inside of the glass pane. That can cause moisture in your home to gather as condensation or, if it is cold enough, frost or ice.
Where does the moisture come from? Most likely it starts in your kitchen! Cooking a meal can release steam and water vapor into the air, which can spread throughout your home and eventually settle on a cool surface and condense back into water. Even a shower can add water into the air, and if you run a humidifier during the winter the moisture can really build up.
So why do windows seem to be the most frequent sites for condensation to occur? It could be that your windows are getting unusually cold because the glass or frame is not insulated or properly sealed. This allows exterior cold to “leak” through to the inside pane.
On the other hand, if the humidity in a home is very high, even a well-insulated, energy efficient window can also show signs of condensation. Not because the cold seeps in, but because a properly sealed window is “weathertight” and does not allow interior moisture to vent to the outside.
You can help reduce the incidence of condensation by taking a few simple steps:
- Make sure gas appliances are vented to the outside, especially clothes dryers and stoves.
- Run the exhaust fan over your stove when cooking.
- Run the exhaust fan in the bathroom during showers and bathing, and keep it running for several minutes after you are done.
- Make sure your attic is properly ventilated so that rising moisture can escape. (A well ventilated attic also helps prevent ice dams in your gutters.)
- Turn on ceiling fans to keep air circulating all year long.
- Don’t overwater your plants – even this little bit of moisture can enter the air.
- Open drapes and shades during the day to allow sunlight to warm the air.
One more suggestion: Call Rescom Exteriors to discover how our energy efficient replacement windows can make your home look great and stay more comfortable in all weather conditions. Call us at (866) 410-5884 to schedule a free in-home design consultation and estimate.