Window condensation can be quite common, especially in the wintertime. While it may not seem like it, understanding their causes can save you from expensive home repairs in the future. Here are the basics behind this phenomenon.
The Science Behind Window Condensation
Condensation occurs when warm, moist air comes into contact with a cold surface, causing the water vapor to turn into liquid droplets. When the weather becomes significantly cooler and drier in the winter months, the water vapor on the inside of your home exerts pressure and forces its way through most building materials. However, because window glass is denser, less porous, and much colder than other wall materials (such as wood, drywall, or brick), it will typically be the first place where condensation occurs.
One of the main factors that plays a role in the formation window condensation is the amount of moisture present in the air, known as humidity. When the air inside of a space is more humid than the air outside, it is much easier for the warm air to condense on the cold surface of the window. Common sources of indoor humidity include cooking, hot showers, dishwashers, and clothes drying indoors.
Preventing Window Condensation
- Ventilation – Ensure adequate airflow in your living space to help reduce humidity levels. Open windows and doors if possible. Use exhaust fans while cooking and showering to maintain proper ventilation.
- Window Coverings – Do not fully cover your windows with heavy curtains or blinds, as this will restrict air flow. Draw back your blinds or window coverings when possible. Even leaving a small space of your windows open to air flow while the blinds cover most of the area, will help.
- Central Humidity Controls– Turning down your central humidity can do wonders for reducing window condensation. However, Calgary weather can be very dry and hard on the skin. It’s important to find the right humidity level right for you, your home, and your windows.
- Plants – move plants away from windows, because this is where water vapour will be released directly onto the glass.
- Wet Clothing – In the wintertime, we track in a lot of snow on our boots, pants and jackets. Try to shake off as much snow outside the home before entering. If possible, hang winter jackets and place boots to dry in outdoor covered spaces, such as garages, sun rooms, or boot-rooms.
If all the above strategies have been exhausted, do not panic! Window condensation does not always mean you need a window replacement. Sometimes, its just the name of the game when Calgary reaches a DRY -20 degrees outside and our homes are a HUMID +20 degrees inside. Nonetheless, if you are concerned that your windows have broken seals, are very old, single pane, or wood frame, it might be time to give us a call.
Free Window Estimate
Our experts at SIS renovations can help provide you with all the information needed to consider a window replacement in your home. Call us at 403-640-1334 or visit our website for more information.