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Condensation Facts: Understanding Your Windows

Condensation Facts: Understanding Your WindowsWith cooler temperatures finally settling in, many Wisconsinites are likely noticing condensation on some or all of their home windows. Caused by humid, warm temperatures indoors and cold temperatures outdoors, condensation refers to when your window appears to be “sweating,” with water beading on the glass surfaces. Homeowners in Oshkosh, Appleton, Green Bay, Manitowoc, Sturgeon Bay and other communities on the shores of Lake Winnebago or Lake Michigan are no stranger to this moisture, as those Wisconsin cities are more susceptible to humidity.

Causes

While condensation is often normal and not a cause for concern, sometimes its source is a problem with your window. The first step to identifying the cause is taking a look at the location of the condensation.
“My window’s condensation is…”
…at the bottom of my window

Condensation near the bottom of the window is typically normal. The reason for this occurrence is that warm air rises, while cool air stays beneath. Cool air is unable to hold much moisture, and thus any moisture in the air near the bottom of the window becomes liquid and settles on the glass.

…between the glass panes

If you’re seeing condensation between your glass panes, that means that moisture is somehow entering the through the seal. This means you might need a replacement seal or replacement window, depending on the severity of the window condensation.

…on the inside of the windows

Condensation on the inside of your windows can be caused by many different sources. Daily activities in your home such as running laundry or dishwashing appliances, showering, bathing or even keeping plants can produce moisture. In the winter season this indoor air is often unable to vent well, which creates a buildup of moisture in the home. This type of condensation is common with newer windows, which create a tighter seal against the outdoor elements, and shouldn’t be anything to worry about in small amounts.

Solutions

If your window condensation is excessive, it can cause problems. Too much moisture can:

  • Encourage the growth of mold and mildew
  • Produce unsightly smells indoors, due to stale air and lingering odors
  • Affect nearby areas such as sills, frames or walls, potentially causing moisture damage over time

There are simple ways to combat moisture without sacrificing comfort. Check out these easy tips:

  • Ventilate whenever possible: Airing out your home is an easy, effective option. In winter months when opening windows is not an option, opt for using a van, especially after moisture-causing activities like showering, bathing or cleaning.
  • Lower your home’s temperature: It’s tempting to turn up the heat, especially here in Wisconsin when winter is in full swing. But the higher you set the thermostat, the more moisture will collect on cooler surfaces like window glass. Keeping your temperatures low will reduce humidity and save money on utilities.
  • Keep window coverings open: Air flow is an important part of condensation reduction, and heavy window coverings can interfere with the process. Keep them open when possible to allow for maximum air flow around the window’s surface.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier: This appliance can be incredibly helpful and many have the ability to be adjusted to automatically turn on and off based on humidity levels. A pricey option, this is good choice after experimenting with other quick fixes.

If a moisture problem continues after using these methods, it might be time for a professional to investigate.

Tundraland’s experienced representatives are prepared to answer any questions you have about condensation or other window-related issues in your Wisconsin home. Contact us today to learn more about our wide variety of window styles and installation services.

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