You may have noticed on cold days that water has formed on the interior of your windows. Condensation on windows may seem harmless, but it can cause more damage than you might think. To fully understand how to properly address condensation on your windows, you’ll need to know the causes, effects and the solutions to prevent this from happening as much as possible.
What Causes Condensation?
The conditions for condensation occur when water vapor or the moisture in the air comes into contact with a cold surface area, such as the outside of a paper cup filled with ice water. The warmer the indoor air, the greater the amount of moisture it holds which means that when it comes into contact with a cold surface, the air can no longer hold that amount of moisture and it turns into water that forms along the cold surface.
The combination of warm, moist air and substandard ventilation creates the conditions for condensation on windows, but it is the cold surface of the window that is the true culprit. For window frames created out of wood, vinyl or certain other materials, the addition of the water can create damage which eventually will require the frames to be repaired or replaced.
Levels of Condensation
The amount of condensation on windows will vary depending on the type of frame or construction that is used. Depending on the amount of moisture or humidity in the air, the interior surface of the window will cause condensation when temperatures on the outside reach a certain level. For example, if the interior temperature is 70F degrees and outside is 0F degrees, you can expect condensation to occur for the following window types;
- Single Pane Windows: 15% Humidity
- Double Pane Windows: 25% to 40% Humidity
- Triple Pane Windows: 30% to 50% Humidity
Of course, factors such as double glazing units and other materials used in the construction of the frames such as UPVC windows for example will alter the effects. But generally speaking, the more window panes between the exterior and interior, the less condensation there will be.
How to Stop Condensation from Forming
There are a number of actions that you can take to reduce the amount of condensation on your windows starting with the following;
- Lower the Humidity to 40% in Your Residence
- Create Greater Air Circulation to Keep Condensation from Forming
- Add Weather Stripping
- Open Your Windows if the Air Outside is Not Too Cold
- Purchase Double or Triple Pane
If your windows have leaks around the frames, then you can repair or ideally replace them with storm windows or those that have double or even triple panes for maximum protection from condensation. The triple pane window for example has two layers of air insulation between the panes which makes it very difficult for the interior pane to cool down enough to cause condensation from occurring.
If you are looking at ways to reduce condensation on windows, then you can start by increasing the ventilation of your home while purchasing the type of windows that will help keep water droplets from forming.