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What Causes Window Condensation and How to Prevent Them

Some homeowners are perplexed when they find moisture or condensation forming on branded windows that cost thousands of dollars to purchase and install. While most homeowners blame the material on their windows, the real underlying cause could be more complicated than one might think.

What is condensation?

Condensation occurs when water vapor in the air changes from gas to liquid and settles on various surfaces inside the home. When the temperature of a particular surface is the same or lower than the dew point of the surrounding air, condensation forms. The dew point refers to the temperature at which water vapor condenses and it depends on the relative humidity of the area.

Main Causes of Condensation on Windows

The higher the relative humidity, the closer the dew point comes to the temperature of the air. A cold surface can have a temperature lower than the dew point and would easily form condensation once it contacts humid air. Windows are definitely cold during winter and a humid indoor air can easily cause condensation on the cold surface.

The Main Causes of High Indoor Humidity

Better home building methods have resulted in leak-free homes that prevent outside air from coming inside. As warm air builds up inside the home, so does the relative humidity. People breathing, as well as other activities involving water or moisture can result to more water vapor accumulation. Old homes have leaks that allow cold air to come inside and lower the indoor humidity.

Ways to Minimize Condensation

The following are practical steps to control or minimize condensation inside your home.

  • Monitor water vapor accumulation inside your home. Purchase a hygrometer, which can measure relative humidity.
  • Turn on exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms to dispel humid air outdoors.
  • Make use of automatic humidifiers that can control humidity levels.

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