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The science of condensation and your windows

Once the cool weather arrives, it’s common to see condensation built up on the inside of your new windows. Most homeowners assume that this means there is something wrong with the installation, but that’s not the case. We spoke to Kaileigh Donelle of Brock Doors and Windows, about the cause of condensation on your windows and how to eliminate the problem.

Condensation is a result of high humidity levels in your home

It’s not caused by your windows or doors, says Donelle. “Air that has a high level of humidity holds water vapour until it can make contact with a surface that’s temperature is equal to or less than its temperature (dew point), which then turns the vapour into water (dew),” she says. Since windows are typically the coldest point in your home, that’s where homeowners will see condensation in the form of water droplets or frost.

Essentially, you’ll see condensation on the inside of your windows when the warm air inside comes in contact with the colder windows. The relative humidity level of your home and the exterior temperature will affect how much condensation you see.

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It happens for a number of reasons

Routine household activities are the cause of condensation, including bathing, cooking, running the dishwasher or washing machine, and even mopping the floor. “Unless your humidity level is less than 10 per cent, it is impossible to completely avoid condensation,” says Donelle.

A common misconception is that condensation is a result of needing new windows, or that the windows aren’t sealed properly.

“It’s actually a good sign because it means your home is properly sealed,” says Donelle. “If your home is tightly sealed, the condensation has nowhere to escape, and you’d need to manage the humidity levels in your home yourself.”

Condensation, if left alone, can cause damage to your home

Condensation can not only leave stains on the windows, but the water can damage the walls around the window.

There is a solution!Brock november 2015 (1)

“You can reduce or remove condensation by controlling the humidity levels in your home,” says Donelle. Many new HVAC systems come with humidity controls. Or, you can purchase a hygrometer, which are inexpensive and manually measure the humidity levels in your home to give you an idea of where the condensation could be coming from or areas that it is the worst.

“If you have one, you should shut off the humidifier in your home. Move plants away from the windows because the water will evaporate and go straight onto the windows. As well, heavy drapes or blinds/shutters that are always closed can worsen condensation issues on the glass, because they reduce air flow,” advises Donelle.

Ensuring your laundry room, kitchen and bathrooms are well-ventilated rooms with windows or exhaust fans will also help.

“You can also open a couple of windows for a few minutes to let the condensation escape, but overall, the best solution involves ventilation and air circulation,” she says.

For over 25 years, Brock Doors and Windows has been providing homeowners with expert advice when it comes to doors and windows. If you’re concerned about your home, speak to an expert! Visit Brock Doors and Windows online for more information, or call 1-800-449-3808.

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