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Window Condensation – Causes / Prevention

Window Glass Condensation - Causes / Prevention

Condensation is normal. It is a visible example of thermodynamics. You can see the battle between cold things and warm things. Take a can of soda or beer. A room temperature can doesn't sweat. A cold can does. Until the cold can becomes warm, you will have condensation.

Condensation occurs when warm, moist air comes into contact with a cold surface. As the temperature of the colder object gets colder, it takes less humidity in the air to produce condensation. This is why you need to manually regulate your indoor humidifier during the winter. As the outside temperature drops you can mysteriously get frosted windows even though your humidifier is set at the same relative humidity. Notice that you never get condensation on the inside of your house widows during the summer! Although I have been able to get my car windows to fog if I really crank the A/C down on a humid day.

Prevention of Condensation

Once your new vinyl windows are installed, you can only stop condensation by watching your indoor humidity. The trace of a fog at the corner of a window is the signal that your indoor humidity is at the danger stage. There is very likely NOTHING wrong with your new windows.

If fogging persists, check for moisture sources. Do you have a crawl space? If so, does it have a high performance vapor barrier? Do you have lots of indoor plants? Do you have a high powered bath exhaust fan? Do you do lots of steamy cooking? How about an aquarium? The numbers on the humidistat are meaningless. Crank it down slightly once the fog develops.

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