Understanding Window Condensation and What You Should Do About It

Having condensation on your windows can be a concerning scene, and it should be addressed if it is happening to your windows.  You want to ensure your windows are functioning properly and doing their job.
Did you know that there are different types of condensation, and it makes a difference where it is appearing on your windows?  Every house is different, and every homeowner has a different issue.
That being said, here are some common questions we get asked about condensation on windows that might help you, followed by tips to help reduce excess humidity and condensation in your household.
"Every morning, I see moisture collecting on the outside of my windows, but I just did a window renovation!  Why is this happening?"
If you are seeing condensation on the outside of your windows, consider the weather and time of day.  If it has been cold at night and you are seeing the condensation in the morning, it is similar to when you have condensation on your car early in the morning.  The inside temperature of your house is simply warmer than the outside temperature, and that causes moisture to collect.  This happens even on newer high performance windows, so unless you are seeing moisture between the panes or inside your home, this is not a big cause for concern.
"My window tracks are black with mold, but I only see condensation inside, not between the panes.  My windows are just dirty, right?"
One of the biggest problems we see with condensation is when the house is too humid indoors.  This not only causes condensation on the inside of the windows, but can cause mold on windows or walls, a musty smell or stains on the ceiling.  This is extremely unhealthy for your family, and does not look very good either.
To solve this problem you should replace your ventilation system.  That moisture needs a way to escape.  If your bathroom fan does not hold up a few squares of tissue paper on its own, it is time to consider a new one.  When paired with a de-humidistat, your bathroom fan can control the humidity levels in your home around the clock.  This is the number one way to reduce humidity and condensation inside the home.
"I'm seeing condensation in between the panes of my windows.  I clean and clean, but nothing takes it away!"
If you are seeing condensation between the two panes of glass in your windows, your window seals have broken.  This means that air is flowing freely from outside to inside, and your house is not energy efficient.  Some homeowners will replace just the glass, but this is a 'band-aid-fix'.  When the outside temperature fluctuates, the glass in your windows will expand and contract.  If your window seals or frames are metal, they will not move with the glass, causing the seal to break.  This lets in moisture, and that is when you see the condensation.
To solve this problem you will need to replace your windows.  If that is not in the budget, consider breaking up your window upgrades in phases as your can afford it.
Additional tips to reduce excess humidity and condensation:
  • Crack open a window or door for a few minutes daily to have air flow through your home.
  • Open your drapes and blinds to allow air to circulate against the windows.
  • Use energy efficient bath fans with a de-humidistat to regulate the moisture in the air.
  • Use exhaust fans in your kitchen, laundry and bathrooms.
  • Make sure your clothes dryer is properly vented to the outside and your vent ducts are sealed.
  • Open the louvers in your attic, basement and crawl space and ensure they are the correct size to allow proper ventilation for the space.
  • Open fireplace dampers to provide an escape route for moisture.
  • Turn down your heat to reduce the difference in temperature between inside and outside.