Especially during the first real cold snap of an approaching winter season, we typically field quite a few phone calls with questions regarding condensation on the interior surface of windows.
Condensation is a natural occurrence on all windows and is caused by excess humidity, or invisible water vapour, present in the air. When this water vapour comes in contact with a surface which is at a cooler temperature, the vapour turns to visible droplets of moisture. Window condensation can lead to mold that increases the likelihood of allergens, including fungi, viruses and mites that might cause respiratory infections, allergies and asthma.
Vinyl windows use the Edgetch Super Spacer, otherwise known as a warm edge spacer. This combined with Cardinal’s superior Argon gas & LoE coated glass units results in windows with a higher surface temperature, greatly reducing the likelihood of condensation.
Superior Home Improvements insulating glass units provide superior energy efficiency to reduce the potential for condensation. However, there is no such thing as a condensation-free window in high humidity conditions. Controlling the amount of moisture in your home is the most effective action you can take to avoid condensation.
Here are a few tips that will help reduce moist air in your home and avoid condensation:
- Use fans in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms to circulate the air.
- Air out your home frequently by opening doors and windows.
- Reduce the number of indoor house plants, as plants increase humidity levels.
- Use a dehumidifier to remove excess humidity from the air.
- Install energy-efficient windows.
- If you have a humidifier or dehumidistat, set to the correct outside temperature settings.
- Make sure you have adequate ventilation through soffits, roof ridge, basement and crawl space.
- Squeegee your tub surround and shower enclosure; use your towel to dry off the excess moisture and leave your bathroom ventilation fan on for at least 20 minutes after every shower.
Avoid heavy drapes/curtains. Don’t keep blinds closed all the time, the air must be allowed to circulate.
Ideal Relative Humidity Settings
Relative Humidity Moisture levels must be controlled within your home. The following settings are a good guideline.
Outside Air Temperature/Inside Humidity Setting
- Summer Temp 50%
- 0 to –12C 40%
- -12 to –18C 35%
- -19 to –24C 25%
- -25 to –30C 20%
- -31C or below 15%
Installing High Efficiency Windows
It isn’t unusual for a home to have very poor quality vinyl windows but perhaps they don’t get condensation on the glass because the windows are so drafty.
Many people don’t realise that sometimes installing new windows and doors may lead to more condensation if the interior humidity is too high in the home.
Once new high efficiency windows are installed, replacing drafty windows, you are reducing air flow in your home and making it tighter. Tighter homes actually retain more humidity.
Follow the tips on this page if you find this to be the case after ridding your home of drafts.