Window moisture can occur in any season. The necessary conditions are simply warm air and a little excess humidity. When it happens, window moisture causes annoying aesthetic issues such as streaking and spotting of glass. When it becomes chronic, however, it can also result in more serious problems: mildew and mold may develop and the window frames, sills and tracks may deteriorate from long-standing wetness.
Heat energy transmits through glass more efficiently than almost any other household building material. That’s why, in most homes, the coolest surface in the structure are the panes of glass installed in conventional windows. Most houses also accumulate indoor humidity from normal activities. When humid household air meets cool window glass, condensation happens. While the laws of physics dictate that some moisture will always form on window glazing, here are some steps a homeowner can take to mitigate the conditions that encourage it:
Lower the humidity. The primary contributors to indoor humidity are kitchens and bathrooms. Spot exhaust fans installed in these locations can exhaust humid air to the outside before it migrates elsewhere in the home and triggers window moisture.
Vent the dryer. Clothes dryers exhaust hot air laden with moisture from wet clothing. Verify that your dryer is properly vented all the way to the outdoors. Make sure the vent duct is securely attached to the dryer and intact all the way to the exterior. Clean the lint out on a regular basis to prevent obstruction.
Consider energy efficient windows. Dual-pane windows not only save money by reducing energy loss through the glass, they also stay warmer than conventional windows. This impedes the condensation reaction and reduces moisture.
Insulate. Window insulation materials made of shrink film or polyethylene are commercially available at home centers. These products reduce heat transfer through glass by up to 90 percent, keeping glass warmer and decreasing condensation.
Monitor humidifiers. If you use a humidifier to maintain household humidity, verify that the setting is correct for the conditions.
For more information on combatting window moisture, contact Paschal Heat, Air Conditioning & Geothermal, serving northwest Arkansas for over 45 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about window moisture and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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