If you’re like a lot of people, you probably take for granted the condensation that forms on windows in your home. It’s such a regular part of everyday life that you don’t think about it. However, it’s important to prevent window condensation, not just because the moisture can damage walls and fixtures over time, but also because it likely represents a more widespread issue with excess humidity in your home.
Why Does Window Condensation Form?
A basic scientific principle is helpful in understanding why condensation forms on the interior of windows. Warmer air holds more moisture than cool air. When warm, moisture-laden indoor air comes in contact with windows that are cold as a result of chilly or cold outside temperatures, the air cools and releases its moisture on the window pane. When it’s really cold outside, the moisture will appear as frost.
If the indoor air is dry enough, it won’t do this. So, in a way, window condensation is telling you that your indoor air has higher-than-desirable relative humidity. Muggy indoor air can have other consequences as well, providing an inviting atmosphere for mold and mildew and making your home feel damp and sticky, among other ill effects.
Window condensation can happen in other seasons if the difference between inside and outside temperatures is high enough. In the summer, however, it generally appears on the outside of windows when hot, humid outside air comes into contact with cooler window surfaces. Staying on the outside, this moisture isn’t something that will damage your home.
How to Prevent Window Condensation
The answer is straightforward: Lower the humidity inside your home. You can do this in a variety of ways. Strategies include opening windows a crack to let fresh air inside, using exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens, investing in an effective ventilation system, and getting double-paned or E-windows that resist cooling from the outside.
To help prevent window condensation in your Northwest Arkansas home or to address any issue involving your HVAC system, please contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal.
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 condensation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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