Water Condensation on Home Windows: What It Means and How to Prevent It

Imagine looking out your window on a particularly cold or hot day only to see it covered in a bunch of fog or water droplets. Water condensation is an all-too-common problem, especially for Galveston homeowners dealing with high humidity.

Rest assured that the issue isn’t with the window itself, but it does have plenty to do with your home and how it handles humidity and excess moisture. The following takes an in-depth look at water condensation on home windows and ways you can prevent it from happening in your home.

What Causes Condensation on Windows?

The air you breathe each day contains varying amounts of moisture in an invisible vapor form. The warmer the air, the more moisture it’s capable of holding. As warmer air moves toward a cooler space such as a window, the amount of moisture it’s capable of holding diminishes. Upon contact with the window surface, the water condenses into those telltale liquid drops you see on your window.

Remember that condensation isn’t caused by the windows themselves. The presence of water condensation on home windows is more of a symptom of another moisture-related problem in your home. These problems are often split between temporary issues and more permanent problems that could affect more than just your windows.

Temporary problems that could cause window condensation include:

  • Moisture derived from building materials during new construction or remodeling, which could settle within the windows during the first heating season. This issue usually disappears on its own.
  • Moisture gathered during a particularly humid summer, which then appears during the first few weeks of using your home’s heating system.
  • Sharp, sudden drops in temperature that immediately condense moisture out of the air.

Long-term condensation problems are usually caused by:

  • Inadequate attic or soffit ventilation, which prevents fresh air from moving excess moisture and humidity out of the home.
  • Chronic high humidity caused by a poor heating system setup, poor ventilation, a need for additional ventilation or a combination of the three.

What You Can Do About It

Ventilation and humidity control are key steps toward combating water condensation on home windows. Here are some of the steps you can take to face this problem head-on:

  • Immediately ventilate your home. This can be as simple as opening your windows for a short amount of time to allow the humid air in your home to escape while allowing drier fresh air to circulate throughout the home.
  • Use a properly-sized dehumidifier to lower relative humidity levels. Condensation issues can happen if your home’s relative humidity levels go above 40 to 50 percent, the ideal range for a comfortable home environment.
  • If you’re using humidifiers in your home, turn them off or set them back until the condensation subsides.

How to Prevent It From Happening Again

When it comes to water condensation on home windows, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You can use these preventive steps to ensure that condensation is no longer a problem in your home.

  • Make sure your home has a properly designed ventilation system. Today’s tightly-sealed homes often require mechanical ventilation systems in order to provide fresh airflow throughout each room.
  • Install and use exhaust fans in portions of your home that produce large amounts of moisture, such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms, especially when conducting typical household activities in these areas.
  • Make sure the dryer is properly vented outdoors, since the vented air that comes from a dryer can put moisture back into your home’s air.
  • Consider using drapes and curtains to help shield windows from cold air and the condensation it could trigger.

You should also consider installing double-pane windows for your home. The gas-filled area in between the two panes helps block warm, humid air from coming into contact with colder air. Keep in mind that proper installation is absolutely important; if the space in between the panes isn’t properly sealed, it could allow condensation to form in that area.

Learn more about preventing water condensation on home windows and other home comfort solutions from the pros at Davis Air Conditioning & Heating, or call us today at 888-929-0049.

Image Provided by Shutterstock.com

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