If you live in Salem, MA, you’re well aware of our harsh winters and temperature swings. Our winter days can rise above freezing, but temperatures regularly dive under that threshold at night. During these wide temperature fluctuations, you might have noticed condensation forming on your windows. It can form on the inside of your windows, the outside, or even between the panes of glass if you have multi-paned windows. What gives, and why is it happening?
Well, it’s not rocket science, but it is science science. Let’s back it up a few years to your introductory science class (you can block out the rest of your elementary school experience if it helps):
We’ll start off easy with a refresher on the water cycle: evaporation, condensation, precipitation. For instance, when water from a lake is absorbed into the air as ‘vapor’, we call it ‘evaporation’. When that water vapor turns into clouds we call it ‘condensation’. And when those clouds rainwater back down over the earth, we call it ‘precipitation’. It’s coming back to you, right?
What’s happening on your windows fits is, in fact, a tiny reenactment of the larger water cycle process. Your room acts as a miniature version of the environment. Water evaporates and condenses. Obviously, it doesn’t rain from actual clouds in your home: but if you’ve ever taken a long, hot shower, you know the steam can condense on the ceiling – and ‘rain’ down as it drips.
Now every room in your home doesn’t get saturated like that bathroom. But generally speaking, all air within your home holds some water. What we call ‘humidity’ (when the ‘air feels thick’ in the summer) is a concentration of water in the air. Warmth causes water to evaporate. The warmer it is in a moist environment, the more water is turned into vapor. If your home is warm and you’ve got a standing water source somewhere, your home might feel excessively humid, as that water is evaporated into the air inside your home.
When that vapor comes into contact with a cooler surface (like a window exposed to snow), the vapor condenses into water droplets. In the summer (when it’s warm outside and your AC is on) you might notice condensation on the outside of your windows.
In winter, it’s just the opposite. Your warm home holds more moisture than the cooler air outside. If your home has single-pane, uninsulated windows, there’s a very real chance that droplets form on the surface facing into your home. It’s common enough, but it can be a source of annoyance. Or worse.
Now the Real Question: Is Window Condensation a Problem?
While window condensation itself isn’t necessarily harmful, condensation on your home’s window panes is one of the top signs of poor window insulation, and often indicates a problem with your windows. Poor window insulation can drive up your utility bills and let your home’s warm, toasty air escape — things nobody in Massachusetts wants in the winter!
Request a free estimate with A&A Services online today and we will be happy to visit your North Shore area home to examine your windows.
How Do I Get Rid of Window Condensation?
Modern developments mean you don’t have to accept whatever atmosphere the universe sees fit to award your home. There are a number of ways to combat humidity within your home.
First and foremost, if the room is warm AND humid, a dehumidifier will help draw out the moisture. The dryer the warmth, the less moisture in the air, and, the less water can condense on cooler windows. Dehumidifiers aren’t the behemoths of yesteryear anymore. Space-conscious (not to mention cost-conscious) dehumidifiers are available for virtually any household.
Change the temperature of the room
Equalizing the temperatures will also get rid of moisture, although this isn’t always a practical solution. Chasing the weather with your thermostat can be expensive, and turning off your heat during the winter entirely defeats the purpose! But allowing the temperature down from a balmy 80º F to somewhere in the low to mid-70ºs will reduce the temperature disparity some. (Maybe just throw on a sweater.)
Repairing water leaks
You never know what’s going on with a neglected water pipe. Excessive moisture might mean something, somewhere, is leaking. You’ll want to plug any problem spots to prevent the humidity inside from rising without warning in the future. Standing water also attracts unsavory visitors, which we all do our best to avoid.
Update your windows:
It’s possible there’s a problem with the windows themselves. If your windows are double-pane, for example, but condensation is forming between the panes, that’s a problem. That area is meant to remain sealed. It’s filled with argon or krypton gas, which is useful in any climate, but can escape after years of natural movement from the glass itself. This weakens the seal over time, allowing a release of the gas – and a loss of its benefits!
If your windows are leaking, it might be time to take a stronger tac than a dehumidifier or an extra layer in winter. A&A Services uses premier products from our partners at Sunrise and vanguard to ensure your newly installed windows lower your energy bills, increase your home’s resale value, and do something to prevent condensation on the inside of your home’s windows. We offer a 100% Guarantee on labor.
Our capable team is available through our contact page, or you can use the phone number (978) 741-0424. Whether it’s purely cosmetic or you’re ready to cut down on your heating and cooling expenses, A&A Services is dedicated to providing you with dependable service and dramatic results.