Condensation forming on your windows can be worrying, but it’s not always a problem. Your local provider of replacement windows, Renewal by Andersen® of Portland, discusses the different kinds of window condensation below.
How Does Window Condensation Form?
Condensation forms when moisture in the air meets a cold surface and collects on it. One of the most common examples is the moisture that collects on the surface of a cool drinking glass. The moisture didn’t come from the contents of the glass; it came from the moisture around it. The amount of moisture in the air in the form of the gas is called humidity. The higher the humidity levels, the more moisture will condense on a cold surface.
Summer Window Condensation
During summer, condensation typically forms on the exterior side of windows. This is not a cause for alarm, as it only means two things: it’s humid outside and your windows are much cooler than the outdoor temperature, as is often the case when your air conditioner is turned on. You can’t control outdoor humidity, but you can simply wipe off moisture on your window if it’s blocking your view. This is not a problem that requires replacement windows.
Winter Window Condensation
You may also notice condensation on your windows during the winter season, this time on the interior side. This is because the conditions are reversed: the outdoor air is cold and dry, while the indoor air is warm and more humid. Unless your windows feel warm from the outside (which indicates a heat leak), this is, again, not a reason to be worried, though it may indicate that your home is more humid than it should be. Your humidifier may be set too high, or moisture from areas such as the bathroom and kitchen are not being vented properly. Addressing these issues can help prevent window condensation.
Condensation Between Panes
The airspace between double-pane windows is supposed to be airtight, so if you see condensation between the glass panes, this means the seal was broken. If you’ve had this airspace filled with insulating gas, the glass panes may appear as if they’re being pulled towards each other in the center. It may also appear discolored. If this is the case, call your window contractor for repairs.