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Window Condensation And What It Means

So… What Is Condensation And Why Are You Seeing It On Your Windows?

Condensation is when moisture in the air collects on a surface in small water droplets. This build-up can be particularly noticeable on your home’s windows. This can be normal, but it can also indicate an underlying problem. 

Condensation will collect on a window’s surface when there is a difference in temperature between the inside and outside of your home. Warmer air contains more humidity, while cooler air does not hold as much moisture. When the moisture in the warm air comes in contact with the colder surface of the window, the moisture will collect on that surface and create condensation. 

The moisture on your window can form on either side of the glass. Where the condensation accumulates depends on both the temperature inside and outside of your home. On a winter day, where the inside will likely be warmer, condensation may form on the inside. In contrast, if it’s a hot day and you cranked the a/c, the condensation will collect on the outside of your home. 

The good news, however, is that the moisture build-up itself poses no problem. Eventually, the build-up of droplets will simply evaporate and your windows will clear themselves up. 

When It’s Not Normal

Now that we have established an understanding of what condensation is and how it forms, it is important to know that not all condensation is normal. One of the most obvious examples could be condensation that develops between the panes of glass in your windows. The space between the panes of glass typically is filled with an inert gas that helps provide an insulating layer for your home. This space is meant to stay completely sealed in order to keep the gas in and everything else out. With that said, condensation that happens to form between the panes is a sign that the window’s seal has failed. This failure means that your window is no longer performing as intended and has lost its ability to insulate your home – making it less energy efficient. 

As a day progresses and the temperatures outside fluctuate, it can be normal to see some build-up of moisture. If the condensation stays on your windows for extended periods of time, this can also be a sign that the window has failed. The presence of the moisture, if it doesn’t evaporate, can cause water damage and eventually lead to mold. So be sure to keep an eye and nose out for mold and a stale smell around your windows.

What To Do

If you’re noticing what we have classified as a normal build-up of condensation on your windows, you may be able to quickly solve this problem with a humidifier. The humidifier will help increase ventilation and change the air temperature inside your home. If it isn’t “normal”, the best solution is to contact a professional to identify the issue. From there they can determine if your home’s windows need to be replaced.