Why Do I Have Condensation On the Inside of My Windows?

Why Do I Have Condensation On the Inside of My Windows?

Noticed condensation on your windows? If so, you're probably wondering where the moisture comes from and how to prevent it. 

"Why do I have condensation on the inside of my windows?" 

This is a common question we hear from homeowners who are considering window replacement or have recently had windows replaced. Window condensation can be irritating and worrisome and damage items in your home, such as wood windows, molding, and plaster. 

However, as odd as this may sound, condensation on the inside of your windows indicates that your windows are working as they should. In fact, once old windows are replaced with new quality windows, condensation might be more noticeable than it was with your old drafty windows. 

We'll explain this, but first, let us explain what window condensation really is.  

What Is Window Condensation?

Condensation is moisture in the air that deposits onto a cold surface. 

Cold air holds less moisture than warm air. When temperatures start to drop, warm air within your house comes into contact with cool glass surfaces. The water vapor that can no longer be held by the cooled air is deposited on the glass. 

Windows do not cause condensation; they just happen to be where moisture is most visible because they are typically the coldest surface in your home. 

Standard Causes of Window Condensation

Condensation is most likely a sign of excess moisture or humidity in the home. Humidity is caused by many everyday activities, including cooking, baths, laundry, dishwashers, fish tanks, plants, and others. 

New or remodeled homes' construction and insulation materials are designed for better efficiency. This is especially true of new windows. New energy-efficient windows keep cold air out, meaning that they also keep warm, moist air inside. 

Drafty or less energy-efficient windows allow warm, moist air to escape. So, if your new windows show more condensation than your old ones, it is likely because they are more airtight—less air enters your home from the outside. 

Your drafty older windows evaporated the moisture before it could collect on the window surface. 

Window Seal Failure Might Be the Culprit

This is the case in which you'd need to opt for window replacement. Windows have an airtight seal that prevents the exchange of your home's humid air with the air outside. If you see condensation between the glass of your multi-pane windows, that's a sign that their seal has been broken.

A broken seal means that your windows are no longer functioning as the stalwart barriers between the outdoors and indoors. If your windows were previously insulated with gas, you'll experience heightened energy bills, and your home will most likely struggle to maintain a consistent temperature if this problem is widespread. 

Old windows with warped glass or exposed to a great deal of sunlight are generally vulnerable to seal failures. Improper installation jobs can also play a role.

A few signs your condensation issues are bigger than you realized:

Mold Issues

Fungi thrive in moist, warm environments. Your home, should it be dealing with high humidity levels and poor ventilation, is just that. Mold is an insidious threat, and it can grow in the tiniest nooks, so if you're at all concerned, contact a professional mold remediator and have them do an assessment. In addition to structural degradation, it can pose a serious health risk to you and your family.

In fact, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, "potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints." 

In short, even if it has nothing to do with broken windows, you don't want window condensation lingering!

Water Damage 

Have your hardwood floors been looking a little swollen as of late? It isn't just spilled water threatening them; water in the air does, too. Floor first aid involves portable dehumidifiers and opening up the windows in this room. 

Of course, you should also address the underlying humidity issue with the help of roofing contractors.

Attic Ventilation Problems

Has your home always felt a little stuffy? Perhaps improper ventilation in your attic is causing this issue. You can learn more about this issue in our roofing contractor blog!

All attics are different, so it can be tricky to know if yours is on the fritz if you haven't seen your fair share. Multitalented roof repair professionals, such as Tony's Lifetime Exteriors, can accurately assess the shape and functionality of your attic and determine if it needs a little TLC.

Skyrocketing Energy Bills

Want to pay more to maintain your home's temperature? We didn't think so. 

A broken window seal indicates that your window's insulating properties have all but vanished, meaning that there's relatively little protecting your home from the cold air outside in that area. 

Given that this is Minnesota and snow and frigidity abound, you'll want to replace your windows ASAP to give your home the best protection possible.

Roomwide Discomfort

Good luck getting comfy in a room with a broken window seal. Their lack of insulating properties means they are quite skilled at letting the bone-chilling winter in! 

You deserve a home that keeps you warm, dry, and comfortable – you deserve new and working windows.

Continued Problems

What broke your seal in the first place? Was it a mold problem? Simply old age? Years of abuse? 

Regardless, defogging is only a cosmetic fix. It doesn't address what caused your window to break in the first place.

If the original cause isn't addressed, it's bound to come back repeatedly, meaning more bills and discomfort for you. Don't settle for anything less than you deserve! 

Get the job done right the first time with top-notch window replacement services.

What Can You Do About Window Seal Failure?

Though some companies offer quick fixes for this problem via defogging services, your best bet is full-out window replacement, as you'll probably just end up patching up metaphorical holes as the problems crop up again and again. Even HGTV recommends it! 

Get your window installation done right and be done with the issue for good. Once you make that repair call, though, you'll no doubt want a few pointers on how to keep things consistent, temperature-wise, in the offending room. Towels and dish rags are the old standby for temporarily fixing drafts, but it can be tricky to keep them in place. 

Caulk can also work in the short term, but it can be difficult to select the right product and detect all the areas where it needs to be applied. Don't hesitate to ask your window installation pro for advice.

Tips for Reducing Window Condensation

To reduce condensation on your windows, you should reduce the humidity levels in your home. 

There are several steps you can take here. 

Install Exhaust Fans in Bathrooms & Kitchens 

This simple step can help remove excess moisture from these rooms. And, because moisture often accumulates in bathrooms and kitchens, it doesn't hurt to run the fans now and again.

Run a Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier is a great way to remove excess water content from the air. This can be a good solution for especially humid rooms

However, if you already live in a drier climate or have certain health conditions, you might not want the air in your home to be too cold. 

Don't Air-Dry Clothes Indoors

While air-drying clothes can be a great way to lower your utility bill, it can also add moisture to your home. So, if you're tired of window condensation, stick with outdoor drying or with the dryer. 

Open Windows for a Short Time 

When you open the window, it helps stabilize the temperature of the window on the inside and outside. Getting the temperatures of the window more regulated can help remove the condensation.

Replace Single-Pane Glass

Single-pane windows allow for a much lower indoor humidity than double-pane windows. At Tony's Lifetime Exteriors, we strongly prefer triple-pane vinyl windows for every one of our products – enough to have written an entire window contractor blog on the subject. 

Check it out to learn the ins and outs of why this particular style is so versatile and hardy.

One thing we love about these windows for seal failure, though, is that they come with a built-in failsafe. If the seal between one pane and another breaks, an additional seal on one side can hold off extreme temperatures until help arrives. 

This means more affordability in the long run and less discomfort and stress, as singular breakages only lead to a repair call, not to a frigid draft dominating the corresponding room.

So, consider replacing single-pane windows with energy-efficient ones that come with Low-E coating and argon gas filling, and while they are not guaranteed to eliminate condensation, at least they should significantly reduce it. 

Beware of Window Defogging Services!

A relatively new service, window defogging is often touted as a way to fix condensation between the panes. It generally involves drilling a tiny opening into the pane, pumping it full of a defogging compound, and re-sealing the hole.

Window defogging might make your previously blurry windows look new again, but at the end of the day, it's just a cosmetic solution. The seal will still be broken, the strain on your energy bills will still be ever-increasing, and you'll just need to call up the same company again eventually when the condensation returns.

If you absolutely need to restore your window to its former good looks before it's replaced, then defogging can be an option. Just don't fall for the claims that it's a permanent fix, as nothing but tackling the problem at its root will be.

Keep an Eye Out for Moisture Damage & Call Us for Help

Interior window condensation is a clue that excess moisture is present, and it may lead to rotting wood and molding, deteriorating insulation, and other factors. Excessive indoor moisture or humidity is not the result of your windows, new or old.

If you are in the St. Cloud, Minnesota, area and searching for a team for your door or window installation needs, contact Tony's Lifetime Exteriors. Since 1973, we've provided our neighbors with the best customer service and exceeded expectations for years. 

Our licensed and certified contractors will help you develop a budget before ordering and installing your products of choice. Call our Sauk Rapids office today at 320-252-9086 or send us a message online to get started. 


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