If you’ve done your research on reducing heating and air conditioning costs, you probably learned that New Jersey & New York Metro energy-efficiency experts recommend replacing aging windows with modern replacement windows that prevent air and moisture infiltration. Eliminating air leakage is critical to tackling out of control utility bills. And, controlling moisture (relative humidity) is essential for reducing condensation that can lead to mold and lead to decay of your home’s wood components. During extremely cold weather (thankfully, we haven’t had as many “deep freeze” events as the old-timers were predicting) excess moisture inside your home can even freeze, causing serious problems.
So, what should you do when you notice your brand new replacement windows are covered in condensation? Don’t panic. It isn’t common, but even high-quality replacement windows can have condensation, but your new windows probably aren’t to blame for the problem.
Here’s what you need to know about condensation and how to prevent problems, like moisture pooling on the window sills and a foggy outlook.
What’s Causing Condensation on Your Replacement Windows?
Condensation, and sometimes even ice, form when the window surface temperature drops below the dew point for air near the window. Modern insulated windows (designed to keep the interior window pane warmer) usually prevent condensation development in a home with healthy indoor humidity levels. However, if indoor relative humidity exceeds 40 percent, even slight temperature variances can cause icing and fog.
What Can You Do to Prevent Condensation on Your New Jersey or New York Home’s Windows?
High indoor humidity levels (above 40 percent) combined with low interior surface temperatures are what cause the problem, so you must either reduce humidity or warm-up the window surfaces. There are a couple of simple fixes that may eliminate your problem.
- 1Heavy drapes that were once necessary to keep cold air from seeping around your old windows and causing those bone-shivering drafts, aren’t necessary now that you have installed high-quality, airtight windows. Heavy drapes keep heated air from reaching the interior window panes, which lowers the surface temperature. Any minor condensation should dissipate quickly when you open your drapes. You might consider a new window treatment that allows conditioned air to reach the panels, i.e. lighter-weight fabric or an open style with sheers for privacy.
- Sleeping with the thermostat turned way down at night impacts humidity levels. If you prefer a significantly lower night-time temperature, you should notice the condensation quickly disappears with the rising sun. Although this is counter-intuitive when you’re trying to reduce energy costs, you could slightly crack the bedroom window, which will improve ventilation and reduce humidity, while leaving the thermostat closer to daytime temps.
What if Simple Fixes Don’t Correct the Problem?
Modern home construction has its benefits and drawbacks. New construction homes are almost “hermetically sealed,” which is a great benefit if you only want to control heating and cooling bills. However, without some way to draw in fresh, low-humidity air and push moist air out during cold weather months, you may have issues with condensation. Most homes built today accomplish this vital process via heat exchangers or heat recovery ventilators. Older homes aren’t as airtight, but replacing those sagging, drooping windows may have reduced air leaks so efficiently that you discover your home’s “normal” humidity level is simply too high for comfort. Even installing a new furnace or heating system can create problems if your contractor doesn’t take steps to keep indoor humidity low and fresh air circulating effectively.
Condensation on your windows may signal more serious problems inside your home. Your health and safety depend on adequate ventilation, that’s one reason we rarely recommend our New Jersey and New York Metro customers install only fixed windows in their home. You need to be able to open a window to improve air circulation once in a while (not to mention safety and code issues which require you to have egress windows to get out of the house in an emergency).
Improperly vented clothes dryers, plumbing leaks, foundation leaks that keep the basement damp and roof damage that allows rain and moisture to get inside the attic, all pose health risks associated with moisture (and create environments conducive to mold and mildew growth). If you see condensation forming on your new replacement windows, take a look around your home to see if you can spot problems (like the ones we just listed) that may increase humidity levels.
Tips To Control Indoor Humidity Levels
- Use an exhaust fan when cooking or taking a hot shower
- Check chimneys and vents for damage or blockages that may inhibit efficient drafting
- Inspect gas appliances to verify they vent outdoors
- Open a window when the furnace is operating
- Install a dehumidifier for extreme issues, but remember, most dehumidifiers can’t drop the indoor humidity to less than 50 percent.
You may want to discuss remediation options with a professional contractor if you find serious safety issues in your own, like leaking pipes or roof damage.
Renewal by Andersen of New Jersey & New York Metro Replacement Windows Solutions for Condensation
Whether you are experiencing condensation problems after you’ve installed high-quality replacement windows, or you are looking for solutions to correct excessive condensation formation because you have poor-performing windows ready to be retired, we can help. Fill in the short form on this page to request a call back or give us a quick call toll free at 1-888-826-2451 to schedule an in-home inspection and we’ll help you figure out how to eliminate condensation and icing on your windows.
Download our Free Guide to New Jersey & New York Metro Replacement Windows
- The Difference Between Replacement and New Construction Windows!
- The Different Kinds of Frame Materials and What That Means to Your Windows’ Performance and Longevity!
- How the Right Glass Can Save You Money on Your Heating & Cooling Bills!
- The Critical Role Proper Installation Plays in the Performance, Durability and Warranty of Your New Replacement Windows!
- What Features and Options are Important to You and What Role They Play in Your Ultimate Satisfaction Today, and for as Long As You Live in Your Home!