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Why Are My Windows Sweating?

16 November 2012

Now that cooler temperatures have arrived, some homeowners may be noticing a disconcerting condition where windows begin to sweat.  In order to fix this problem, you must understand that sweating occurs when warm, damp air comes in contact with a cold, smooth surface.  Condensation such as this, is the reason that a can of pop sweats when you have it outside on a hot, summer day.)   Your home’s humidity levels should be 30-50% and even lower in the winter months.  If your home’s humidity is higher than this, it will be evident through “sweaty” windows.living room

How does this humidity get in the air?  Several ways, including:

  • Steaming produced from cooking
  • Gas fireplaces without proper ventilation
  • Improperly vented bathrooms
  • Bathroom doors with too small of a gap, that traps moist air in the room
  • Inadequate dryer vents
  • Carbon monoxide exhaled through one’s normal breathing process

white kitchen

Temporary Fixes:

  • Keep your home between 62 & 68 degrees during the winter.
  • Verify that your dryer vents are adequate for your home
  • Run a dehumidifier
  • Always run an exhaust fan when cooking and showering (especially if your bathroom doesn’t have windows)

A Permanent Solution:

The above ideas may temporarily alleviate the problem, but the only way to be completely done with it is to replace the offending windows because the condensation is evidence they are not providing ample insulation.  Windows best suited to provide insulation and increase your home’s energy efficiency are those that are triple pane.  This means they contain three panes of glass that are separated by air spaces.  They’re a great way to save on your energy bills because they have more surface area, which is used to absorb both warmth and cold putting less stress on your home’s furnace and air conditioner.  Vinyl and wood frames will work much better than those made of metal because metal is a conductor which means it will increase the sweating issue since it will transfer the cold air indoors.

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