Window condensation is a constant problem for homeowners during the winter months. Condensation can occur just about anywhere in your home aside from windows including walls, ceilings, inside closets and underneath roofs. When you experience condensation on your windows it is because you have your home closed up for the winter, causing the water vapor inside your home to create condensation on your windows.
We all experience condensation on our windows, but do we know what it actually is? The air that surrounds us consists of water; both water that we can see and that we cannot see. Air can only hold so much water, however. When the temperature in the air is lower than the dew point temperature, the water in the air will turn to liquid, which we see as condensation. Condensation is actually water that is changing from a gaseous state to a liquid state, which we know as condensation on our windows.
Why Does Condensation Occur in the Winter?
Most homeowners attempt to keep the internal temperature and humidity level of their home steady in the winter. Unfortunately the temperature outdoors doesn’t stay as steady, so when the temperature outside drops greatly, so does the temperature of the outside pane of your window, while the inside pane stays steady and warm, thanks to your furnace. The difference in the temperatures causes condensation on your window.
How Can I Prevent Condensation?
The only way to control the amount of condensation that forms on your windows is to control the amount of water vapor in your home. When the temperatures drop drastically outside, you need to decrease the amount of water vapor inside your home to decrease the condensation that occurs on your windows. One way to help prevent condensation is to use bathroom fans to exhaust the air outdoors not back into your home into your attic space. There are things that will occur indoors that you cannot control that will contribute to your condensation such as cooking, using the clothes dryer and certain interior paint.
New Homes versus Older Homes
You might also notice that newer homes have more condensation on their windows than older homes experience. This is because we have learned to make new homes more energy efficient, keeping the warm air inside, which makes the temperature difference on the windows greater, causing condensation. Older homes are more prone to drafts, letting the warm air into the outdoors, which makes for a less drastic temperature difference and therefore less condensation on the windows.
Condensation on Storm Doors
It is perfectly normal to experience condensation on your storm door. Storm doors are designed to protect your home from the elements and typically only have one pane. That pane will hold the outdoor temperature, so when the temperature is cold outside and the warm air from your home gets past the main door, you will have instant condensation.