Curling up in a warm and cosy house while the world outside is icy cold, is one of winter’s greatest pleasures. But that joy can easily be lost when you start to see spots of condensation speckling your window panes. Not only does it make that frost-struck world harder to see, it can cause a niggling worry. Something about it just doesn’t feel right.
This is why we’ve chosen to share some facts about condensation on double glazed windows; including why it appears, the best way to tackle it and how you can prevent it even appearing in the first place.
What can cause condensation on windows?
The basic cause of condensation is moist, warm air hitting a cold, hard surface.
Warm air is able to hold a lot more moisture than cold air can, so when air cools suddenly any moisture in it is lost quickly, forming droplets. Windows are pretty much magnets for condensation. Being the thinnest point between the inside and outside, they are usually the coldest surface in the room. As a result, they’re often the first area in a home where condensation begins to form.
Is condensation on windows normal?
The good news is that condensation isn’t complete unusual, and doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with your windows. However, condensation can cause serious damage to window frames and the surrounding area, so it is always best to tackle it as soon you see it.
Can condensation on windows cause mould?
The other reason you shouldn’t ignore condensation is that it can lead to the growth of black mould around your windows. As well as looking unpleasant, black mould can be harmful to your health and it is sensible to take reasonable precautions to prevent this becoming a persistent problem.
What can help prevent condensation on windows?
Your first thought for tackling this issue may be about how to absorb condensation from windows. But short of taking a towel and dabbing the glass glass, there is no reliable way of removing that moisture.
This is why it’s a much better idea to take steps to prevent the condensation forming in the first place. Particularly if you notice it appearing regularly throughout the crisp winter months.
If you’re looking to prevent condensation in your home, the first thing you should try to do is reduce the humidity in the air.
Condensation is a sure sign that there is too much moisture being generated and it’s becoming trapped in your house. Minimise this, and you will lower the chances of that unwanted water appearing.
The second thing you need to address is ventilation. A regular flow or movement of air will stop it fixing on to cold services, whilst also helping to maintain an even temperature.
One final, effective way to reduce condensation on old or single pane windows is to replace them. Double and triple glazed windows sandwich pockets of heat reflective gas between the panes of glass. This provides an extra layer of insulation, keeping the cold external air away from the warm air inside your house.
If you already have double glazing, you might be wondering why condensation keeps forming in the same area. This could be due to a fault with the sealed unit and it may no longer be air-tight causing the insulating gas with in the unit to “leak” out, as such the unit may need to be replaced.
The benefits of double glazing are two-fold, not only with they help reduce condensation, but can help lower your heating bills as well – so they’re definitely worth considering if you haven’t already.
How to treat condensation on windows
That covers the basic principles for combating condensation in your home. There are plenty of ways you can put these in to practice, but here are some simple tips that we recommend you try:
Don’t leave clothes to dry inside your house
Clothes dry when the water they were washed in evaporates. But that water is just evaporating into the air, which is where it will stay until it meets some cold, hard glass. If you can, get your clothes onto a washing line outside or invest in a tumble dryer.
But, make sure you get a dryer that can be vented to the outside via a hole in the wall or a condenser dryer which holds on to the moisture that is sucked out of the clothes. Otherwise, you’re still just replacing one source of moisture for another.
Turn on your extractor fans
Kitchens and bathrooms are usually the biggest culprits for causing condensation. All that steam, from your scalding hot shower or simmering pans, quickly fogs the air and will turn to water droplets on any cold surface it hits.
This is why you usually find an extractor fan in either or both rooms. These will suck up the worst of the warm, damp air out of the house. Keep them on for fifteen or twenty minutes after you’ve finished cooking or showering for full effect. If you don’t have an extractor fan in your kitchen or bathroom, opening a window whilst cooking/showering will ensure there’s adequate ventilation to minimise a build-up of steam.
Pop lids on to your pans
Another kitchen tip is to put lids on the pots and pans you use on the hob – particularly when you are boiling or steaming food.
This way, any evaporating water will simply condense against the lid and won’t escape to add humidity to your home.
Move your pot plants outside
Plants can bring a lot of life, light and freshness to your home. Unluckily, they can also bring moisture, especially if they’re situated on a window sill or in a conservatory. If you’re really struggling with condensation, consider removing any flowers or large plants for a while.
Invest in a dehumidifier
This is a machine that will suck a lot of the moisture out of the air. Just make sure to regularly empty the drip tray (where all the moisture will wait as water). If you don’t, you will just create another “source” of moisture to dampen the air. The gathered water can also begin to go mouldy, which means the spore and bacteria will start to circulate as the dehumidifier operates. This is definitely not something you want to happen.
Windows covered in condensation don’t just look bad, they can seriously damage your window frames and even impact on your health. We hope this post has give you some simple solutions for tackling it and shown it is not always bad news when you spot some condensation on your windows.