Window Condensation – Cause and Cure


Condensation | Replacement Windows | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors and Remodeling
Kitchens are a major contributor of moisture in the air. Excellent ventilation via optimum window selection and a great range hood make a real difference.

Condensation on your windows can be both annoying and damaging to your Madison WI home. Because it’s easily spotted on windows, condensation is often considered a “window problem.” As a reason to consider replacement windows, it’s often Number 1. It shows up on a window as symptom of something more complicated. The cool surface of your windows causes excess humidity in the air to shift from a gas to a liquid.

Air within the house that’s saturated with too much humidity is the cause. Air can only hold so much water and when warm, moist air contacts a cool surface like window glass water droplets form.

Where does the moisture in your home come from? Studies show that normal breathing and perspiration by a family of four adds half a pint of water to the air every hour – that’s gallons of water just living normally. Cooking can add 4-5 pints and every shower can add another half pint. Running dishwashers, washing machines and clothes dryers will add several more pints to the air.

Poorly insulated basements and crawl spaces will add humidity to the air and the mechanical humidifier installed to add moisture in the winter may be overdoing it.

In a new home or home with recently added structure building materials will give off moisture as they cure in place – fortunately, this is a temporary situation.

Reduce Humidity – Beat Condensation

Window Condensation | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors and Remodeling
Wet windows are a symptom of too much humidity – choosing the right “fix” impacts heating and cooling costs and overall family comfort.

Water or even ice on the inside of a window is the result of too much humidity. But, how much is too much? How do you know?

Warm air holds more moisture than cool air. On a really warm, muggy Madison WI night with your air-conditioner running full blast, condensation on window glass is common – the moisture-laded outside air hits cool glass and deposits water drops. The air is saturated and cannot hold any more moisture.

Here are options for controlling indoor humidity:

  • Use dehumidifiers in basements and crawl spaces
  • Make sure humidifiers are adjusted properly
  • Vent all appliances outdoors – range hoods, clothes dryer vents, etc.
  • Make sure attic and crawl space areas are vented
  • Use exhaust fans that vent air outdoors when showering and cooking – if you don’t have them, install new ones
  • Install energy-efficient Pella replacement windows

Select Energy-efficient Replacement Windows

Installing new high-efficiency windows helps to keep inside glass surfaces an even temperature so when it’s cool outside and warm inside – or vice versa – the difference is so subtle there’s no appreciable difference. Stable humidity reduces the chance for condensation.

Behind Pella high-efficiency replacement windows is a complex series of tests and evaluations to make each energy- and environmentally-friendly, including:

  • Exposure to extreme temperatures – with infrared cameras detecting energy loss
  • Accelerated weathering – creating years’ worth of weather in a fraction of the time, monitoring reaction to climate extremes
  • Advanced testing of wood preservatives to ensure resistance to moisture, decay and stains from mold and mildew

The latest engineering and energy-efficient window designs help to reduce the accumulation of moisture in the inside air. These high-tech measures include:

  • Insulating Glass – Long-lasting insulating glass, sealed to provide both a clear view and exceptional energy efficiency.
  • EnduraGuard Wood Protection – Advanced protection for wood, guarding against moisture, decay, stains from mold and mildew and even termite damage.
  • Insulating Properties – Wood is an excellent insulator because it doesn’t conduct heat or cold. Research shows wood provides more than 1,800 times better insulation than aluminum-framed windows.
  • Coefficient of Expansion (COE) – All materials expand and contract with extremes in outdoor temperature. Pella wooden windows have the lowest COE compared to common window options. The amount a material expands/contracts contributes to its stability, wear and ability to keep the elements out of a building. The lower the COE the better.
  • Energy Star – Rating all new windows with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) program promoting energy-efficient products.
  • NFRC – Windows with National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) highly energy-efficient ratings.

Choose Experienced Window Professionals

Installation of new energy efficient replacement windows is critical element in reducing condensation and saving on heating and cooling costs. Proper installation makes a huge difference in the desired results.

Pella Windows relies upon certified Pella windows installation professionals. Sims Exteriors and Remodeling is a Certified Installation Contractor for all new Pella windows in Southern Wisconsin. For all your replacement windows, contact Sims Exteriors and Remodeling and choose the best options to reduce condensation in your Madison WI home.


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