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Condensation on your windows: What Does it Mean?

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The House As A System

Condensation on your windows: What Does it Mean?


Window condensation may be worrying at first glance, but is it really an issue? You will need to analyze which kind of condensation you are dealing with because not all condensation is bad.

Every house is different, and every homeowner has a different issue. Depending on where the condensation is on the window, it may not be a cause for concern. However, if you see condensation in between the panes of glass, you need to address the problem.

Here are reasons, tips, and quick fixes to help reduce excess humidity and condensation in your household.

Condensation Outside the Home:

Breakdown: Good news, this is a not a service issue. If you’re seeing condensation on the outside of your windows, consider the weather and time of day. If it’s cold at night and you’re seeing the condensation in the morning, it’s similar to when you have condensation on your car early in the morning. The inside temperature of your house is simply warmer than the outside temperature and that causes moisture to collect.

This is also the case with high-performance, energy-efficient windows. One of the interesting qualities of high-performance glass is that you won't lose heat through the window or glass surface. Because the Glass is performing so well and not allowing heat to get out, the outside glass becomes a cold surface. This will produce condensation on the outside surface. This is a sign that your windows are doing their job.

Fix: Wait for the sunshine to come out and observe the difference. This should dry the condensation up. This type of condensation shows that your windows are working. This only occurs a few times a year and will disappear as the day gets warmer. However, if you are seeing condensation all day and your windows are aluminum or wood, it’s very likely that you will need to replace your windows with energy-efficient vinyl windows.

Condensation Inside the Home:

Breakdown: If you're seeing condensation on the inside of your windows it’s usually in the bathroom or bedroom and it’s a sign of too much relative humidity in the home and proper ventilation is needed. When we sleep at night and close our doors, we expel moisture in the air which can produce condensation on the inside of your window. This is not a service issue, there's nothing wrong with the windows. This is a result of too much humidity in the home. For starters, this doesn’t look good but more importantly, it can cause mold on windows or walls, a musty smell, or stains on the ceiling. This is extremely unhealthy for your family. The good news is that this is not a service issue.

Fix: To combat the problem, you need to improve the ventilation system in your home. Ventilation is the key and integral path for that moisture to escape. If your bathroom fan doesn’t hold up a few squares of tissue paper on its own, it’s time to consider a new one. When paired with a de-humidistat, a fan can control humidity levels in your home around the clock. This is the best method to reduce humidity and condensation inside the home.

Condensation Between The Glass Panes:

Breakdown: If you ever see fogging or moisture in between the two panes of glass in your windows, then that means your windows seals have broken. The air is flowing freely from outside to inside and to make matters worse, your home is not practicing energy efficiency.  When the outside temperature fluctuates, the glass in your windows will expand and contract. If your window seals or frames are metal, they won’t move with the glass, causing the seal to breakdown. This allows moisture to travel in and that’s when you see the condensation. Some homeowners will replace just the glass, but this is a Band-Aid solution.

The fix: This is a service issue and it’s time to replace your windows before they get too leaky. Replace the windows with energy efficient vinyl windows to stop the problem. This is a major project that takes time and research. If it’s not in the budget, Centra Windows may have a promotion that fits your needs or consider breaking up your window upgrades into more affordable phases. If you think of your home as an investment, then it’s important to consider factors other than just price while selecting products. Cutting corners to save a few dollars may not get the results you want.

Tips To Reduce Excess Humidity And Condensation:

  • Crack open a window or door for a few minutes daily to have air flow through your home
  • Open your drapes and blinds to allow air to circulate against the windows
  • Use energy efficient bath fans with a de-humidistat to regulate the moisture in the air
  • Use exhaust fans in your kitchen, laundry, and bathrooms
  • Make sure your clothes dryer is properly vented to the outside and your vent ducts are sealed
  • Open the louvers in your attic, basement, and crawl space and ensure they are the correct size to allow proper ventilation for the space
  • Open fireplace dampers to provide an escape route for moisture
  • Turn down your heat to reduce the difference in temperature between inside and outside

We are your certified Window Geeks

Centra Windows is not only the manufacturer but also the installer of its product, which enables us to offer a full warranty, eliminating any confusion between product performance and installation. We view the house as a system and understand how each of the elements must work correctly to maximize the comfort and energy efficiency of your home. Contact our local Employee Owners at 1-888-534-3333 or send us an email at for more information about this topic and many more. You can also sign up for our biweekly newsletter, providing all the tips and tricks about the window industry.

Written by: Les Ferris , August 3, 2021
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