Is Window Condensation Normal?
How to turn your conservatory into a “plant hotel” this winter
In high summer, late spring or the first flush of early autumn, a conservatory or orangery offers its owners pleasant vistas, and bursts of colour and light. In the chillier, darker months of the year, however, we can be tempted to retreat into the cosier core of our homes. If your conservatory gets unbearably cold in the winter, why not contact us and see how we can help upgrade your conservatory into a winter haven?
Luckily, spending less time in your conservatory in winter doesn’t have to mean it stops being a useful space for some other residents of your property — your frost-sensitive outdoor plants. What’s more, packing your conservatory with greenery can completely transform the space into a lush, airy time capsule and a herald of the oncoming spring.
This is your handy guide to overwintering your plants in your conservatory.
Is Window Condensation Normal?
You might have heard that condensation on your windows is a bad sign, but this isn’t always the case.
Condensation is more likely to form on your window panes on cold mornings, so you might be noticing it much more as we near the middle of winter. The good news is that this condensation can be completely normal. Even better, it could be a sign that your new windows are doing a great job at trapping the heat inside your home.
If your windows are streaming with moisture and black mould is growing on your walls and window frames, then there’s no denying that you have a serious damp problem. Nevertheless, there are a few different types of condensation that you should be aware of — and not all of them are problematic for your windows or home.
Believe it or not, there are actually three types of condensation. Exterior (the good), interior (the bad), and between the panes of glass in your windows (the ugly). Read on to understand the difference, what causes them, and what you can do to solve your condensation issues.
What does condensation on windows mean?
If you’re noticing your windows fog up as the weather gets colder, don’t worry — this is normal and to be expected. So what’s going on? Condensation occurs when humidity in the air lands on a cooler surface, such as your window. The water molecules cluster together and ‘stick’ to the surface as small water droplets.
It can be tempting to panic about there being condensation on your windows, especially if you’ve recently had your double glazing installed or replaced. However, condensation on the outside of your windows is a sign that they’re successfully reducing the transfer of heat from indoors to outdoors. With this in mind, you can see why condensation is actually more likely to occur if you’ve recently had new, energy-efficient windows installed in your home. If you are experiencing exterior condensation like this, just be happy that your windows are hard at work!
Why do you get condensation on the inside of windows?
As the days grow colder, the difference between the inside and outside temperature increases. This makes it more likely that condensation will form on the inside of your windows in the form of fogging and steaming, which can be quite noticeable.
You might be surprised to learn that the issue is actually caused by the humidity inside your home. Cooking, showering and drying clothes inside all increase the issue. Frustratingly, the moisture caused by condensation creates an excellent environment for mould and mildew to flourish. These can cause some unpleasant health problems such as allergies and infections. Be sure to never leave any indoor condensation untreated as it can rot wooden window frames and cause damage to your home’s structural integrity.
Sorting the problem swiftly is the best thing for your health and home. Plus, it could also save you thousands of pounds, the cost to fix the issue if left untreated.
Why do you get condensation on the outside of windows?
Depending on your outlook, condensation on the outside of windows will either be unsightly or create a nice atmosphere of cosiness.
Whichever way you see it, you’ll be relieved to know that outside condensation is actually a positive sign. That’s right, your windows are doing their job effectively.
Exterior condensation indicates that your windows are preventing heat loss from your home. What’s more, there’s no need to wipe them down as they should dry naturally as the weather warms up throughout the day.
While you can be confident that no damage is occurring to you or your property if you find this type of condensation, you should still give your window sills and frames a check over for any little cracks or gaps that might let moisture collect inside your walls. If this happens it could lead to a problematic damp issue — and it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Why do you get condensation between window panes?
Spotted condensation between your window panes? Be aware, this is a sign you have a failing window unit.
Window seals have a job to do. Unfortunately, if you see fogging between the panes of glass, they’re no longer fulfilling it. If this has happened to your windows, the insulative gas has leaked out of your double or triple glazing and moisture has seeped in. This will become clear when the temperature of the glass drops below the dew point, as condensation will form between the panes!
Once the insulating gas has leaked out of the window there’s no going back. Always try to fix the problem as soon as possible or endure a poorly-performing window. It’s not always possible to avoid seal failure as lots of things can cause it. Anything from extreme weather conditions to everyday wear could have caused your internal condensation.
You might be able to tell how big the break in the seal is, as the more condensation there is, the bigger the break (generally speaking). We’re sorry to say that the only way to solve broken window seals is to replace your windows. This might sound tedious, but with a professional provider like us, replacing your windows can be quick and easy.
How do you stop window condensation?
Lots of household activities can release moisture into the air. Using the washing machine, drying clothes indoors, taking showers and baths, and simply cooking your dinner are all culprits that can contribute to increased moisture levels in your home.
While you can’t stop living your life to reduce the risk of condensation, there are some simple ways you can keep it under control.
Use your extractor fans
Bathing, showering, and cooking can all create humidity. Ensure you use your cooker hood extractor fan when you’re in the kitchen and install extractors in your bathroom and shower room if you can.
Regularly opening your windows helps to keep your home properly ventilated, so get into the habit of doing so every now and again. Also, you should always open your curtains and blinds in the morning to prevent the formation of humid air between the curtain and the glass.
Dry clothes outdoors
Try not to dry your clothes inside, but if you have to, doing so in a well ventilated area will help to reduce any humidity it can cause.
Try a dehumidifier
An automatic dehumidifier can really help to reduce condensation, and you should be able to purchase one at a range of different price points. The most affordable option is to buy a dehumidifier box with damp crystals which work to remove excess moisture from the air.
Turn down your thermostat
If you can turn your thermostat down by a few degrees and still feel comfortable, then see if this helps. Remember, the warmer the air in your home, the greater the amount of condensation!
Do you still get condensation with double and triple glazing?
You might be disappointed to see condensation on your newly installed double or triple glazed windows, but this is a good sign that they are functioning as they should.
Double glazed windows are certainly better at preventing condensation on the inside of the pane than single glazed windows (as they do a better job at retaining heat). However, if you are determined to reduce it as much as possible then you should upgrade to triple glazing.
An additional pane of glass can reduce your window’s U-value to 0.8 which means your home will be very well insulated (the lower the U-value, the more insulative the material). The temperature differential between less insulative windows and highly insulative walls can contribute to condensation as well. Installing triple glazed windows can deal with this problem as they are generally nearly as insulative as modern walls.
Upgrade your windows
If you don’t already have double or triple glazed windows and are currently facing a damp problem in your home, investing in a window glazing upgrade is the best first step towards tackling it.
At Atlantic windows, we create glazed doors and windows that are guaranteed to provide excellent thermal efficiency and security. Contact us today for your free, no-obligation quote or drop by our Hayle showroom to chat to us in person.