During hot, humid weather, you might have noticed something odd in your home — your windows are constantly fogging up. Known as condensation, excess moisture isn’t just unsightly, it can actually be a sign that there’s something wrong with your HVAC system. If you’re wondering what causes condensation on windows in the summer months, take a look at what our experts here at Thompson Creek have to say about hot weather window condensation.
What Is Condensation?
The air is filled with tiny water droplets known as water vapor. While you can’t see water vapor with the naked eye, when those tiny droplets make contact with a cool surface, a natural process called condensation transforms the water vapor from an airborne, gaseous state into liquid.
You might have noticed condensation dripping off a can of soda soon after you remove it from the refrigerator or your glasses fogging up when you step out of an air-conditioned room into hot, humid weather. It often happens in bathrooms, especially if you have a family member who’s fond of taking long, hot showers.
What Causes Condensation on Windows in Summer Weather?
While you might think that condensation on windows in the summertime is a sign that you need to repair or replace your windows, that’s usually not the case. In fact, when it comes to condensation inside your home, wet, foggy windows are generally an indicator that the indoor humidity levels are dangerously high.
During cold weather, especially in the early morning hours, the exterior air is colder than the air inside your home. When the outdoor air connects with the glass, the water that’s suspended in the air liquefies. When the mercury drops, those liquefied water vapors instantly transform into ice, creating frost on your windows.
In the summer months, the air inside your home is often cooler than the air outside when you’re running your air conditioning. As a result, the interior side of the window glass can become foggy and wet as the moisture in the indoor air makes contact with the window, causing the moisture to liquefy.
The primary cause of condensation on windows in the summertime is excessively high indoor humidity levels. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, when outdoor temps reach 20 degrees or higher, indoor humidity levels should be at about 35%. Much higher than this and your home can become a breeding ground for dangerous mold, and you could wind up with moisture-related damage to your walls, flooring and household wiring.
How Can I Reduce Summertime Condensation on Windows?
To control condensation on your windows in the summer, you need to reduce your indoor humidity. Installing a dehumidifier, cleaning out your attic vents and using your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans can go a long way towards controlling indoor moisture levels. You might also want to take a look at waterproofing your basement floors and walls and adding extra insulation around your windows.
Why Doesn’t Condensation Form Inside Old Windows?
Old, drafty windows don’t just drive up your heating and cooling costs — they do a great job letting excess moisture escape from your home, much the same way as your bathroom fan pulls out humid air after you’ve taken a bath or shower.
What If There’s Condensation Inside a Double or Triple-Pane Window?
Condensation, or fogging, that appears between the panes of older double or triple-paned windows, usually won’t clear up, even if you reduce the humidity levels in your home. That’s because this type of condensation is often a sign that the gas between the panes has leaked out through a tiny hole or crack, and that means it’s time to replace your window.
Contact Thompson Creek Today
To learn more about what causes condensation on windows in summer, contact our Thompson Creek window experts. We’ll help you understand if you’re experiencing condensation on windows in summer due to high humidity levels in your home or as a result of leaks or cracks in your older double- and triple-pane windows