You’ve just gotten a window installation, but your newly installed windows already have condensation on them. You may worry that something went wrong during the installation, but this is normal.
Our window replacement contractors in Naperville, IL, at Opal Enterprises, explain why condensation appears on newly installed windows and when there’s a cause to worry. Read on to learn more about why condensation forms on new windows.
Condensation Means Your Windows Are Working
When you see condensation forming on the inside surfaces of your newly installed windows, it may seem like a problem. However, it actually indicates that your windows are functioning properly. All materials allow some level of vapor flow.
Glass is no exception, and it will allow moisture in the air to pass through at a slow rate. At the same time, your new high-performance windows are also very effective at preventing heat from escaping. This creates ideal conditions for condensation to form. During winter, indoor air holds more moisture than cold outdoor air.
When this warm, humid indoor air makes contact with the cold window glass, it cools down quickly. As the air cools, it can no longer hold all the moisture it was carrying. Some of this moisture condenses out as tiny water droplets on the colder window surface.
This process is perfectly normal and shows your windows are not drafty and insulated well. Over time, as the indoor and outdoor environments equalize in temperature and moisture levels, condensation will occur less and less.
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What Is the Indoor Range for Humidity?
Maintaining proper home humidity levels is important for comfort and preventing condensation issues with new windows. The ideal humidity range is between 30-50% relative humidity (RH). When indoor air rises above 50% RH, it provides enough moisture in the air for condensation to start forming more readily on cold surfaces like windows.
Prolonged high humidity stresses building materials and makes the home feel damp. On the other hand, indoor air below 30% RH can feel dry and cause static shocks or itchy eyes. It also removes moisture from wood floors and furnishings over time. A humidity range of 30-50% RH balances comfort, health, and condensation prevention factors best.
Should You Be Concerned if Condensation Forms on the Window Frame?
It’s quite common for new windows to experience some condensation forming not just on the glass panes but also on the frames surrounding them. This alone is generally not a cause for worry or a sign that your windows were poorly installed.
There are a few reasons why window frames may get condensation:
- Frames are typically made of wood, which is more porous than glass. Moisture can penetrate wood surfaces more easily.
- Areas where the frame meets the glass (known as glazing beads), create little crevices where humid air can get trapped.
- Frames are often not as well insulated as the centers of the window panes and will experience a greater temperature differential, leading to condensation.
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When to Worry About Condensation Around Newly-Installed Windows
If the condensation is excessive and visibly causing mold or water damage, then you may have reason to worry. Or if condensation occurs year-round or seems isolated to specific points, which could indicate installation flaws letting in water. Otherwise, mild frame condensation poses no issues.
If your windows are dripping in condensation and you’re starting to get concerned, your windows may still not be the problem since condensation is normal. Our window replacement specialists at Opal Enterprises suggest a few ways you can cut down the amount of condensation on your newly installed windows:
Open a Window in Your Home
Cracking open a window, even during colder months, can help reduce excess condensation on windows. Opening a window increases air circulation and airflow across the glass panes. This ventilation prevents pockets of humid air from becoming trapped right against the window surface.
More air movement makes it less likely that moisture will condense out onto the window. Try opening windows for at least 30 minutes a few times a day, especially in rooms where condensation is worst. Increased airflow is a natural and easy way to help reduce condensation.
In addition to cutting down on the amount of condensation on your windows, there are several other benefits to opening windows. One of the most notable is that it can help refresh your home no matter what the season. Along with the refresh, it can get rid of stubborn smells in your home that may be unpleasant.
Move Any Plants Away from the Window
Houseplants can contribute to higher humidity levels around windows if they are placed directly in front of them. Plants release water into the air through normal transpiration processes. This means the area around a plant will have elevated moisture levels.
If you have houseplants sitting on window sills or shelves close to the glass, their transpiration may be enough to encourage condensation formation. Moving plants even just a few feet farther from the windows can make a difference. The added distance allows the humid microclimate around the plant to dissipate before reaching the glass.
Putting a bit more space between plants and windows is a simple adjustment that may help reduce condensation in problem areas. Proper plant care, like appropriate watering, can also minimize additional moisture released into indoor air.
Learn More About Condensation on Your Newly-Installed Windows
At Opal Enterprises, our team of experienced Naperville, IL, window replacement specialists can help you further understand why condensation is forming on your newly installed windows. We can do so by giving you advice or coming out to your home to see if there is a cause for concern.
Contact us today to learn more about why there’s compensation around your newly installed windows.