This article was published on March 19, 2018
Condensation on timber windows can cause significant damage to the paintwork and frames if left untreated, not to mention the curtains and wallpaper around it. It’s also very frustrating to have to go around your home each morning drying windows and mopping up water off the window cills!
But what is condensation, and how can it be prevented?
Condensation on windows is a direct result of heat loss through the glass. As the outside temperature drops, the glass in single glazed or old narrow double glazed windows becomes cold. When the warm air in the room touches the cold glass, it immediately cools and the moisture present in the air condenses on the cold surface of the glass.
You don’t have to replace your windows to take control of your condensation problems, so we’ve put together some simple and practical tips to help you take control of condensation in your home.
The three main factors that influence the level or presence of condensation are:
1. The outside temperature
2. Moisture trapped in the air in the room (ventilation)
3. The inside room temperature (insulation)
Whilst there is little you can do to influence the external temperature, you can influence points 2 & 3.
Reduce the amount of moisture present in the air.
This may seem harder than it actually is – there’s lots of ways to help lower moisture levels in the air and ventilate your rooms. Drying clothes on radiators is a key factor which increases condensation, so try to avoid it by drying clothes outside or on a clothes horse. Opening a window when cooking, fitting an electric extractor fan in the bathroom or simply opening your windows slightly every day in each room to change the air and let moisture out will help to reduce condensation.
Maintain the temperature in the room
We all know energy costs are constantly rising and making our homes as energy efficient as possible has to be a priority to enable us to keep control of how much we spend on heating our homes. Once we’ve generated the heat, we want to keep it in, so insulating your home makes good sense.
To do this, you need to heat the room and maintain the surface temperature of the glass to the same or close to the room temperature. The only way to do this is to install High Performance Insulating Glass units in the windows, or secondary glazing behind the existing frames. The whole purpose is to create an insulated barrier between the outer pane of glass which is cooled by external temperature, and the inner pane of glass which is warmed by the internal temperature. Modern double glazed units can have special coatings on the glass which reflect heat back into the room, and gas filled cavities which provide higher insulation values, thus reducing the heat loss through the glass and maintaining the temperature of the inner pane. As a result, the chances of condensation forming are reduced. It’s simple physics, but you can’t eliminate condensation simply by installing double glazed windows or secondary glazing. You have to control the amount of moisture in the air.
If you live in an older period home property with sliding sash windows which you can’t open because they’re painted or stuck shut, then having them renovated so you can open them to ventilate the room and simultaneously draught seal to stop cold air ingress, will also assist in controlling condensation. Even better than this, it may also be possible to replace the sliding sashes with new Energy Saver Sashes which contain high performance double glazed units that can reduce the heat loss by up to 60%, whilst retaining the original frames and character of the windows. This will improve the window’s energy efficiency and help maintain the temperature in the room, which in turn helps you control condensation and fuel bills.
Since 1979, our family run business has been designing, manufacturing and installing a wide range of high performance, top security, bespoke timber windows and doors in homes across the North of England. Thanks to the latest developments in glass, we can now offer superior energy efficiency across our entire range which includes:
For more information, get in touch with our team today on 01642 456167.
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