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What Causes Condensation in Your Home and How to Prevent It

window condensationIf you notice condensation on your windows it is likely as a result of high humidity. This condensation can be on the inner or outer side of the window and can occur regardless of the season. Window condensation is cause for concern since high indoor humidity can have a variety of negative effects. These include damage to wooden fixtures, walls and furniture, and potential adverse health effects for occupants. 

Why Does Window Condensation Appear?

Warm air holds moisture, while cool air is dry; and when warmer air hits a cooler area, such as the spaces next to windows and walls, it cools off and can no longer hold that moisture. That moisture then collects on nearby surfaces including windows.

In the summer, it’s not unusual to see water condensing on windows though it is usually on the outside where it is less likely to have negative interior effects. The outside air condenses when it hits the cooler window surface. This tends to happen with energy-efficient windows. An excessively muggy home in the warmer seasons also can result in interior window condensation if the difference in temperature between inside and outside is high enough, such as during a cool evening.

Reduce Humidity

The best way to reduce condensation on windows is to lower relative humidity inside your home. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, ranging from the relatively simple option of kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans to the more intensive and expensive, such as installing a whole-house dehumidifier or ventilation system. If your high humidity issues are localized to one room or area, such as a finished basement, try a portable dehumidifier.

It is important to remember in the winter that air that is too dry can pose as many problems as humid indoor air. Dry air can chap lips, dry out skin, and increase the risks of cold and flu transmission. Dry air can also warp and crack furniture.

Learn more about preventing window condensation and about overall air quality by contacting Brennan’s Heating & Air Conditioning at (703) 491-2771 . We also stock a variety of indoor air quality solutions.

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