What Causes Condensation to Form and How to Stop It

You may have noticed that every winter there seems to be a condensation issue around the windows. All of a sudden your dry window is dripping wet for apparently no reason. Now water is puddling on the window sill and dripping down the wall in a wet mess.  

What causes condensation to form on windows? Is it an indicator of a bigger problem? And what can be done to stop it? Let’s find out!

What Causes Condensation

Condensation is a result of warm, humid air hitting a cold surface. When that happens the air turns to liquid because the quickly cooling warm air can’t hold the moisture. Condensation can also occur when humidity levels are simply too high inside.

Windows are the prime spot for condensation in the winter because the glass is cooled by direct contact with the outside air. Also, the water has nowhere to go on glass. It beads up making the condensation obvious.

Is Condensation a Problem?

Condensation isn’t something that you want to see for a few reasons. For starters, it creates a mess. But anytime moisture is involved it could lead to mold and mildew problems that are much more difficult to deal with. The health of family members can even be impacted if mold and mildew start to grow.

When condensation isn’t wiped up it can soak into porous surfaces. The moisture can eventually damage wood and fabric beyond repair. Homeowners are lucky if all they have to do is repaint to get rid of water stains. If the problem isn’t addressed eventually drywall can be damaged, wood can rot and structural weakness can occur.

An indirect problem with condensation is higher energy costs. In the morning, windows with condensation are fogged up. Instead of the sunlight coming through the window and helping warm your home, the heat is used to evaporate the condensation. 

The other problem with this is that when the condensation is evaporated the moisture goes back into the air. This makes humidity levels inside higher, which makes the condensation problem worse. 

If you see condensation it’s an indicator that you have a weak spot in the home’s insulating envelope. It’s also a sign there are humidity problems inside. 

How to Stop Condensation From Forming

Condensation is a problem that won’t go away on its own. If left unchecked, condensation can do serious damage. Plus, it can negatively impact your health if it causes mildew and mold to form. For those reasons, condensation should be addressed immediately.

Stop the condensation drip with these simple tips. 

Use a Dehumidifier

If high humidity levels are to blame for the condensation a dehumidifier can help. There is dehumidifying equipment that can be installed within the HVAC system, but the simpler and cheaper option is to use a portable dehumidifier. Use it in the room where you see condensation to see if it makes a difference.

LEARN MORE: Do Humidifiers Use a Lot of Electricity? 

Use Vents

Anytime you shower or when you are cooking, turn on the exhaust fan. It will help draw moist air out of the home to keep humidity levels low. 

Don’t Dry Clothes Inside

Even though it’s cold outside, don’t dry your clothes inside.  Doing so can release up to 5 pints of moisture into the air.

Look for Water Leaks

Water leaks in the home are another common moisture source that can raise humidity levels. Do a thorough check throughout the entire home to look for signs of a water leak. Pay careful attention to pipes that bring water into the house.

Depending on the issue at hand you may need to take more in-depth measures to control condensation. For example, if you have a basement and humidity is an issue there’s a good chance the basement needs to be insulated. If you take all of the standard measures to reduce humidity inside and there’s still a condensation problem you may need to call in a pro to locate the source of the problem. 
At Provider Power we can’t solve your humidity problems, but we can help you keep your home nice and warm this winter for a fixed rate. Check our selection of electricity plans in New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts.

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