Why Do Windows Sweat?

When cooler weather arrives, homeowners often face a troublesome condition. Condensation forms on windows and can be a nuisance or even cause damage to the surrounding trim. There are reasons why sweating windows occur. Knowing the causes is the key to fixing the situation.

When air gets warm it expands and is able to absorb water. When the air cools, eventually it gets to the point where the water is released in the form of condensation. As a result, when warm, moist air from inside the home comes in contact with cold windows, it releases the condensation on the windows. The opposite can occur in the warmer months, when outdoor air condenses on windows because of an air-conditioned interior.

There are many activities that put moisture in the air, including breathing, showering and cooking. Removing excess moisture from the home can help reduce condensation and window sweating.

* Be sure that windowless bathrooms have an exhaust vent that will vent air outdoors. Bathroom doors also should have enough of a gap on the bottom of the door to let air inside the bathroom.

* Gas appliances, such as fireplaces, should be properly vented.

* Opt for cooking methods that do not produce steam.

* Lower the thermostat so that the home is cooler, ideally between 62 to 68 degrees F.

* Check if the clothes dryer is properly vented outdoors.

* Consider running a dehumidifier if moisture is a problem not easily remedied.

* Think about replacement windows. Insulated windows that feature double or triple panes will be more insulated, preventing the warm air in the home from meeting the cold air of outdoors. Also avoid metal window frames, as such frames tend to conduct the cold and can further exacerbate sweating issues.