As the winter season rolls into Ohio, it’s not uncommon to see frost forming on your windows or even the glass sections of your French patio doors. While these can certainly provide kids with a nice canvass to draw smiley faces on, they could also be a sign of window problems.
There are a lot of factors that could cause frost to form on the inside of your windows and doors. The most common culprit is condensation. Let our experts at Renewal by Andersen® of Cincinnati show you how condensation occurs, explain whether or not it’s a problem, and give you possible solutions if they are indeed a risk for your home.
The Cause of Condensation
Any activity that involves water can raise the humidity level inside your home. This means cooking, washing clothes, or even taking a bath all add a lot of water vapor to your interiors. For the most part, adequate ventilation can regulate your humidity levels. Sometimes, however, they stay indoors and become part of the air circulated and warmed by your heating system.
When hot and humid air comes into contact with a cold surface, the water vapor changes from its gas state to its liquid state. This is especially noticeable in winter when the cold glass of your windows or sliding patio door serves as a condensing point for the humid air. The water does not condense in one big go, but rather in small amounts that present themselves as droplets on the inside of the glass.
Most multi-pane windows are designed to minimize condensation so when you notice too many water droplets forming on your glass panes, it could mean that your windows have lost some of their performance. In winter, this condensed water drops its temperature even further, causing it to freeze right on your window panes. This is where window frost and ice comes from.
Is Condensation a Problem?
The answer to this question is actually a combination of both yes and no. Some condensation is natural and is actually expected during the cold season especially for sliding patio doors and windows with a lot of glass area. If this is the case, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. If you’re bothered by your windows looking as if they’re sweating, consider increasing your air circulation and ventilation to avoid this problem.
When you have too much condensation, however, it’s a whole different story. Double-pane windows or French patio doors that are showing signs of excessive condensation have to be checked for air leaks. Aging windows tend to have broken and cracked seals, allowing the insulating gas within its glass panels to escape and impact the window’s resistance to condensation problems. Broken seals can cause your overall energy efficiency to drop dramatically, resulting in higher heating bills for the season.
How to Get Rid of Window Condensation, Ice and Frost
The most effective way to combat frost and condensation is by reducing the amount of moisture right from the source. This doesn’t mean you have to stop using water inside your home. Instead, consider turning on your exhaust vents whenever you are doing any of these activities. The more you ventilate your home, the more your humidity levels will go down, lessening, or even eliminating condensation from the start.
You could also choose to replace your windows and doors with double-pane variants that offer better insulation for your home. Double-pane windows are great at keeping condensation and, therefore, frost and ice, at bay. They are also great at soundproofing your home, improving the comfort of every member of your household.
Fight the effects of condensation, frost and ice on your windows and doors with the help of our professionals at Renewal by Andersen of Cincinnati. Give us a call at (513) 283-8981 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free design consultation and get a free quote today. We serve homeowners in Cincinnati and other nearby areas in OH.