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Seeing water forming beads of condensation on the windows of your home can be disconcerting, especially if you live in a region where it can get so cold that the interior condensation forms into frost or even ice. When water appears inside the home, you would be right to be concerned about it leading to the growth of potentially hazardous microbial growth.
Condensation (also referred to as dew, which you may have seen forming on the grass in the early morning hours) will form whenever a cold surface (such as glass) falls below the dew point of the air in the room that's making contact with the window. When you chill air that is already humid, the water vapor will begin to appear as droplets.
One of the reasons why homeowners may be seeing more condensation building up is the fact that newer homes may have different ventilation setups that prevent air from moving around as easily as it used to. If you have put in new siding and windows that are insulated, less air will be leaking into your house.
Run Exhaust Fans
In higher humidity areas of the home, such as the kitchen and bathrooms, make sure to open a window or run exhaust fans to help drive out some of the moisture-laden air. This will help prevent condensation building up inside.
Install an Air-to-air Heat Exchanger
Contact a qualified heating, ventilation and air conditioning specialist and arrange for him or her to put in an air-to-air heat exchanger. Doing so will help keep the air moving in your home, which will reduce the likelihood of condensation forming.
Use your fireplace less often if you find condensation building up. A new "vent free" fireplace could be contributing to the problem, as water vapor naturally forms during the combustion of gas. The result is your home's humidity level rising and moisture increasing until it forms small droplets on the windows.
Keep in mind that running your air conditioning extremely low in homes located in the Southwest and Southern regions of the United States can lead to condensation buildup.
Try lowering the temperature of the AC with your thermostat and use a trial and error method until you get the results you need. It's a good idea to use a programmable thermostat that you can set to turn on and off automatically according to the schedule of when people come home from school and work.
Choose and Install Windows that are Certified
Keep in mind that condensation shouldn't appear as readily on windows that have passed certain manufacturing standards (on a voluntary basis). It's possible that the previous owner of your home had installed inferior quality windows that you will want to consider replacing.
Higher quality windows will not allow moisture bead formation from condensation at a given dew point. Check windows for certification from Energy STAR, AAMA or NFRC to get the best return on your investment. It's prudent to have a professional install your new windows to make sure they are set in place properly.
The knowledgeable experts at David Gray Heating & Air know how frustrating it can be for homeowners when they see condensation forming on windows. We would be happy to come over and inspect your home and then help you determine the best approach for addressing your condensation issues. For more information or to schedule an appointment with our HVAC professionals, please feel free to contact David Gray Heating & Air today.