“How do I stop condensation on my uPVC Windows?”
This is a question we at Kettell are often asked by homeowners who assume their investment in the latest double or triple-glazed windows and doors means they can wave farewell to condensation.
Not so! Condensation is actually a natural phenomenon that takes place in any home. We thought it would be helpful to explore and explain the science behind condensation, as well as offer some advice on how to keep it to a minimum and when it’s time to take action.
What is condensation?
Condensation is simply the physical process where gas or vapour changes into liquid. It happens when the temperature of an object falls below a certain level when compared to the surrounding air temperature and humidity. In nature, this ‘dew point’ presents itself as the water droplets visible on grass or cobwebs in the early morning.
The same process happens when the temperature of a home’s internal surfaces – say, the inside of a window or door – is different to the temperature of the external environment.
Warm air will absorb more water vapour than colder air, which is why condensation is less of an issue in summer months. Regardless of whether it is warm or cold, however, air has a saturation point for the amount of vapour it can hold. Activities like boiling a kettle, running a bath, using a steam iron, or cooking without using an extractor fan, all add to this build-up of vapour. We even exhale moisture when we breathe; this is why, at night when the temperature has dropped, we see condensation on bedroom windows.
How double and triple glazing can help combat condensation
One of the best ways to tackle, or at least reduce, condensation is by installing energy-efficient double or triple-glazed windows and doors.
Single-glazed or older double-glazed windows lose a large proportion of heat through the glass. The thermal efficiency of today’s double and triple-glazed windows means they are far more effective in reducing heat loss, with the internal window preventing heat from escaping into the external window. This, of course, means that the inner pane will be much warmer than its single-paned or older, double-glazed predecessor; so when warm, moist air comes into contact with it, the likelihood of condensation is reduced.
Learn more about the thermal efficiency of Kettell’s windows.
Condensation between two panes of glass
A certain amount of condensation is entirely normal. Condensation between your double glazing is, however, a sign that your window is not performing as it should. This may be because the seal has become damaged or broken (and therefore unable to keep the cold air out and the hot air in), or because the window or frame is faulty or damaged.
Want to get to the bottom of what’s causing the issue with your window? Contact our expert team for their advice on whether a repair or replacement is needed.
Kettell’s top tips on tackling condensation
Here’s our advice on how homeowners can address condensation:
- Regularly open your windows to allow air to circulate. It may seem counterintuitive to allow heat to escape but actually it helps to banish moisture-laden air and, in its place, invite in cooler, dry air (which has the added benefit of being cheaper to heat). Investing in windows fitted with trickle vents will allow you to ventilate your home whilst maintaining the highest levels of security.
- Wipe your windows regularly to avoid build-up of black mould.
- Ensure your home is adequately heated. Without sufficient heat in the room, the temperature of your window will be reduced, and condensation may occur on the inside of the glass.
- Prevent vapour and steam escaping from one room to another, by closing, say, the internal kitchen door when cooking or the internal laundry door when using the tumble dryer. Choose instead to open your trickle vents.
- Open trickle vents in all other rooms at other points during the day – to allow the exchange of old and new air throughout your home.
- Identify the rooms where condensation may be worse. Bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens are common moisture traps but there are other factors at play. It could be the direction your window or door faces (and how much sunlight, and therefore, warmth it receives), how exposed it is to the elements (perhaps if there’s no shelter on offer from neighbouring buildings or vegetation), or how extreme the temperature changes might be in the room in question (even in winter, a conservatory may benefit from warmth from sunlight in the day yet drop to very cold night-time temperatures).
- Leave your central heating on for longer during Winter months so there’s less of a drop in internal temperature at night.
- Install an extractor fan in your bathroom or kitchen to eradicate the moisture created by washing and cooking.
- For rooms that are particularly susceptible to condensation, you might want to consider investing in a dehumidifier.
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, know that investing in quality double or triple glazing supplied and installed by a highly skilled and reputable team will guarantee the all-round performance of your windows and doors. Whether it be reducing condensation or offering unbeatable thermal efficiency and security, windows from Kettell are built to last. Learn more about Kettell’s range of windows.