Condensation on your windows can become a major problem in your home, particularly in winter. Sometimes the condensation builds up on the inside of the glass, where it can drip down and cause damage to wood window sills or the wall below. In other instances it may form between glass panes, indicating that the seal has failed or that the windows are not constructed properly to withstand condensation.
1. Avoid Aluminum Spacers
Double-pane windows provide more energy efficiency, but they aren't all created equal. Some double-pane windows have aluminum spacers between the glass. These spacers are usually around the edge of the window, so they are both in contact with outside air and the air between the panes. Aluminum is very conductive of temperature, which means outside air temperatures are conducted into the pane air space and this increases the likelihood of condensation issues with the window. Instead, opt for replacement windows that have stainless steel or foam spacers.
2. Choose the Right Gas
Double- or triple-pane windows consist of at least two layers of glass with a gas trapped between them. Condensation issues can be greater depending on the type of gas. For the least amount of condensation, opt for the types of gas with the lowest amount of temperature conductivity. Argon and krypton gases are the best option. When these gases are combined with a low-energy transfer coating on the glass, you likely will have few, if any, condensation issues.
3. Check the U Factor
There is no industry standard measurement for low condensation ratings, but you can use the U factor as a guideline to determine the likelihood of condensation. This factor is a measurement of the insulation capabilities of the window. You want to pick out replacement windows with the lowest U factor possible, as this indicates the highest insulation value. Typically, windows with a low U factor have multiple low-E coatings, argon gas fillers, and non-conductive spacers and window frames.
Keep in mind that your replacement windows play only one part in preventing condensation. Excess moisture in the home can also lead to window condensation. For this reason, it is important to install proper ventilation, particularly in damp rooms like the bathroom, in order to vent out excess moisture. In some cases, the right windows may not be enough and you may also need a whole-house dehumidifier installed. Contact a window replacement contractor at a company like Leger Siding to discuss the best options for eliminating window condensation in your home.