Window Condensation – What It Really Means

window condensationIn the humid Los Angeles area climate, a little moisture on your windows might not seem like a big deal. The fact is, though, that moisture shouldn’t be there and it’s a sign you’re not controlling humidity well in your home.

Why Window Condensation Forms

When warm air meets a cold surface or vice versa, the moisture vapor in the air condenses, or turns into water. In your home, this can happen when your heated indoor air meets windows chilled by the cold outdoor air. In summer, when your A/C is on, the reverse happens. The water that forms as a result clings to your windows.

In a well-ventilated home with a healthy humidity level, there usually isn’t enough moisture vapor to create noticeable condensation. If your windows are frequently foggy or dripping with condensation, you have too much moisture in your air.

That said, there are times when window condensation is normal and harmless, such as for the first few days after you turn on the cooling or heating system for the season. Moisture from the wood in a newly built home can also lead to window condensation, but this should stop after the first heating season.

Getting Your Humidity Under Control

Controlling humidity in your home is often easy to do through small improvements such as using your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans correctly, covering pots and pans when you cook, and putting laundry in the dryer or outdoors instead of hanging it up indoors. If the moisture problem is limited to a small area, such as a bathroom or basement, try a portable dehumidifier.

When you’ve done all you can to reduce your indoor humidity, but you’re still finding condensation on your windows, you might benefit from additional ventilation. For minor condensation, installing trickle vents over the windows can help. For more severe problems, a whole-house ventilation system or even a whole-house dehumidifier might be in order.

For help controlling humidity and improving indoor air quality, contact us at Reliance Home Services anywhere in the Greater Los Angeles area.