Windows can reveal the level of humidity in your home. Moisture in the air, especially during cold spells, is a good thing. But, too much moisture can make you a candidate for replacement windows.
The design of today’s replacement windows helps reduce energy costs and condensation along with potential moisture problems.
The calendar says Madison WI is moving rapidly toward Spring, but until then there will be many warm days sandwiched around cold nights. Large temperature swings are common. When cold air touches a warm surface, or vice versa, the resulting temperature difference causes water in the air – water vapor measured as humidity – to change from a vapor to a liquid.
Windows are a barrier between the inside and outside air where it can be easy to spot these temperature differences. When it’s warm inside, and cold outside air has chilled a window, you can see condensation. It could be as little as a slight fog or it could be water droplets, frost or even a thin layer of ice. Warm indoor air can hold more moisture than colder air, so the more moisture released into your home the more there is to condense on the windows.
Condensation is a Red Flag – Time for Window Replacement
New windows provide a protective buffer between warm, moist inside air and drier and colder outside air. That’s a valuable asset because, over time, excessive condensation on windows can lead to chronic window problems. This water can cause unsightly stains to the woodwork, paint or wallpaper and it can cause more serious damage beneath the surface of the window frames, wood and wallboard.
Excessive condensation on windows, can hint at similar problems in your attic, under your eaves and other less visible spots.
Replacement Windows Are A Key To The Cure
If you have excessive moisture inside your home, there are many things you need to consider when finding a cure for the related problems. In Madison WI, replacement windows are a key consideration.
Condensation is a sign of energy being transferred through your windows and is the result of significant temperature changes at that spot.
New windows should be evaluated as worthy investments. Replacement windows not only save money in heating and cooling costs, they can also protect woodwork, paint and plaster.
Window Replacement – Dealing With Condensation Sources
Nobody likes static shocks, and raising the humidity in a room reduces the “sparks.” But where the moisture comes from can determine if you’re putting too much moisture into the air and threatening other aspects of your lifestyle.
More people in the house mean more opportunities to raise humidity. More people mean more baths/showers, more food preparation, more laundry, more dishwashing and a host of other daily activities involving water.
- Reduce The Following To Minimize Moisture
- Bathing and Showering
- Washing and Drying clothes
- Cooking with gas – even a gas stove’s pilot light contributes
- Washing dishes – either by hand or with a dishwasher
- Mopping floors
- Using humidifiers – if you furnace is equipped, you may want to adjust the settings
- House plants all contribute moisture to the air
- Opening/closing refrigerator/freezer
- Saunas, whirlpools and hot tubs
- Respiration/perspiration – we don’t recommend breathing less, but a strenuous workout can raise the humidity in a room
Replacement windows in Madison WI with high Energy Star ratings can help combat the effects of these factors. And when coupled with attention to the home’s overall ventilation can go a long way toward controlling condensation.
After reviewing the elements, how do you know if replacement windows are really the answer?
First, remember poorly constructed, older windows can be a source of moisture problems no matter what you do to control moisture. If you have older windows, be prepared for:
- Bad seals. Poor seals allow both moisture and cold air to seep around the windows.
- Some older windows use metal spacers between the glass and these spacers conduct temperatures much more effectively than other materials – if you can see them you may notice the metal parts are the first to show moisture or frost.
- Older windows just don’t have the insulating value of today’s replacement windows. While a concern for cold outside air influencing your inside comfort is primary right now, there’s an equal concern when you’re cooling the house and want to keep hot air out this summer.
The bottom line is basic. If you have excessive condensation in your home, you can blame any or all of these…
- Excessive indoor humidity
- Inadequate ventilation
- Poor windows
Window Replacement – Steps to Fix the Problem
Correcting a condensation problem requires a complete understanding of how your house is working. Review roofing, siding, ventilation and existing windows and how they all work in the local climate. Changing one element may not solve the problem. So, once you’ve done your own visual inspection and considered the concerns we’ve mentioned, it’s time to bring in a professional.
Sims fields a force of replacement windows specialists serving the greater Madison WI area, including Middleton, Waunakee, Fitchburg, Oregon, Verona, McFarland, Stoughton, Cottage Grove, Sun Prairie, DeForest and all of Dane County.
To evaluate your window replacement options contact Sims Exteriors and Remodeling in Madison WI at 608-825-4500 and we’ll help you select the replacement windows that are right for your needs.