Eliminate Condensation on Thermal Pane Windows

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Terry out in North Dakota listens on KNDC. What can we do for you today?

    TERRY: Oh, hi. We have a home that was built in the 70s. And we replaced all the windows in the house and since we did that, in the winter time we have a lot of condensation coming through the window – well, not coming through the window, but buildup inside the house.

    TOM: OK.

    TERRY: (inaudible) puddles.

    TOM: Wow.

    TERRY: And I’m wondering whether we just sealed the house up too tight.

    TOM: Mm. Could be. If you have good quality windows – you replaced all these windows and that’s when you started having the problems? Because I would have thought you would have had it before you replaced them as well.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Beforehand.

    TERRY: Well, they were drafty. Now they’re not drafty (inaudible.

    LESLIE: And you didn’t replace them with single-pane aluminum frame windows? (chuckling)

    TERRY: No, they’re vinyl replacement windows.

    TOM: Thermal pane windows?

    TERRY: Yes.

    TOM: Mm. Geez, I wonder if these windows are having a problem with the glass is not insulated properly. Because the reason you have condensation is because you have warm, moist air inside the house and you have a cold window. And if the glass is insulated properly – if it’s low-e glass and has a properly insulating glass – I’m presuming it’s double-pane glass – then that glass on the inside is going to be warmer than the glass on the outside so that when the warm, moist air inside the house strikes it, it doesn’t condense. So my first concern is whether or not there’s anything wrong with the glass in these windows.

    The second thing would be just to give you some general moisture management advice, Terry, and that would be steps to reduce the overall humidity inside the house. For example, make sure your bathrooms and your kitchens are vented outside. Make sure you have gutters and grading that’s sloped away from the house and that the gutters are draining water away from the house. So you really want to look at the moisture management issues like that to reduce the overall vapor pressure inside the house.

    LESLIE: What about a whole-house dehumidifier?

    TOM: Well, yeah, a whole-house dehumidifier would be fine as well but, generally, you don’t use those in the winter time, which is when this apparently is happening.

    TERRY: Right. Yeah.

    TOM: You must have hellacious moisture, humidity problems in the summer. And a whole-house dehumidifier would be great for that. Aprilaire makes a really good one that takes out, I think, 90 pints of water a day out of the moisture inside the house. So that’s another option for you and that would be permanently installed into your HVAC system, Terry.

    LESLIE: Is there any way to test to see if the windows aren’t insulated properly?

    TOM: Were these name-brand windows or – you know, or were they sort of from a local window contractor? What’s the story on these windows?

    TERRY: They are a name brand window.

    TOM: Hmm. Well then, I would suggest that you call the manufacturer and see if they can get a service tech out there to check the glass.

    TERRY: OK. We can do that.

    TOM: Yep. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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