We are almost winding down the dog-days of summer, which in Phoenix means families will be returning from vacations, no longer escaping the heat. This summer has actually been rather mild since we’re at only 108 degrees and there haven’t been heat advisories every day… but yes, it is still hot. Is it so hot though that your windows are actually sweating?
Can windows actually be sweating from the inside? That “sweat” running down your windows is condensation. Condensation is a natural occurrence and we see it every time a cloud forms. That’s because air is always holding invisible water droplets, and when the temperature of a surface drops below the dew point temperature, like when air in the atmosphere begins to cool at higher elevations, condensation will occur and the water droplets in the air will become visible, hence the cloud.
Condensation occurs on windows when moisture from inside our homes hits a cooler surface like a window and the vapor will turn into visible moisture. Unfortunately, condensation on the inside of windows is not a natural occurrence and can be an indication of mold. Yes, even in the desert mold can be a serious issue. That is because we tend to build our homes very tight to keep our conditioned air inside better. A tight home is good, but too tight a home can lead to air quality issues, mold being one of them. There are however ways to control “window sweat” by controlling the amount of moisture in our home and by “insulating” our windows.
Some of the moisture in homes is uncontrollable since we emit about ¼ of water per hour just by breathing. The rest though is controllable and here is what you can do:
1. Reduce the amount of moisture in the home by running bathroom, kitchen and laundry room exhaust fans when appropriate. These fans actually help circulate air in your home. Bathroom exhaust fans should be left on several minutes after showering. Dryer exhaust fans should also be used when running the dryer because all that water from wet clothes needs to go somewhere and it shouldn’t be in your home.
2. Another method is to add to the insulating properties of the glass with window film or storm windows.
3. Use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture.
4. Replace the window with dual or triple pane windows.
5. Allow fresh air into your house each day by opening windows and doors.
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