We come across a variety of window problems every day. Some of the problems indicate a faulty window, but there are other instances that the window is actually doing its job just fine. So how do you know the difference? Here are a few things to look for during the cold winter season:
Condensation on window glass can indicate a window problem or simply a humidity problem. To help you identify which, you’ll need to look closely at your windows.
Moisture or Fogging Between Glass – If there is condensation or fogging trapped between the layers of glass that make up your window, you have a seal failure. “The seal between the glass layers is no longer air-tight and the glass unit has lost its maximum insulating capability. This usually requires replacement of the glass or the entire window. Generally, the condition of the rest of the window determines which direction to go.” according to Don Erickson, New Construction Sales Consultant.
Moisture on Interior Side of Glass – Condensation on the interior side of the window usually indicates high humidity in the house. Windows located near bathrooms, kitchens or laundry rooms – places that generate excess moisture – usually experience this condition. Don notes, “Interior moisture is usually not an indication of window failure, but we do recommend occasionally removing the moisture to prevent potential damage to the window frame.” If you’re using a humidifier, you can lower the humidity setting to reduce moisture accumulation.
Ice on window glass is the combination of high humidity and poor window performance. Ann Gregory shares her advice, “Ice on windows is a tell-tale problem of a poorly insulated window and/or significant drafts. Ice on double pane windows usually indicates a combination of glass seal failure and presence of drafts. Single pane windows have only one layer of glass and are especially susceptible to ice formation because there is no insulating barrier between the inside and outside environments. Installing storm windows can help reduce the problem, but icy windows are a good target for replacement with high performance windows to make the room more comfortable.”
Check out this post to read about Ann’s experience with her own icy windows.
If you’re wearing more and more layers to get comfortable in your home, you should probably check for drafty windows. Don Erickson offers tips on some easy ways to locate drafts. “I like to tear a piece of tissue about 3″ long and 1″ wide and separate it down to one layer. Hold the tissue by one end and slowly move it around the window frame. If drafts are present, the tissue will move from the air coming into the home,” says Don. This method works best on windy days. You can also use a lighter flame, a lit candlestick or the smoke of an incense stick to find drafts. Watch for flickering of the flame when it encounters a draft.
Drafty windows can indicate improper installation, weatherstripping failure or frame damage. Our expert window consultants can help you determine whether the windows can be repaired or should be replaced with high-performance windows professionally installed by our employee installers using the latest foam insulating products. Give us a call today for an in-home consultation.