Cloudy Windows? How to avoid window replacement
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Pro Home Manager by Rubi Fingeret
If you’ve wondered why your windows sometimes turn cloudy, or why there’s moisture on the interior or exterior glass, blame your teenager’s 45 minute showers, your ficus plants, and the pot of spaghetti you made for dinner last night.

In a word, humidity.

When you see condensation collect on the inside of your energy efficient windows, it means they are operating as intended by creating a barrier to the outside. As a result, they prevent the moisture from escaping. If the condensation is within the double or triple glazed windows, creating that cloudy look, or on the exterior of single glazed windows, your windows have failed and should be replaced.

We create water vapor in the home with almost all of our daily activity, including breathing. Bathing, cooking and houseplants all produce water vapor. While some humidity is desirable, homeowners need to manage the levels to maintain a comfortable environment. When condensation is visible on your windows, you can assume it is also affecting your walls and ceilings. To control the amount of water vapor in your home, follow these tips:

• Use a dehumidifier, especially during the rainy season and summer months;

• If you use a humidifier, ensure it is set to the appropriate outdoor temperature;

• Regularly use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms;

• Keep windows open throughout the house, especially in the bathroom, so that air circulates;

• Ensure your clothes dryer and gas appliances are vented and that the vents are clear;

• Inspect your attic and basement areas to ensure that the vents are clear and not blocked by insulation or other materials.

When you see cloudiness between the panes in double glazed windows, the seals have worn out and the entire window should be replaced. If there is moisture build up on the interior or exterior glass of single glazed windows, you may be able to replace the sash. However, they are not as energy efficient as they should be and replacement with energy efficient windows is recommended.

1/10/2012

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