Can Double Glazing Cure Condensation Problems?

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Double Glazing Condensation Problems & Solutions

The 2 main reasons for most homeowners fitting new or replacement double glazed windows are, firstly, to make the property look better and, secondly, to help improve energy efficiency.

Both of these benefits are also likely make your home more attractive to a potential buyer. This is mainly because your property looks in good condition, and the added insulation from the double glazing can help keep the heating bills lower.

However, if you previously had a condensation problem and expect the new double glazing to cure it, you should bear a few things in mind. If you don’t understand what is causing the condensation in the first place, then you may find it difficult to sort out.

Double Glazing and Insulation

Cutaway UPVC Window With LabelsCondensation is really just accumulation of water where warm moist air hits a cooler surface.

A very simple example of this is where, on a warm day, you see droplets of water forming on the side of a glass filled with an iced drink.

With the windows in your home, the inside is usually warmer than the outside and so encourages condensation to form.

Double glazed windows create an insulating barrier between the outer and inner surfaces and therefore greatly reduce the temperature difference and discourage condensation from forming.

However, double glazing by itself cannot cure condensation problems.

Where does all the water come from?

It may surprise you to realise the amount of moisture a small family can generate during a single day. An average amount can be 1.25 litres per person per day. For a family of 4 that’s 5 litres, or almost 9 pints (over a gallon).

Throw that much water on the floor and see how much mess it makes!

Modern homes are quite well insulated and that in itself can be part of the condensation problem. If your home is all “sealed-up” there is nowhere for the moisture to go. It will therefore find a cooler surface on which to condense and there you have the start of your problem.

Ventilation is essential to manage condensation issues.

Things you can bear in mind are to open a window slightly when cooking, bathing, showering, running the dishwasher or washing machine. Even leaving doors open inside the house can help air circulate.

Remember, if your home is “all sealed up” you are almost certain to be headed for a condensation problem.

How can Double Glazing help reduce condensation problems?

The primary defense against condensation is the sealed unit. The double glazed unit has an air gap built into it.

This air gap (sometimes filled with Argon gas) creates an insulating barrier. As a result, when its cooler outside, this coolness is not transferred to the inner pane. Thereby reducing the potential for condensation to form.

The secondary defense against condensation is the “humble” trickle vent. This is a built-in method of allowing controlled airflow to “trickle” out from your home. Typically fitted to the top of the window frame, these vents can be partially or fully opened to allow “draught free” ventilation.

Fitting trickle vents to your double glazed windows is (in our opinion) a must-have option.

Thirdly, with modern uPVC or Aluminium windows, the outer frames are chambered, somewhat like a honeycomb. The chambers hold air and the air is kept still within the chambers.

This creates another insulating barrier keeping the inside of the frames from suffering big temperature differences from the outside of the frames.

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