Seeing the world outside through a clear window is a domestic pleasure. A foggy or misty window is rather annoying, and in addition to the unsightly view, if water drips down to the panes, it could cause mildew and spoil timber window frames.
Double glazing is an effective way to reduce condensation on your windows, plus a host of other benefits, like decreasing energy costs, enhancing the safety of your house, and generally increasing its value.
It’s good to know why condensation happens and how to minimise its occurrence. In very cold weather sometimes we see the droplets building up, and the big question is how to demist double glazing?
Why Do Windows Become Misty?
Mist is just water vapour as it changes back into a liquid state when it hits a cold surface. This happens when one side of the window is warm and the other is cold. The droplets start forming and at some point, they spread across the whole window pane.
Water vapour is one of the main components of our ambient air. Its percentage varies around the seasons and changes with the number of people in a room. A crowded room on a winter evening will show quite a bit of fogging on the windows.
Humidity increases if a dryer is on, or there’s plenty of cooking in the kitchen. It can easily build up if the air ventilation is insufficient, and you see it all over the glass panes.
How to Reduce Condensation
Condensation is caused by three main reasons: excessive humidity, low air circulation, and localised cold surfaces.
Reducing condensation can be done by refraining from using the dryer for too long, using larger rooms if there’s a crowd inside the house, opening the windows from time to time, and keeping the temperature at a reasonable setting.
Demisting the Interior
Condensation on the internal glazed surfaces is usually caused by an increased humidity around that window, in the whole room, or even throughout the house. The level of ventilation and air circulation plays an important part as well.
When the weather outside is too cold, usually the heat is turned on inside the house, and the windows become the cool surface that water vapour needs to condensate and cling on.
Lowering the amount of humidity inside the house helps a lot in reducing condensation. Keeping the air moving is also quite helpful, and so is setting the heater to a comfortable but not too high setting. This makes the difference between the inside and outside not too drastic.
Demisting the Exterior
Hot days tend to send the condensation to the other side of the glazing. The inside of the house is much cooler than the outside, and if the day is already humid, you’ll notice a thin misting forming on the exterior surface of your window.
Again, setting the air conditioner to cool not cold is a good move. Some people place some shade trees in front of their windows to give them some shade and reduce the temperature gap between the house and the exterior wall.
Demisting Internal Gap Condensation
This is where things become a little bit tricky; as good double glazing is supposed to keep the humidity at bay, and even if some of it reaches the air gap, there’s a desiccant material that absorbs it right away.
Seeing droplets collecting in the internal space of the double glazing could be a temporary incident caused by freezing weather, but it might also signal a fault in the insulation of the window. This is not an unusual problem, and finding the remedy is not difficult at all.
It’s important to deal with this issue promptly though, as the collected humidity could seep into the frame or the adjacent wall. This could induce mildew or mould. It could also cause a frame made from timber to rot, and these structures are pretty valuable so they should be well maintained.
Replacing the Insulation
There are different potential reasons why condensation reaches a sealed gap, one of the more frequent is a failed seal. This means that your energy consumption will increase significantly, as the heat escapes through the leak.
This more than justifies the spending on replacing or repairing the parts where the seal cracked and leaked.
Replacing the Window
Sometimes the windows are past their expiry date, premium quality double glazing has a life span, so if the windows you have been showing the signs of ageing, you might want to replace them with new and more efficient ones. They are definitely worth it.
Doctoring the Glass
To remove the moisture between the double glazing, specialised technicians drill two holes in the extreme side of the window, they dry out the excess humidity, clean the panes, pump in an anti-fogging agent, then seal the drilled holes.
This is a cost-effective procedure that some companies are currently offering. It’s an intervention that needs a high level of skill and expertise, and it’s suitable for only certain types of glass. There are some success stories with this type of repairs, but there are also many stories of having to redo the whole works.
It is essential for the contractor to provide a warranty to back the works he had done for the window, or offer a refund in case moisture reappears.
Misty windows are annoying, and in extreme cases are telling of window malfunction. Keeping the humidity to a minimum is possible with a few simple considerations. Try to keep your house well ventilated, open the window from time to time, and set the temperature to a comfortable value that is not too different from the outside.
The root cause of condensation is essential to find out before carrying out any repairs. Sometimes all that is needed is replacing a gasket, and at other times, an old window needs to be replaced by a newer double glazing system.
Double glazed windows reduce heat loss so you spend less on heating or air conditioning, it isolates the sound in case you’re around a lively neighbourhood, and it increases the value of your home.
Reach to us today if you want to benefit from double glazed windows.