When the time comes to replace your windows, you might find yourself a bit overwhelmed at all of the choices. It’s always nice to have plenty of options, of course, but there are many different window features on the market today that weren’t necessarily widely available a decade or two back. That means that if you’re jumping into the market for the first time in a while, you will likely have plenty of new options to sift through. One of the more obscure, but incredibly important, window features you should keep in mind when investing in new windows in Barrie is condensation resistance.
What are condensation resistant windows?
The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) rates windows for a wide variety of different factors. The more well-known of these include the U-Factor rating and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient rating. Somewhat lesser-known is the NFRC’s condensation rating (CR) which determines how well a window resists condensation. The CR is a number between 1-100, and it is determined by measuring a window’s interior surface temperature at each of the following indoor relative humidity:
The outdoor conditions for this testing are a wind mpg of 15 or below and an air temperature of 0 Fahrenheit. Higher numbers are better and indicate that the window in question was able to resist condensation. Note that this rating is optional on the NFRC label, so you might encounter certain windows without this information listed. You can always reach out to the manufacturer or distributor in these cases to ask for clarification.
Why does condensation form on windows?
Condensation forms on windows when the temperature of the glass is below the current dew point of the air. To put this more simply, condensation occurs when the glass is colder than the indoor temperature. As you might imagine, this is most common in the wintertime when the humidity and temperature of a home’s interior rise while the glass becomes colder and colder due to the weather outside. If you’ve ever woken up in the morning only to see frost patterns adorn the interior of your bedroom window, you’ve seen the aftermath of condensation formation.
Why does it matter if condensation forms on windows?
Because condensation forms when the glass of window becomes so chilled by the exterior temperatures that it falls significantly below the dew point of the interior of a home, its presence means that the window in question was likely the coldest point in the room. And while you might expect this to be the case in winter, today’s windows are manufactured to help insulate homes. That means that modern windows are expected to be energy efficient by keeping heat inside during the winter and cool air inside during the summer regardless of the outdoor temperature.
A window that forms condensation, then, is poorly insulated enough that the cold air has chilled the glass significantly, which might indicate that it’s not doing as good of a job at keeping your home warm as it could. This is especially true of double-pane windows where the barrier between the layers of glass should be enough to keep such radical temperature differences at bay. With that said, condensation forming isn’t always a window defect.
Because condensation forms when a cold surface comes into contact with a warm and humid environment, some condensation is inevitable. You might find that your windows have “fogged” after a shower, for example, and that’s not necessarily an issue with the new windows in Barrie. It’s actually the natural consequence of having incredibly humid air (the water vapour that comes from warm showers) hitting the glass.
It’s important to understand the difference between condensation caused by poorly-insulated windows and condensation that is simply a part of life. In general, you should expect that your windows will not constantly be wet and dripping inside during the winter. If they are consistently wet to the point that the water is forming beads and rolling down the pane, you might have a problem that needs to be addressed. This is especially important because unchecked condensation like this can negatively impact the new windows in Barrie themselves as well as the surrounding wall.
What should I do if my windows have a lot of condensation?
If you find that your windows are often very wet on the interior of your home, you should have the windows inspected to determine if there is a visible defect or installation issue causing the problem. This issue will be much more common with single-pane glass than with double-pane glass, as an aside. If you’re still using single-pane glass throughout your home, you might consider a new window. Clera Windows + Doors in Barrie has quite the selection of double-pane windows that can help keep your home well-insulated even during extreme weather conditions.
Should I always invest in condensation resistant windows?
Condensation resistant windows are important if you’re in a region that experiences weather extremes. The northern region of North America, for example, is often beset by extremely cold weather during the wintertime. This means that homeowners in this area are at higher risk of their windows developing condensation during this time of the year than homeowners in a mild climate. Condensation resistant windows are somewhat less important if you live in an area with a mild climate that doesn’t see much temperature fluctuation.
Ultimately, you have to make the decision as to whether or not condensation resistant windows are the best choice for your home. If you find yourself struggling because of the sheer number of window choices on the market, you aren’t alone. It’s okay if you aren’t entirely sure which choice to make – that’s why professionals exist! Consider reaching out to window and door experts about the best window features for your specific home and your specific geographical location.
New Windows Barrie
At Clera Windows + Doors, our experts understand the ins and outs of window and door installation. We’re the best choice for new windows in Barrie and we can create something that is perfect for your specific needs and wants. Contact us today for more information about our services and how we can help you!