Home & Garden

Window condensation cause of extreme cold?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 11th, 2019 6:19 pm
Sr. Member
Sep 9, 2013
559 posts
214 upvotes
Ottawa
I have triple pane windows and humidity set at 40% and get some condensation. Its just tooooo cold outside. Only other solution is to keep it at a very low humidity 10-15% but not good for hard wood floors or your health.
Member
User avatar
Dec 6, 2017
207 posts
71 upvotes
Same problem here. my front windows are crying and have to wipe twice, even thrice a day to get rid of condensation. Granted the windows are old and just double pane....we live in the prairies so there's that. I keep humidity at 50-55%, should I go lower?
Just one more deal.... :twisted:
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2015
3932 posts
1053 upvotes
Canada, Eh!!
Have builder windows and humidity during winter rarely goes below 40%.

Have run portable dehumidifier in basement but only reduced humidity in basement... that made me check humidity on different levels and basement was lowest by few %. Gonna try running dehumidifier on main and top floor later this winter.

In past had some condensation, now less. What has helped:

* window film on some of the windows that do not get much sunlight [without film these windows would have good amount of condensation]
* opening curtains, some we close at night others just leave open like on side windows
* run furnace fan 24/7

So surprisingly even with humidity at mid 40% have little or no condensation on builder windows.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
8731 posts
7400 upvotes
Oakville
My new triple pane windows only start to get condensation when we run the humidifier in the bedroom, so humidity is probably somewhere over 60% when it condenses.
Normally it's about 45-48% in the bedrooms and about 35-42% on the main floor.
Last edited by engineered on Jan 9th, 2019 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 11, 2008
9041 posts
940 upvotes
I've finally learned how to deal with my windows at my home. Keep the blinds up 6 inches so the air circulation can get to the windows in SOME capacity

Air fan is always on for furnace at low setting

Humidity is kept around 40 in the home

That's my home though so...
Member
Sep 29, 2015
251 posts
65 upvotes
Winnipeg, MB
When was your house built? do you have a hrv or erv?
georvu wrote:
Jan 9th, 2019 9:46 am
Have builder windows and humidity during winter rarely goes below 40%.

Have run portable dehumidifier in basement but only reduced humidity in basement... that made me check humidity on different levels and basement was lowest by few %. Gonna try running dehumidifier on main and top floor later this winter.

In past had some condensation, now less. What has helped:

* window film on some of the windows that do not get much sunlight [without film these windows would have good amount of condensation]
* opening curtains, some we close at night others just leave open like on side windows
* run furnace fan 24/7

So surprisingly even with humidity at mid 40% have little or no condensation on builder windows.
Member
Sep 29, 2015
251 posts
65 upvotes
Winnipeg, MB
Yes, 50% humidity in the middle of winter is crazy. like potential mold crazy.
NeilJasper wrote:
Jan 9th, 2019 8:44 am
Same problem here. my front windows are crying and have to wipe twice, even thrice a day to get rid of condensation. Granted the windows are old and just double pane....we live in the prairies so there's that. I keep humidity at 50-55%, should I go lower?
Member
User avatar
Dec 6, 2017
207 posts
71 upvotes
davidmr wrote:
Jan 9th, 2019 1:32 pm
Yes, 50% humidity in the middle of winter is crazy. like potential mold crazy.
It has just been crazy winter....cold snaps with high humidity. Past years, we were sitting at 35-40% humidity without even running dehumidifiers during these months.
Just one more deal.... :twisted:
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2015
3932 posts
1053 upvotes
Canada, Eh!!
davidmr wrote:
Jan 9th, 2019 1:30 pm
When was your house built? do you have a hrv or erv?
No hrv or evr.

About 14 years house.
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2017
1301 posts
452 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
With RH above 60% at 19-20C, looks like triple pane windows won't help where I am when the temp drops to near or below 0C.
Almost too cheap to shop through RFD
Member
Sep 29, 2015
251 posts
65 upvotes
Winnipeg, MB
NeilJasper wrote:
Jan 9th, 2019 1:57 pm
cold snaps with high humidity. .
Not sure you understand how RH works and how it relates to temperature.

in the winter outdoor humidity is generally high.. but it doesn't matter how high it is, once that outdoor air is warmed up to indoor temperature that 70%, 80% or even 90% outdoor RH drops like a rock to 20-30%.
Thats how it works, If you warm cold humid air up its relative moisture level (RH) goes down.

Your issue is that your either adding humidity to you house (whether by accident or on purpose), or your not ventilating enough for the occupant load and the construction of your house.

But yes, if 50% RH is abnormal and normally your house is lower and you dont have alot of condensation on the windows, then your all good.
Last edited by davidmr on Jan 9th, 2019 5:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Member
Sep 29, 2015
251 posts
65 upvotes
Winnipeg, MB
georvu wrote:
Jan 9th, 2019 2:58 pm
No hrv or evr.

About 14 years house.
How many people & animals live in the house?

I would keep an eye on your humidity level... cracking open a window from time to time if the RH seems high could be an option. or setting up a exhaust fan to run for 10mins every hour may help keep your humidity in check..

A ERV or HRV may be a good option for you as it seems like your house is fairly well sealed and needs a little ventilation.
Deal Addict
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Sep 5, 2004
4087 posts
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Guelph, ON
Hrv is a must these days in air tight homes, it would definitely solve your problem.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
7649 posts
662 upvotes
One way to deal with the window's condensation problem (and I have done it) is to jack up the thermostat. When I had put it up to 26 degrees (as a test) it completely corrected the problem, as hot air can hold more water. You won't like the gas bill though and I only did it for one day/evening.

HRV is a better alternative.
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Jr. Member
May 1, 2007
197 posts
62 upvotes
Toronto
I have 20 y/o builder double-pane windows. No idea about coatings as they are from 1999.

We have double-cell shades on our windows. This adds 2.8 to 3.0 depending on whether or not one has blackout shades (I do not). See here for shades R: https://cellularwindowshades.com/conten ... treatments

So, I have 20 y/o builder double-pane, no idea on coatings (probably none) and 2.8R Double-Cell Shades. I have a whole house humidifier that is set to try and deliver 38% relative average humidity.

For my windows discussed above:
Above zero, no condensation, ever.
SHADE DOWN DURING HEATING
Above -5 C external, some condensation (when shade is down), is gone within a few hours of opening the shades.
Below -5 C external, condensation freezes (when shade is down), usually is gone over the course of the day when shades are up.
NO SHADE EVER
Above -10C, no condensation
Below -150C, it starts to freeze up as I usually have my house around 38% humidity during the winter.
What I do is close the shades at 7 PM when the heat turns on and then open them at 7/8 AM when I wake up. Generally no igssues due to condensation.

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