Condensation forming on the outside of new windows

We have discussed this before, but new windows are normally a fantastic way to improve both the appearance and thermal comfort of your home. New double/triple glazing tends to retain far more heat within the home, minimising the time your heating needs to be on as well as keeping rooms at a more stable internal temperature. New windows also tend to help reduce condensation on the glass, because the internal pane of glass is that much warmer than single glazing, so the moisture in the air doesn’t condense on it, helping keep the windows mist-free!

Condensation forming between the panes of glass is common in slightly older double glazing – the reason for this is normally because the airtight seal on the double glazing unit has broken down, allowing air to enter the space between the two pains.

A problem we are beginning to hear quite a lot about though is condensation appearing on the outside of the window, and as you might expect people aren’t happy about it! Imagine forking out thousands of pounds for new windows only for condensation to form on the outside of windows, ruining the views out of your home.

Why does condensation form on the outside of new double glazing?

Unfortunately, condensation forming on the outside of new double glazing is a natural phenomenon and it arises because the window is working so well at preventing heat loss from your home.

Condensation is defined as the process by which gas turns into a liquid. If the temperature of an object falls below what is known as the dew point temperature, then water vapour from the air will condense on the object’s surface. The dew point varies according to the amount of water in the air (compare a shower room to a sitting room for example) and the temperature of the air. The warmer the air, the more water vapour it can hold – but it can only hold so much, so if this saturated air encounters a surface that is below the dew point temperature, then it will condense.

The reason water condenses on the outside surface of the glass is the temperature of the glass drops below the external dew point temperature. The new double or triple glazing units tend to have inner panes made up of low emissivity glass and this prevents the movement of heat across the glazing unit, so the outer pane never gets warm.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, condensation forming on the outside of your new windows is actually an indication that your new windows are performing very well, although we appreciate it is not ideal!

What can I do about condensation forming on the outside of double glazing?

Whilst simple methods of removing condensation yourself do exist, they are not permanent effects. Most signs of condensation are caused by excess moisture in the air, which leads to the process of mould growth, water droplets, peeling wallpaper and musty smells. One of the best solutions to condensation is to heat your home. However, they would have to be on 24/7 racking up energy bills. So, is there a heating that can eradicate mould completely?

Convection heating is to blame. Leaving convection heating on won’t reduce condensation because it heats the air directly pushing warm air around the room. As Warm air tends to hold moisture when it meets a cold surface, condensation will take place on the windows.

Infrared heating is the best solution to eliminating condensation. Let’s think about how condensation evaporates when the sun rises. Infrared heating works in the same way just like the sun by converting electricity into radiant heat. As Infrared heating heats the objects in the rooms directly and not the air, there’s no need to worry about condensation forming.  The radiant heat transmits waves that dry the walls and double glazing from the inside out, even when the heating is turned off. Therefore, water vapour will not occur. If the heating is required to turn back on, they can heat up pretty quickly. A Jigsaw Infrared heater can heat up in less than 5 minutes certainly making sure there is no chance of any moisture in the air. This means no dampness and no mould for good. Even in a bathroom where mould occurs the most frequently.

Read about how to prevent condensation on our partners blog!

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