New homes are more energy efficient than older homes. Why? Because they are built with a greater amount of insulation, more vapor barriers, caulking, tighter windows and the building practices used cut down on air infiltration.
In the first year of a new home humidity levels in the house can be higher than normal. Why? Because many of the materials used to construction a new home contain high amounts of water. For instance the cement, the drywall compound, the mortar used to set tile stone & brick, grout, the paint etc. are all made with a high amount of water. In addition, your home was NOT built in a controlled manufacturing plant. It was built outside in the elements. So many of the materials that went into the home were exposed to the weather and may also have absorbed moisture during the building process.
That is why when we were building your house we may have continuously ran an industrial sized dehumidifier in order to pull as much moisture back out of the building products as possible.
In addition, now that you are living in your new home you are producing a normal amount of humidity by cooking, breathing, showering, doing laundry, etc. It should also be pointed out that household size and lifestyle will affect the amount of humidity present in your home.
What does all of this have to do with condensation on your windows? Moisture condenses on the windows since it is the coldest object in any given room with the glass having a much higher rate of heat loss and hence being the colder surface during the normal heating season. Since you have a new more energy efficient house that is very tight, high humidity levels will cause condensation and frost to appear on any colder surface like windows as well as around outlets, recessed lights, exterior doors and even on drywall.
Here’s something important to know… WINDOWS DO NOT CAUSE CONDENSATION! THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR WINDOWS! Phew! That’s a relief!
You will never completely eliminate window condensation, especially when the temperatures outside drop quickly like they do in Wisconsin! However, there are a number of things you can do to help the situation:
Outside Air Temperature Inside Relative Humidity
(for 70 Degrees F Indoor Air Temp)
-20 degrees F 15 to 20 percent
-10 degrees F 20 to 25 percent
0 degrees F 25 to 20 percent
+10 degrees F 30 to 35 percent
+20 degrees F 35 to 40 percent
We hope that this helps you better understand the natural process of condensation and humidification and how to better manage it in your home! Andersen Windows has a great short video describing this process above so be sure to check it out!
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1177 Quail Court, Suite 100
Pewaukee, WI 53072