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Summer Condensation

Window condensation is usually a wintertime situation that occurs when outside temperatures are low.  But condensation on windows can also happen during the summer.  The condensation usually happens when replacement windows have recently been installed, or on a house with energy-efficient windows.  The worry is that something must be wrong with the windows.  In reality, the condensation is an indication that the windows are working as intended.

Winter condensation occurs on the inside of windows, while summer condensation occurs on the outside of windows.  (Condensation forming between the panes of a double-pane or triple-pane window is a different situation.)

Summer condensation problems are mostly visual, whereas winter condensation problems can be destructive.  Since outside window and building surfaces often get wet from rain, a little extra liquid water will not be detrimental. The condensation disappears as outside air temperatures rise.
Energy-efficient windows and other window treatments reduce the amount of heat moving through a window system.  Double-pane and triple-pane glass, Low-E coatings, and inert gas fill help to reduce the flow of heat.  This reduced heat flow results in cooler surfaces on the cold side of the window and warmer surfaces on the warm side of the window.

As the summer sun warms a window, a Low-E coating or other energy-efficient treatment reduces the amount of heat that moves inward. (This is a good thing, and why people purchase energy-efficient windows). However, at night during the summer, heat is radiated from the outside glass to the cold outside air. The Low-E coating reduces the heat transfer from inside, so the outside glass surface can cool significantly below outside air temperatures. Under the right combination of inside temperature, outside temperature, and outside humidity, windows with low-E coatings or other energy-efficient treatments can develop summer condensation, while inefficient windows do not.
Two ways to prevent condensation are to warm the surface and to dry the air in contact with the surface. Since the outside temperature and relative humidity cannot be controlled, the way to preventing summer window condensation problems is to warm the window. Raising the thermostat setting a couple degrees is an effective way to warm the inside surface of the window which, in turn, warms the outside surface. In some cases, installing a deflector on a floor register or moving furniture can help keep air-conditioned air from blowing directly on a window. Since the condensation usually occurs on windows that have a large unobstructed view of the outdoors, exterior shutters, shades, window screens, or even trees can help reduce summer condensation problems, as well.
Condensation on the outside of a window in the summer does not mean that the window is defective. Instead, the condensation indicates that the window is doing its job well: keeping the inside and outside separate.

Your Windows During the Summer

Question?  Do you open windows and blinds during the summer?

The age-old debate is: Do I open the windows during the summer to let fresh air and light in and risk melting from the heat of the sun?  Or do I shut the windows and blinds, run the air-conditioner and live like a hermit?

Well!  Window technology will allow you to enjoy the fresh summer air, your cat can comfortably bask in the summer rays, and those aggravating mosquitos stay outside!

Your new best friend in the world of windows is Low-E Argon! 

When a window is said to be “Low-E Argon”, this means that in the summer, your windows vs the sun’s angle, limit the amount of heat that passes through the window glass, without hindering the light.

 

How is this possible?

Energy-efficient windows are made to essentially neutralize the effects of changing weather on the inside of your home. They help keep a constant temperature longer so your air-conditioning and heating systems don’t have to turn on and run quite so often.  Furthermore, energy-efficient windows are designed with either double or triple-pane glass, which working in tandem with the low-e coating and argon insulating gas, provides added protection against air leakage, and blocks ultraviolet rays from damaging your interiors.

LOW-E

Low-E coating is a unique microscopic glaze that helps minimize the amount of ultraviolet, infrared and visible light from penetrating the glass keeping you cooler in the summer.

Low-E literally means “low-emissivity”, which in turn means a surface that emits low levels of radiant heat.  All surfaces reflect, absorb, and transmit heat.

In the winter, a Low-E coating reduces the amount of that heat transfer.  Solar rays, which contain the short infrared rays are converted when they encounter furniture, walls or floors, into long infrared rays, which generate heat. These are specifically blocked by the Low-E; they stay inside.  The reverse happens in the summer, to a lesser extent, when the sun strikes the Low E surface. The heat (or long infrared rays) are then kept outside.

ARGON

Argon is one of the rare gases in the atmosphere. It makes up about 0.94% of the atmosphere of the earth. This gas is colourless, odorless, tasteless, and non-reactive to other bodies, in addition to being an excellent thermal insulator.

In the field of windows, it is used to replace the air between the window panes in double and triple glass to reduce energy loss. Due to its density, Argon gas is better at insulating compared to plain air, which is why energy-efficient windows utilize Argon Gas between the panes of glass. That means in the summer, the heat is limited from entering your home while the conditioned air stays put inside your home.

With all that science behind window technology, you no longer must melt, get eaten by bugs, or live like an air-conditioned hermit.

Swing open those windows, draw open those shades!  Let the sun stream in, let the summer breeze flow throughout your home!

Your Windows & Bad Weather

Windows are one of the most vulnerable parts of your home during extreme weather conditions. Thunderstorms, windstorms, rainstorms, tornadoes, and other disasters can break them, however, if they are old or poorly installed the inside of your home is at risk.

Sealing gaps and small openings in your older windows using a weather-stripping agent can help prevent a flow of water or a draft coming from the outside. Adding weather-stripping to window sashes also helps regulate the heat or coolness inside the house. This helps ensure that your entire household can still be comfortable despite the weather outside.

It is not uncommon for even the best, most well-designed windows to let some water through after a severe rainfall. A design feature of modern windows is the addition of water drainage channels.

Old, poorly installed or bad windows will pool that rainwater and allow it to leak into the home. Drainage channels are designed to move water away from the wall, and prevent leaks.  They also prevent pooling that can result in moisture damage.

When talking about water drainage in modern windows it is important that this water stays between the operable parts of the window without penetrating the sealed unit or frame components.

As with most things related to high-efficiency windows, correct installation is crucial in ensuring the drainage channels function properly. If the window is not level, an excessive amount of water will pool on one side of the window. Similarly, if a window is not installed plumb into the opening, with the panes tilting inward or outward, the water may not be allowed to drain away from the frame.

While drainage channels are suitable for all operable windows, slider and double slider windows tend to experience the most issues with water drainage channels. This is because their design integrates more grooves for water to collect in.

An extra feature that comes standard with windows that have drainage channels are the exterior drainage flaps. Essentially these flaps act like a one-way door and let the water out without allowing insects to enter your home.

Remember, proper water drainage is essential to the longevity and efficiency of your windows. Ensuring that as little water as possible collects in your windows will prevent damage to your house and save you money in the long term!

 

 

 

What is a Window?

Windows provide our homes with light, warmth, and ventilation, but they can also negatively impact a home’s energy efficiency. You can reduce energy costs by installing energy-efficient windows in your home.

If your home has very old and/or inefficient windows, it might be more cost-effective to replace them than to try to improve their energy efficiency. New, energy-efficient windows eventually pay for themselves.  When properly selected and installed, energy-efficient windows can help minimize your heating, cooling, and lighting costs

If you’re constructing a new home or doing some remodeling, you should take the opportunity to incorporate your window design and selection as an fundamental part of your design plan and for building an energy-efficient home.

A window’s energy efficiency is dependent upon all of its components. Window frames conduct heat, contributing to a window’s overall energy efficiency, particularly its U-factor.  (U-factor measures the rate of heat transfer. The lower the U-factor value, the better the product insulates.) Glazing or glass technologies have become very sophisticated, and designers often specify different types of glazing or glass for different windows, based on orientation, climate, building design, etc.

Even the most energy-efficient window must be properly installed to ensure energy efficiency. Therefore, it’s best to have professionals like Northern Windows and Doors install your windows.  Window installation varies depending on the type of window, the construction of the house (wood, masonry, etc.), the exterior cladding (wood siding, stucco, brick, etc.), and the type (if any) of weather-restrictive barrier.  Windows should be installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and be properly air sealed during installation to perform correctly.

  • Awning – Hinged at the top and open outward. Because the sash closes by pressing against the frame, they generally have lower air leakage rates than sliding windows.
  • Casement  Hinged at the sides. Like awning windows, they generally have lower air leakage rates than sliding windows because the sash closes by pressing against the frame.
  • Fixed – Fixed panes that don’t open. When installed properly they’re airtight, but are not suitable in places where window ventilation is desired.
  • Hopper – Hinged at the bottom and open inward.  Like both awning and casement, they generally have lower air leakage rates because the sash closes by pressing against the frame.
  • Single-Hung and Double-Hung  Both sashes slide vertically in a double-hung window. Only the bottom sash slides upward in a single-hung window. These sliding windows generally have higher air leakage rates than projecting or hinged windows.
  • Single-Sliding and Double-Sliding – Both sashes slide horizontally in a double-sliding window. Only one sash slides in a single-sliding window. Like single- and double-hung windows, they generally have higher air leakage rates than projecting or hinged windows.

Contact Northern Windows and Doors today to get your FREE ESTIMATE!  Our sales representatives will walk you through all of your energy efficiency needs, your design choices and financing/payment options.  Northern Windows and Doors is here to help you!

Energy Efficient Windows for the Summer

Summer is nearly upon us, and that means that higher temperatures are on the way. It’s usually at this time of the year that you start running your air conditioner in an effort to keep your home cool and your family comfortable. Long summer heat waves can cause you to turn up the AC for extended periods of time, and this almost always leads to higher electrical bills in the summer time. It can be downright shocking to find out just how much you can easily pay over the course of one summer when it comes to air conditioning use. Fortunately, there is a way to reduce the amount of air conditioning your home requires to remain cool; energy efficient windows are designed to keep cold air in and hot air out in hot weather. These windows are a great choice if you are looking to save money on your electrical bill this summer.

How are Energy Efficient Windows Different?

Energy efficient windows are different from regular windows in the sense that they are designed for more than just looking good. They are built and installed with energy efficiency in mind and help to reduce the amount of heat entering the home in the summer and the amount leaving the home in the winter. They are designed to reduce your home’s use of energy all year round.

How do Energy Efficient Windows Work?

A primary way energy efficient windows control the amount of heat entering and leaving your home is through glazes, coatings, and tints. Tinted window glass absorbs a large amount of incoming solar radiation, reflective coatings reduce solar radiation transmission, and some types of glazing help reduce solar heat gain. Low-e coatings are microscopically thin metal or metallic oxide layers that are placed directly on the surface of window glass and work to control heat transfer through that glass.

Another component of energy efficient windows is window frames. Window frames conduct heat, contributing to the overall energy efficiency of a window. Also, how an energy efficient window is installed is very important. Poor installation can lead to air leakage and an inability to save energy. When putting in your new energy efficient windows, it’s best to have a professional handle the installation.

Which Window Type is Best?

With all the different types of windows available on the market, it can be hard to decide which one is best for energy efficiency. Hopper, casement, and awning windows generally have lower air leakage because they are hinged and are designed to press right against the frame when closed, creating an air-tight seal. Single and double-hung, and single and double sliding windows tend to have higher air leakage due to the fact that they are closed by sliding and are not on hinges, making it more difficult to form that air-tight seal.
Energy efficient windows are your best friend during the hot summer months. You can expect to see a smaller electrical bill when you decide to install new energy saving windows in your home.