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Old 09-17-2010, 10:32 AM   #1
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condensation on new windows


Hi guys,
I have finished installing new windows in my house, and they are all double pane PVC widows with low-e argon gas, and they were made for my climate zone (B in Calgary).

We had a cold freeze last night, only about 2C, so not big deal, but I noticed that the windows have lots of condensations on the lower part of the glass. This is even worse than my old drafty windows, usually I don't get this much of condensations until it is -10 ~ -15C outside.

I googled a little, it seems like my problem maybe related to the high efficiency furance I installed about 5 years ago? This is the type where you have two PVC pipes, one for intake and one for exhaust gas.

I still have a fresh air intake duct, but it is not for combustion, it is only connected to the furance return duct, and then through air filter back to the house I guess.

My question is: how do I solve the condensation on the window glass problem? It is one of the main reasons I replaced the old windows. I hate water in the house.

Thanks!
Hex

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Old 09-17-2010, 12:04 PM   #2
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condensation on new windows


IS the moisture inside the two panes or the outside?

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Old 09-17-2010, 12:13 PM   #3
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condensation on new windows


Try getting a dehumidifier.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:17 PM   #4
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condensation on new windows


Quote:
Originally Posted by mark942 View Post
IS the moisture inside the two panes or the outside?
it is outside the two panes, on the inside of the house, I can wipe it with my fingers...


the windows are good.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:17 PM   #5
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condensation on new windows


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Originally Posted by epson View Post
Try getting a dehumidifier.
Ok, i will do some research on this.

Thanks!
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:42 PM   #6
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condensation on new windows


I would be looking towards that fresh air return duct.
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Old 09-17-2010, 04:56 PM   #7
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condensation on new windows


Quote:
Originally Posted by mark942 View Post
I would be looking towards that fresh air return duct.
Thanks Mark,
How do I check it? It is currently open (like no flaps) directly to the furance. In winter time, the duct is actually quite cold because of the cold air that can come through.
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:18 AM   #8
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condensation on new windows


Check the operation and exhaust venting of your furnace.Excess condensation is SOMETIMES an indication of furnace exhaust in the home.Be sure to use your OTR fan when cooking and let the bathroom fan run for several minutes after every shower.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:36 AM   #9
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condensation on new windows


I had the same issues once we started making the house more efficent with new windwos,doors, and insulation. The humidity was too high inside the house and we got condensation. I had an energy audit done with a door blower test and it showed the hosue was indeed too tight, not allowing enough air exchange. Also we did not have a bathroom vent fan nor a kitchen vent fan. So far I have installed a bathroom fan and last winter left one basement window cracked open all the time and our condensation was gone. Th RH stayed in the 30%.

This year I would like to install a kitchen fan and a fresh air supply into the return of our furnace like yours so I dont have to keep the basement window open all the time.

I would say get humidity measuring device and take notes on your RH and if you get condensation at a certain RH. Then try cracking open a window and see if the RH drops and if your condensation goes away for a few days. Once you find your RH range that keeps the condensation away you need to figure out ways to reduce the humidity in your house like venting bathrooms and kitchen with exhaust fans. Also look at your fresh air supply going into your return duct, make sure the screen at the outside hood is clean, make sure your furnace filter is chagned and the correct type. If these still dont work you may need to look into introducing more fresh air or installing a HRV system or a dehumidifier.
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Old 09-19-2010, 10:25 AM   #10
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condensation on new windows


Condensation on the inside of windows usually means too much humidity.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:01 PM   #11
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or it could be the windows aren't sealing well at the bottom and middle
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb1 View Post
Check the operation and exhaust venting of your furnace.Excess condensation is SOMETIMES an indication of furnace exhaust in the home.Be sure to use your OTR fan when cooking and let the bathroom fan run for several minutes after every shower.
Thanks Dave, the exhaust venting, I think, is working, the installer used one of those one-pipe-inside-another-one fittings, and I can see steams coming out of it...
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creamaster View Post
I had the same issues once we started making the house more efficent with new windwos,doors, and insulation. The humidity was too high inside the house and we got condensation. I had an energy audit done with a door blower test and it showed the hosue was indeed too tight, not allowing enough air exchange. Also we did not have a bathroom vent fan nor a kitchen vent fan. So far I have installed a bathroom fan and last winter left one basement window cracked open all the time and our condensation was gone. Th RH stayed in the 30%.

This year I would like to install a kitchen fan and a fresh air supply into the return of our furnace like yours so I dont have to keep the basement window open all the time.

I would say get humidity measuring device and take notes on your RH and if you get condensation at a certain RH. Then try cracking open a window and see if the RH drops and if your condensation goes away for a few days. Once you find your RH range that keeps the condensation away you need to figure out ways to reduce the humidity in your house like venting bathrooms and kitchen with exhaust fans. Also look at your fresh air supply going into your return duct, make sure the screen at the outside hood is clean, make sure your furnace filter is chagned and the correct type. If these still dont work you may need to look into introducing more fresh air or installing a HRV system or a dehumidifier.
creamaster,
Thanks a lot for the detailed message.

The fan in our bathroom is quite old (original with the 1965 house), it takes about 1 minute for it to spin up full speed. So yesterday, I replaced it with a new fan, I had to cut the drywall ceiling though, my fan duct was 4 inch round, for whatever the reason, the old fan has only 3 inch port.

The new fan is 80 CFM, the biggest I can find with only 2.5 sonnes sound level. I also installed a timer, so that I can run the fun for 10, 20, 30 or 60 minutes, and I dont have to get up from bed to turn it off manually.

Last night, we run the fan the fogging and condensations on the windows are much less than before, even the outside temperature was only 2C.


My kitchen has no fan, so I am planning to install a over the stove range hood fan next.

Thanks again for the suggestions!
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomstruble View Post
or it could be the windows aren't sealing well at the bottom and middle
Thanks Tom,
That brings up my next question the PVC windows I bought are from Home Depot, so I guess they are just "regular" quality. Although I am "quite" sure that I seal the fins and insulate the surroundings with expansion foams quite well.

Back to the windows themselves, the panels slide on a plastic thing, which sits on the lower frame "slot". This cut out section of this thing is _|^|_ shape. The lower frame has two small openings to the outside, I guess if water somehow accumulates and get in the lower frame (|___| shape), water can drip to the outside.

So, I guess, cold air can get into the lower frame slow through the 2 openings, and move along that "thing", through the space between the ^ and the lower window frame, the two ends of this "thing" is not very tightly against the window's lower frame. So I guess the coldest spot of the whole window is this "thing", and is this the "bad" sealing you mentioned?


How do I deal with it?
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:16 PM   #15
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[quote=Hexar;503945]Thanks Tom,
That brings up my next question the PVC windows I bought are from Home Depot/quote

That could be part of the problem too. Vinyl windows are overrated and you have to look for a good brand.
I believe your RH should be around 40%. Anything less and you start to get a scratchy throat and other symptoms

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