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Old 08-08-2009, 09:31 AM   #1
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vinyl windows, replace or not?

We have vinyl "no name" double pane windows throughout our house. Builder grade I would imagine, nothing special, they came with the house when built in '96.

During the winter months, here in Delaware we notice condensation forming along the very bottoms of both upper and lower panes.

To prevent this early on, I thought the between glass seals might be failing, so I ran a bead of clear silicone around the outside glass where it meets the vinyl frame on eash sash. Did absolutely nothing to correct that problem.

Next I took my leaf blower, directing the air output flow around each window frame/sash outdoors while the wife on the inside followed the nozzle with a lit candle, the flame did not flicker.

And lastly, for the past number of years I would install, in the fall of the year those insider plastic film sheets on to the vinyl frame. This did two things, first stopped the condensation I mentioned above and secondly made the house "feel" tighter or warmer while sitting around in the evening.

I hate to spend the money to replace eleven 36" by 55" windows only to find my problem continues to exist.
All of the replacement ads tells me "they will pay for themselves". However, news articles also tell me it will take lord knows how many years to do just that.
And to be very frank, I don't know which way to turn, your options or comments, please.
Thank you very much,


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Old 08-08-2009, 11:48 AM   #2
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Keep using the plastic. That does a lot.

You can change one window. See what happens. Then make a desicion next spring what you want to do.


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Old 08-08-2009, 01:24 PM   #3
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Condensation is related to your RH levels indoors. You may have to high RH% and even if you replace the windows with something better you may still have the problem of condensation. You may want to buy a humidistat and take notes on the indoor RH, and both indoor and outdoor temps when you get the condensation. There are some good posts on this forum about condensation and indoor RH ranges for a given outdoor temperature. I installed top of the line fiberglass framed windows from Marvin and I still was getting condensation as you describe. I checked my RH level and was way high, lowered it down to where Marvin suggested it should be and condensation went away. The point is a good window wont always cure a condensation problem. Good Luck
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:33 PM   #4
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leetyson--I had similar problems with my windows and accidentally found the problem with mine. It was humidity within the house that I did not know I had. I bought a dehumidifier to use hoping it would help with a problem we had with musky, moldy smells within the house. The short of the long story: The musky, moldy smell was coming from under the house directly related to inadequate ventilation. Solved that problem. BUT-while using the dehumidifier I noticed that my windows did not "sweat" on the inside of the glass panes anymore. We also noticed a number of other improvements related to high humidity also. Suggestion: Can you borrow a dehumidifier from someone, or maybe rent one to try for a few days and see if this helps your problem? You didn't state your location so we don't know about your average RH rates. Here in S. GA. we have enough humidity to give away lots of it. Actually we run this dehumidifier all during the warmer months to reduce the RH and it helps reduce the A/C load and electric bill. Good Luck, David
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:38 PM   #5
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I would agree with the previous posts that you first want to look at your indoor humidity level before you consider changing your windows.

Simply, condensation occurs on your windows when the temperature of the glass is below the dew point of the air in yuor home.

Since these are low end units, it is very likely that they don't have either a LowE coating or argon fill. This has the effect that the interior glass is colder when it is colder outside than it would be if the windws had a LowE coating and argon fill.

The lower the temperature of the indoor glass, the more likely that you will see condensation on your windows. If the temperature outside is low enough, it is entirely possible that you will have condensation and there is nothing that you can do about it. However, as you already noticed, using the indoor plastic rap over the window helps a great deal because it blocks interior moisture from contacting the cold glass.

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