Making the Most of Our Canadian Winters

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about winter? Is it making snowmen? Going for a picturesque skate? Chances are the first thing that pops into your head when you think about winter is the cold. Yes, our country is famous for delivering some of the coldest winter temperatures in the world, which is something that can have a major impact on your home and especially your windows and doors.

One of the most common issues that homeowners face is also often one of the most frustrating: condensation. It’s not unusual to wake up in the morning and find beads of water dripping down your windows. While it doesn’t have much impact on your day-to-day life, condensation can actually lead to long-term issues that might end up being more inconvenient and more expensive than you realize.

So, what do we do about wintertime window water? Let’s dive in.

The Science

Condensation is a fact of life. More accurately, it’s a fact of science. Humidity measures how much water is in the air, and your home is warm and humid, or well, it’s warmer and more humid than it is outside in the deep depths of Canadian winter.

Those cold winter temperatures cool down the outside panes of your windows, and when the warm and humid interior air meets that cold glass it creates condensation. This can be exacerbated by any activity that creates excessive humidity indoors, and as the condensation builds up it can begin to affect your views as well as the structural integrity of your windows.

Isn’t science exciting?

Common Causes

While condensation may be inevitable, there are definitely some common causes that can lead to increased condensation or even exaggerate an existing condensation problem.

Poor Insulation:

Older homes or homes that have less effective sealing around their windows are often more prone to condensation. That being said, new homes with modern insulation can also be subject to water build up.

A/C:

Believe it or not, most modern air conditioning systems add humidity to the air, especially those that are advertised to save you money on your electric bill. We know you need heat in the winter, but it’s something to look out for.

Showers/Baths:

Sometimes there’s nothing better than coming inside from the blustery fury of winter and hopping into a soothing, hot bath or shower. Just remember that those activities are creating, you guessed it, heat and humidity.

Houseplants:

Most plants add moisture to the air, plain and simple. So while we don’t recommend you dispose of your plants and live in a plant-less home, it’s worth a bit of research to see which plants won’t increase your home’s humidity too much.

Inefficient Glass:

Without glass, your window isn’t really a window, so it stands to reason that the kind of glass in your window plays a huge role in its performance. Tri-Pane glass, like that found in JELD-WEN®’s Northern Tri-Pane Collection™, is an excellent choice for increasing home comfort thanks to its thermal performance and superior insulation (don’t worry, you’ll learn more about this below). Glass with Low-E (short for low emissivity) coating, such as Low-E i89, is also beneficial in terms of reducing UV transmission through your window and preventing heat loss in winter. It’s worth noting that JELD-WEN®’s Northern Tri-Pane Collection™ outperforms windows with an i89 coating, just sayin’.

Issues and Concerns

It may seem harmless to have an excess of water build up on your windows. It is just water, after all. However, water and moisture can cause serious issues for both you and your home, which can lead to long-term problems that are both inconvenient and potentially costly.

Damage:

The excess water that is building up on your windows has nowhere to go. It’s not draining outside, and it’s not being ventilated away. That means that it is dripping down into the frame of your window, your carpet, etc. This water will build up over time and cause water damage, damaging the integrity of your window frame and walls. This could lead to a costly replacement!

Mold/Mildew:

So, about all that excess water that is dripping down into the frame of your window, your carpet, etc. In addition to causing damage, it can also lead to mold and mildew concerns. They may start small, but they can grow quickly and affect the air quality of your home. This is especially worrisome if anyone in your home has sensitive lungs, allergies, or any other respiratory issues.

The Solution

Now that you’re effectively informed about condensation—and perhaps a little terrified—we’d like to hit you with the good news. There are lots of things you can do to minimize and combat condensation!

Upgrade:

The easiest and most effective solution is to simply upgrade your windows. Choosing windows that offer Tri-Pane, Low-E glass and superior thermal performance will help better insulate your home and regulate the extreme temperature difference we have in winter.

Ventilation:

All that interior warmth and humidity has to go somewhere! Using exhaust fans when cooking or showering can go a long way in reducing unnecessary interior warmth and moisture. Ensuring proper circulation throughout the home can help too, so go ahead and get that air moving!

Dehumidifiers:

The solution is right there in the name. Dehumidifiers are effective at pulling moisture out of your home’s air, which means there is less humidity contacting the window panes that have been cooled by old man winter. Set one or a few up in strategic places around your home and see what a difference they make.

Technology:

Windows and doors from JELD-WEN® are at the very forefront of the industry and have been for generations. Every single product and technology advancement is built specifically to handle anything and everything that our unique Canadian climate can bring, and that includes condensation. What does that really mean? Read on to find out.

JELD-WEN® Innovative Products to Keep All Canadians Dry

Canada, as a country, varies greatly in terms of its weather. Therefore, the windows sold in Canada need to be able to adapt to and perform in a variety of different weather scenarios. All of JELD-WEN®’s industry-leading technologies have the unique ability to keep your windows dry, your home structurally sound, and your family safe.

How is this possible? Because we have a deep understanding of the Canadian climate, including the building codes for each and every region. In order to keep this organized, the country is broken out into different zones, each of which has its own definition in terms of requirements for window and door manufacturing.

JELD-WEN® windows are designed to offer Canadians above-average thermal performance. This is thanks to True Tri-Pane™ technology, which brings meaningful benefits to homeowners in terms of thermal performance, sound insulation, climate control, and overall comfort.

The advantages simply cannot be ignored:

  • 33% more Low-E coating for superior UV resiliency
  • 50% more insulated space—this definitely helps reduce condensation
  • 50% more Argon gas fill for increased thermal performance
  • Increased interior sound attenuation for a quieter, healthier environment
  • Meets and exceeds all ENERGY STAR® 2020 standards and ready to meet upcoming building code changes across Canada

That translates into windows that can combat the build-up of damaging condensation, creating lasting value for homeowners regardless of the climate they occupy.

To learn more about JELD-WEN®’s Northern Tri-Pane Collection™ please visit www.keepoutsideout.com.   

2 Comments

  1. Sigrid J Rolfe

    I would like a quote for replacing a large window

  2. Erica Ramsammy

    Hi Ms. Rolfe, thank you for reaching out. We have sent you an email requesting more information.

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