The year has passed by remarkably quickly, and we are already in June. Blink and we might find ourselves celebrating Christmas again. With that in mind, you might want to invest in setting your house up for a warm winter. One cause of getting home to a cold house is the phenomenon known as winter condensation.
What is winter condensation?
Condensation itself is a phenomenon whereby humid air (air with water droplets) meets some surface and as a result of losing its heat to the said surface, cools and forms water. This condensed water usually materializes as water droplets on the surface or even a thin wet surface. A good example of this would be putting a cold drink in a glass. The outside of the glass forms a thin wet film as a result of condensation.
Winter condensation, in particular, occurs in winter due to the temperature differential from your house and the outside. You’ve probably noticed that your house is typically warmer than your compound especially at night. During winter, this difference in temperature is much more apparent. And the only thing that keeps this air apart from each other is your house’s walling. For windows particularly, the outer surface of the window is exposed to the freezing temperatures and as a result is really cold. The inner surface experiences the warm, semi – humid temperature of your house and is much warmer. The cold air has less moisture than the warm air. The warm air then cools when it comes into contact with the cold glass forming water droplets. Studies show that winter condensation occurs when people attempt to maintain the temperature of their households at 21 degrees Celsius and above.
One simple but effective method of avoiding winter condensation is by installing window roller shutters.
Window roller shutters
Window roller shutters may be described as a sectional structure overlaying the window consisting of horizontal slabs hinged together. The shutters cover the windows and form a pocket of so – called ‘dead air’ between the air and the surface of the glass window. This improves the U – value of the windows.
The U – value of a material is a measure of the rate of heat loss for the same. Typically, it is expressed as Watts per square metre Kelvin (W/m2 K). The lower the U – value the less heat the material loses. Conversely, materials with higher U – values are generally known as insulators. Windows generally have 3 U – values: the U – value of the glazing, the U – value of the frame and the overall U – value of the window. The U – value of the glazing is dependent on the number of glass sheets within the window as well as the gas filling in between the sheets themselves. Triple insulated windows provide better U – values than double insulated windows. Furthermore, a glazing filled with Krypton offers a better U – value than a glazing filled with argon. The U – value of the frame is dependent on its material. The U – value of the entire window is the weighted average of the frame U – value and the glazing U – value.
Interestingly though, the U – values of windows are inversely proportional to their size. This is implies that smaller windows will have worse U – values than their counterpart larger windows. This is because the U – values achieved in the glazing are better than their counterpart frame values. As a result a larger surface area produces a better U – value.
It would then make sense for homeowners with smaller windows within their premises to install window shutters. Moreover, window shutters are low – maintenance units. They require little maintenance and hardly need any cleaning at all.
Roller shutters are relatively cheap and are highly effective when it comes to maintain the warmth in your house. Perhaps it’s time to save yourself some unnecessary heater bills and invest in some roller shutters.