Pella window condensation between panes

Bsman36January 26, 2014

I have the same issue that SusanM05 reported on 10/28/05, about condensation between the panes of my Pella double pane windows. I faithfully keep the breather holes clear to allow for moisture to get out, but the moisture remains.... My Pella windows were installed in 2000. Is this a matter of putting better weatherstripping on the existing removable pane? Like SusanM05, looking for any possible solutions.... SusanM05 - please let me know if you have received any solutions! HELP! Running out of ideas how to resolve this......

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andreak100

No familiar with the post that you are mentioning, and there's a pretty good chance that SusanM05 isn't going to see this either since the date you mentioned on her post was 9 years ago, but have you contacted Pella to see if they can be of any help?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 1:54PM
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millworkman

If you have double pane glass and the condensation is as you say "in between the panes". You have a seal failure and need to replace the glass. Most every window company I am aware of (other than Andersen) the warranty for this is 10 years so you need to pay for new glass.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 2:21PM
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Bsman36

In response to millworkman; the inside pane is a removable pane, so it is not really a sealed unit, as I think you are thinking. I can remove the inside pane in order to get to the blinds between the 2 panes, clean the inside glass, etc.... So if I'm keeping the breather holes clear, the only other thing I can think is causing the excessive condensation might be that the seal between the removable pane and the window needs to be a better seal. SusanM05's question (along with mine) is whether the seal on the removable pain is the issue, and if so, what is the best way to remedy this?

In response to andreak100: after reading many stories about Pella, I don't have much faith they will help, but I will consider it if all else fails.....

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 6:50PM
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SnidelyWhiplash

Sounds like what you have is different from what's most common. Most multipaned units are sealed around the edges and the two panes together are enclosed by a frame to form one piece.

To replace a failed "unit", the unit is taken out and is replaced by a new double paned piece. I have a lifetime guarantee on a house full of windows and I've had maybe 5 individual units replaced because of moisture inside. Mine most certainly don't have drain holes, that would let in moisture (and air) and defeat the purpose of the double panes to begin with.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 9:58PM
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sdello

As others have said typical double pane glass is an insulated glass unit (IGU) with two panes permanently sealed together with dry air in the cavity space to prevent condensation when the outside air and inside air have a large temperature differential. Looking at the Pella site I assume that you have double pane glass with blinds between the panes. There is no "seal" between these panes so to minimize the likelihood of condensation on the interior surfaces, steps should be taken to keep the temperature and moisture conditions in this interior space below the dew point for the air in the cavity space. attached is a link to the Pella support site and they have a condensation manual that explains the phenomena and how to deal with it. You don't say where you are located but if you're in an area where the difference between the outside temps and the inside temps are expected to be large (i.e. winter conditions in the north, or summer heat in the south) then they should have sold you IGU's and not this system.

Hope that helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pella condensation manual

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 9:52AM
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ionized_gw

It would seem that for this kind of, vented, system to work, you would need to be able to select between vented to the inside or the outside. You'd want the vent on the low humidity side and that might change from season to season.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 2:19PM
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jackiemb

I am also having the same issue about condensation. I am also running out of solutions and would like more options for resolving the problem. I live in southern Ontario. We experience extreme temperature differences in both the summer and winter. Some of my windows were installed in 1994 and some in 2004.
To be clear I have the triple pane system which includes a sealed double pane window with a removable 3rd panel. I have the Pella blinds between the sealed double pane portion and the removable pane. The condensation is occurring between the sealed unit and the removable panel. I do not have condensation in the sealed double pane portion of the window.
The condensation problem only occurs in the summertime.

Pella explains that you must keep the breather (vent) holes clean. The original post by Bsman36 refers to how the breather holes are kept faithfully clear to allow for moisture to get out, but the moisture remains. SusanM05 also referenced in the original post also refers to this.

I have several questions;
1. My vent holes appear to be clean on the inside. But when I try to slip a wire through the vent holes the wire does not go through to the outside; so how do you know if the vent holes are clean. The vent holes do not appear to be accessible from the outside. Another owner of Pella windows explained to me that he uses an air compressor to clean out the vent holes to get around the corners. I will try this but how do you know if the vent holes are in fact clean?

2. Another suggestion made was that the wood frame may be absorbing the moisture and then re releasing the moisture back into the space between the glass panels when there is a temperature/humidity difference; but if this is the case does it make sense that I would only have the problem in the summertime and not in the extreme winters?

3. In an old ownerâÂÂs manual the following statement is made on how to eliminate summertime condensation between the Pella glass designer series.
â Between the glass condensation may occur on the exterior of the hinge glass panel if the inside ear is very cool as a result of air-conditioning and humidity outside is extremely high. If this weather condition is not temporary plug the breather holes for the summer season or raise the indoor temperature. Contact the Pella Window and Door store nearest you for a set of Pella breather hole plugs.âÂÂ

Has anyone had any success resolving this problem with the use of the breather plugs? This is the opposite of keeping the breather holes clear; but, this solution is only is only to be used If this weather condition is not temporary. I am not sure how practical this solution is as the temperatures fluctuates
daily.The problem is worst on days of extreme temperatures/humidity differences inside the house and outside.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 3:17PM
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ionized_gw

I don't know the details of the construction of these windows. I'll assume that the vented air space between the outer,removable pane and the inner two panes is in contact with a permeable material that is in contact with the dry, inside air.

If that is the case, plugging the vents should work. You want to have that space "open" to the environment that is more dry on average during that season. In the humid summertime, that would be inside with air conditioning. The moisture will pass through the frames and dry to the inside.

In the winter, the air outside is typically drier than inside, but I am not sure that the difference will make it desirable to remove the plugs. I think that I'd try leaving them in and only remove them in the winter if I saw a problem.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 4:42PM
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