Ice inside new Andersen 400 casements

bubba88January 5, 2009

Just had all of my windows replaced with new construction Andersen 400 casements (low E-4 with argon). IÂm getting ice along the bottom of the inside glass pane when the outdoor temp hits around 0 degrees F or less. IÂve read the postings here about condensation and such but I still donÂt understand how new windows would radiate enough cold to form ice inside the house. I donÂt yet have any window coverings so there is no issue with air flow to the glass. My hygrometer reads 32. Is icing expected at these outside temperatures?

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Condensation is a fact of nature. Your windows just like a drinking glass full of ice are probably not the problem. They are just showing you what is actually happening inside your walls as the inside air leaks out through the wall outlets and any other opening it can find and cooling down to the outside temp.

Remember you only have about 1" of actual material between inside and outside, so the colder it is outside the more heat is going to be drawn out.... Thermodynamics 101.

After all that, the short answer would be... no you should not have ice and you should do everything possible to stop it. Thank God you purchased great windows that have enlightened you to this house destroying problem.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 6:57PM
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I don't think I have much air passing out through the walls. I have fully insulated 2x6 construction with a vapor barrier between the studs and the drywall. All of my outlets on outer walls have foam gaskets.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 9:11PM
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You have a humidity problem in your home which is visible in liquid form on the place that is closest to the low temperatures outside.......your windows.

Google "windows do not cause condensation", with the quotation marks.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 5:08PM
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"I don't think I have much air passing out through the walls"

With the windows iceing up, I'm hoping you don't have much either.... That would be a very very.... did I say very? expensive problem to repair.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 6:17PM
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I read a similar post in the forum below this one and it made me think. Did you check the humidity level closer to your windows? I'll bet it is a lot higher than 32% there. Perhaps try running a ceiling fan to circulate air better in the room.

We also experience some level of condensation and even a little icing on windows over the kitchen sink (where there is moisutre always from the trap), and in my son's bedroom where he sleeps with the door closed and the heating vent is not particularly powerful to move an air in the room. It is going to be 20 here today and is often below zero so we have cold as well. Our humidity level in the house is 23% but again that is not at the window sill.

Are ALL your windows experiencing this or only some?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 12:47PM
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ibwindows: don't windows and walls have completely different R factors? I wouldn't assume there is ice or moisture in his walls because he has it on some windows? Or am I misunderstanding your comment?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 12:41PM
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R value is not a factor. As humid air cools moisture is released. If it is 0 degrees outside and 70 degrees inside there is a point in the wall where the temperature has reached the dew point. The higher the r-value the closer to exterior this point will be, but any warm humid air that enters the wall will move towards the cold.

Thermodynamics at work.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 7:17PM
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It is 6 below here today and all of the windows have ice at the bottom. It is worse in kids' rooms where, like yours, they keep the door closed at night. I have been moving the hygrometer to various window sills and it stays about the same. From what I have been reading, it looks like I need to get the humidity way lower in the house. I can't seem to get mine below 32 (varies from 32-36) with running exhaust fans. I guess I need to look into an air exchanger because 32 is too high for these temps (17 below yesterday).

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 9:54AM
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As I wrote above, I am having a similar problem to Bubba. Do you think an air exchanger will get the humidity levels low enough to stop the condensation?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 10:24AM
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There is a point where you can't reduce humidity any more. Do you set back the heat at night? That doesn't help the problem. Remember a window is basically a hole in a prefectly good wall, you're lucky if it's r value is over 3 which is comparable to a 1/2" thick piece of foam. One idea is adding that heat shrink film on a few windows and see what happens. You are battling the forces of nature.... and you will not win.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 11:47AM
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I understand the condensation on the inside pane of glass,
but unless your house is very very cold there should not be ice. This tells me outside air is leaking in around the sash. Sounds silly, but if they are newly installed,
check to make sure the installer removed any and all shipping blocks. This could prevent a tight seal when the window is closed.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 12:21PM
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If it is negative outside, even if it is 73 inside and 25% humidity, there may be some ice on the glass. Not covered, not 3 inches up, but some at the bottom. I don't think this is abnormal. It's just ridiculously cold.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 3:00PM
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