I live in a 57 year old home, heated by the original “gravity” furnace installed when the home was built. During the Winter months, water condensation appears on some of the windows, usually clearing later on in the morning as the outside temperature rises. I have attributed this condensation to the difference in the inside and outside temperatures especially since is disappears when the weather warms and is closer to the same as inside the house. However, I was told recently that “fumes” leaking from the furnace are causing the condensation. A furnace installation man confirmed this but I wonder if he was trying to sell me a new furnace.
This just doesn’t sound right to me. I hate to replace what I have with a new system not only because of the expense but also this old gravity system provides such comfortable even heating with a quiet operation. I wonder is some other factors might be the cause of the window moisture. What is your opinion? I would certainly appreciate hearing your thoughts on this.
Another likely reason that you are experiencing this condition is due to the lack of ventilation or air circulation in your home. Unlike modern gas-fired forced air furnaces that contain blowers that move the air throughout the home, your little gem depends on gravity to heat the home. Now we’re not knocking your gravity furnace we just want you to be aware of what one its drawbacks is that may be contributing to your problem. And your furnace installer was partially correct when he suggested that the “fumes” leaking from the furnace were contributing to the condition. We believe that what he was implying was that there is a certain level of condensation that is released as a result of the natural gas burn off in your furnace, although chances are that this is only a fraction of the problem.
We suggest that before you consider replacing what has served you well for many years that you look into the addition of a thermal pane to your existing windows and or the installation of an auxiliary fan that will significantly improve the movement of air in your home. Your local office of Pacific Gas & Electric should be able to assist with information regarding your windows while a call to a reputable heating and sheetmetal contractor should address the fan.