Winter Window Condensation
Nobody like freezing cold temperatures, including your home. We’ve also never met anyone who appreciates pesky condensation on their windows. As much of a nuisance as condensation can be, it is actually a natural occurrence (especially when exterior temps are sub-zero) and not necessarily a sign or reason to replace your windows.
Why does condensation occur?
Warm water vapor in the air turns to droplets when it meets a cooled surface- similar to a sweaty glass of ice water on a hot, humid day. That’s exactly what’s happening to your home’s windows when it’s warm inside and you have a cool piece of glass between you and the cold winter air.
Interior condensation is most prevalent when there is extreme drop in temperature, and temperatures vary greatly from interior to exterior- but humidity is the real culprit.
The good news? Light condensation on your windows in not indicative of a problem, nor a sign you need to replace them. Many things can contribute to excess humidity in your home including: hot showers, cooking meals, have a large number of guests over (heat and breath), doing your laundry, in-home humidifiers, and even houseplants.
Managing humidity in your home will be the difference maker in the amount of condensation on your windows.
What can I do to alleviate condensation in my home?
- Let your windows breathe. Small steps like removing your screens can make a big difference. If you have your drapes or blinds closed, this traps in moisture as well as cold air- which could result in frost and ice. Open your blinds and pull back your drapes to give your windows some air.
- Turn on your fans. Better air circulation in your room and home will help disperse heat and humidity to help with condensation. (Did you know? Most fans have a “winter switch” where you can change the direction of your fan to push warm air back down. This helps keep your room warmer too!)
- Vent your showers, laundry and cooking. Make sure to run your bathroom fan while showering and keep it running until your mirrors run clear. Vent cooking and laundry to the outside whenever possible.
- Wood and Stain- Although light condensation is considered harmless to a composite or vinyl window, wood windows should be wiped down to prevent the moisture from damaging the wood, stain and finish.
- Constant Condensation- Recognizing the difference between occasional, light condensation and a chronic condensation problem is key. If your condensation issues seem to be persistent, you may need to look at other means to eliminate humidity in your home. Chronic condensation can create a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can lead to a number of other home and health issues.
For more information, see “Understanding Condensation on Windows” in our video library.