What’s Window Condensation and 7 Ways to Prevent it From Happening

We can agree that you want your windows to last a long time. So when winter rolls around, the last thing you want to see is window condensation.

You’re probably wondering:

“Why are my windows fogging up?” or “Is there something wrong with my windows?” Those are common fears but we assure you, there’s nothing to worry about if you have new windows. Plus, condensation is preventable.

In this article, you’ll learn what window condensation is and 7 easy ways you can prevent it.

window condensation

What is Window Condensation?

First thing’s first, you’re most likely asking yourself:

“What’s window condensation?” It’s caused by moisture in the air, also known as humidity, building up on your window’s surface. Here’s an easy way to explain it:

You know when you’re drinking pop on a warm summer day and the can begins to “sweat”? That sweat is condensation. It happens when the warm air hits the cold can.

How Does Condensation Build Up On Your Window?

The same thing happening to that can of pop is happening to your windows.

Window condensation commonly occurs in winter when the freezing cold air outside and the nice toasty air inside meet at your windows. These two extreme temperatures cause your windows to “sweat”.

Does Condensation Damage Your Windows?

Let’s set things straight:

Window condensation doesn’t mean your windows are damaged. In fact, it means your windows are working well – they’re energy efficient.

In other words, your windows are trapping heat inside your home and preventing the cold air from getting in.

Watch Out for Seal Failure

Don’t mistake window condensation for seal failure. What’s seal failure?

Seal failure is when condensation forms between the panes of glass on a double or triple pane window rather than on the outside surface.

That means the argon gas between the glass will escape and your windows are less energy efficient. It also means you’ll need to replace the pane of glass or even the entire window.

Seal failure can happen for many different reasons from extreme temperatures to normal wear and tear. It’s important to make sure that the moisture collecting on your window isn’t a bigger problem such as seal failure.

Learn How to Prevent Window Condensation

Now that you know what window condensation is and how to tell the difference between it and seal failure, it’s time to learn how to prevent it. We have a few suggestions below that will help you.

1. Crack Your Windows Each Day So Air Can Circulate

There’s one obvious solution:

If heat is trapped in your home, how do you let it out? You open your windows. This helps circulate the air in home so humidity doesn’t start building up. Even if it’s for a few minutes each day, you’ll see the difference in moisture on your windows.

2. Dehumidifiers Remove the Moisture From the Air

Let’s say you don’t want to open your windows. It might be snowing or it’s way too cold outside to open them.

There’s another simple solution:

Get a dehumidifier. They remove the moisture from the air which prevents condensation from building on your windows.

Here are some popular dehumidifiers:

It’s also important to look for a dehumidifier that’s Energy Star Certified. This means they’re the best of the best in energy efficiency.


3. Turning on the Bathroom Vent While You Shower Will Prevent Excess Humidity

You know when you’re in the shower and your mirrors begin to fog up? That’s humidity from the hot water hitting the cooler air. That humidity can play a roll in your windows fogging up once you open your bathroom door.

But, there’s an easy fix:

Turn on the air vents in your bathroom. They’ll suck the humidity out of the room and prevent it from lingering around your home once you’re done with your shower.

There’s Also a Vent Above Your Stove

When you cook, especially with the stove top, you can have the problem. It’s important to turn on the vent over your stove to reduce humidity.

4. Turning on Your Ceiling Fan Will Circulate Air Around Your Home

As you already know, improving the air flow in your home is an easy way to prevent window condensation. Is there a another way other than opening your windows?

Yes – turning on your ceiling fan will circulate air in your home. Moving the air around your home will help stop window condensation from forming.

ceiling fan in a living room

5. Lowering the Temperature in Your Home Will Reduce the Difference Between Inside and Outside

If it’s 10° outside, you may be tempted to crank up the heat to 80°. That’s no way to stop condensation from forming on your windows though. In fact, that will only make it worse.

Take your temperature down a few notches. The difference between the inside and outside temperatures won’t be as drastic which can help prevent window condensation.

6. Tying Back Your Curtains and Opening Your Blinds Will Trap Less Heat

Curtains and blinds are great! They prevent people from seeing in your home and block out the sun when you’re trying to sleep.

There’s only one small problem. They also cause window condensations.

You’re probably wondering how curtains can possibly effect condensation.

They trap heat against your windows forcing warmer temperatures to meet the freezing cold temperatures outside.

You’ve already learned that reducing the temperature inside can help with condensation. Pulling back your curtains and opening your blinds allows heat trapped against your windows to escape.

a woman opening curtains

7. Installing Storm Windows Will Stop Extreme Cold and Warm Air From Meeting

To prevent window condensation, you want to reduce the amount of cold air meeting warm air. If you had a barrier between your windows and the cold air, you would reduce the amount of moisture that builds up.

Here’s how storm windows work:

They are installed on the outside of your windows and work as a barrier. Now the cold air from outside will have a harder time meeting the warm air inside in your home.

Don’t Let Window Condensation Cover Your Windows

So let’s recap:

  • Window condensation happens when cold and warm air mix
  • When cold and warm air mix, the air becomes humid
  • Condensation means your windows are working properly
  • There’s a major difference between condensation and seal failure
  • Improving the air flow in your home, preventing cold and warm air from meeting and changing your temperature inside can all stop window condensation from forming

And if you’re looking for energy efficient vinyl windows, get a free quote from Feldco now.

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