Removing Condensation from your home’s Windows

With outdoor temperatures dropping in recent months, you may have noticed condensation forming in your windows. You’ll be happy to know that this manifestation of moisture isn’t cause for worry. In other words, condensation doesn’t mean you need to replace your windows.

Condensation in your windows occurs when there is a lot of humidity in the air. Moisture is put into the air from everyday activities such as cooking (boiling water), showering, doing the laundry, running the dishwasher, and even from people breathing.  The moisture from the air is drawn to the windows because they are the coldest part of the room this time of year. The ventilation in your home is not as efficient in the winter as in the summer, so the air in your home cannot easily equalize with the dryer air outside to prevent condensation.

There are two main solutions to eliminate the condensation in your home’s windows. The first is raise the temperature of the window glass. This can be accomplished by simply turning up the heat on your thermostat. Many homes are designed with registers/heaters placed right below the windows. These are intended to blow upward to warm the glass of the window.   

The second solution is to lower the humidity in the air of your home. The best way to achieve this is to open your windows on a cold dry day for about 15 minutes. This allows much of the moisture to escape the home and reduces condensation in the windows. Note that you should open windows at both ends of your home to ensure ideal airflow.

Other ways to eliminate, prevent, and monitor condensation in your home:

  1. Using a dehumidifier, especially in newer homes that are in their first/second heating seasons. Newer homes may have more humidity due to moisture in paint, drywall compound, and other building materials that are still fully drying out. Also, newer windows in homes are less drafty and more energy efficient. Thus, humidity cannot escape the home as easily through old drafty windows.
  2. Turn on a fan and point it at the condensation. This will cause the condensed water vapor to go back into the air and be blown away.
  3. Wipe up the condensation and surrounding areas of the window with a paper towel.
  4. After taking a shower, run your bath fan for approximately 15 minutes to extract the humidity from the bathroom.
  5. Buy a weather station to gauge the humidity in your home.

While condensation in your windows can be a nuisance, there is no need to panic. Condensation is a natural and common phenomenon during the winter. Give any of the methods above a try to see what works best for you. If you have any questions about today’s topic, don’t hesitate to contact your local LaValley/Middleton Building. We’re happy to help!

Listen to LaValley’s own Bob Jackman explain window condensation solutions by clicking here.

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