Anyone who lives in a cold-weather climate has probably seen or dealt with foggy windows during the winter months. This phenomenon is pretty common with single-paned windows, but it can also affect double- and triple-paned glass. Whenever you note condensation on windows, you should know that it is a byproduct of differing temperatures, as well as the element of humidity.
During the winter months, when exterior temperatures plummet, you need to stay warm, so you crank up the thermostat and fill your home with heat. Many homes also have some level of humidity, especially in the kitchen or bathrooms, or any rooms that feature humidifiers. This combination of factors can lead to fogginess and dripping on window panes as the hot interior air reacts to the cold panes of glass and the moisture in air forms water droplets.
What can you do to prevent this unsightly situation and keep your windows from fogging up? There are all kinds of options to consider, from coating your windows in shaving cream or Rain-X to simply waiting for condensation to evaporate on its own. However, if you’re looking to prevent foggy windows instead of eliminating condensation once it appears, there are a few fixes you could try.
If you suffer the same problem year after year, it’s time to start thinking about the best ways to winterize your windows. Weather stripping is an easy and inexpensive way to put a stop to air leaking around window seams and it could help to reduce cold drafts and energy waste while increasing insulation.
Another good option is to add storm windows in place of screens. Adding a second window and trapping air in between can improve insulation considerably, and it may just help to put an end to the fogginess that’s obstructing your view.
There’s no getting around the fact that winter weather means cold air outside and warm air inside. Winterizing your windows can help to stop drafts and add insulation, but if this isn’t enough, you’ll have to address the other factor at play: humidity. You can reduce humidity in your home in a number of ways.
For one thing, you should make sure that your ventilation is up to snuff. Your HVAC technician should be able to help you assess and correct problem areas, and if you don’t already have fans in bathrooms and over the cooking surface in your kitchen, you really should install them to increase circulation. As a last resort, you could even install dehumidifiers throughout your home.
Repair or Upgrade Windows
If condensation is a real problem and the constant pooling is starting to warp or rot your window frames or run down the walls, it’s probably time to consider repairs or upgrading to more energy efficient windows. If you’re dealing with single-paned glass, upgrading to double-paned options could make a huge difference, not only by stopping fogging, but maintaining interior temperature and reducing utility bills.
As for double- or triple-paned windows that suffer condensation between the panes, repairs are likely in order as a seal has been broken. Speak with a window specialist about the fixes that are going to deliver the best results for your home.