Where Does Window Condensation Come From Every Winter?

Nov 9, 2022

There’s nothing like rolling out of your bed on a cold, snowy morning, pulling open your curtains to see the wintry beauty, and beholding—thousands of water droplets on your window!

Where Did That Window Condensation Come From?

Although window condensation can be an unpleasant surprise when it first appears, it is surprisingly not usually a big deal, as long as the moisture is on the surface of the window and not between its panes. This is especially true when it appears during the first snow of the year. Condensation forms when warm, humid air comes into contact with a cold surface. Because your windows are colder than the walls full of insulation next to them, they draw the water droplets out of the air.

How do I get rid of it?

Perhaps unexpectedly, it is not always the old, janky windows that moisture. Rather, homes that were recently upgraded in energy efficiency features like new windows experience moisture on the inside of those windows. That tighter seal around your newer doors and windows is not only great at keeping your energy costs low, but keeping your moisture inside your home. This results in more condensation to form on your windows when the weather gets cold.

Similarly, you may notice condensation forming on the outside of your windows in hotter months, as the moisture in the air is drawn to your windows cooled by the air conditioning in your home. As long as it doesn’t bother you, there is nothing you need to do to manage exterior condensation. If it does bother you, the only effective solution is to turn your air conditioning to a higher temperature so the water is not drawn to your windows.

How to stop window condensation from forming during cold months:

The good news is that it’s very easy to reduce condensation formation on the interior of your windows. Again, some condensation on your windows is not a matter for serious concern. However, in order to protect the trim around your windows, there are a few steps you can take to reduce condensation:

1. Wipe them down.

When you notice condensation forming on your windows, wipe them down with a dry cloth to prevent moisture from building up and running down your walls.

2. Use a dehumidifier.

Begin using a dehumidifier (and stop using a humidifier!). If you only notice condensation on the windows of one room in your home, you would only need a small portable dehumidifier for that room. However, if you regularly find condensation on all your windows throughout your home, you may want to purchase and install a whole-house dehumidifier.

3. Keep the air in your home moving.

You can do this by keeping doors open in your home, switching ceiling fans on, and running your bathroom and kitchen fans, especially when those rooms are in use. This will not only keep moisture down, but will keep it moving so it has a harder time forming water droplets on your windows.

4. Double check that your dryer is ventilating correctly.

This (along with your dishwasher) is one of the biggest culprits in bringing extra moisture into your home. However, this moisture is cut back significantly if it is ventilating correctly.

5. Raise your window treatments.

Be sure to raise your window treatments during the day, especially if you have heavy drapes that cover your windows. These actually trap moisture and cause increased condensation on your windows; however, lifting them so your windows are bare during the day allows the moisture to escape.

6. Weatherize your old windows.

If your condensation is not forming due to better seals around your windows and doors, you may be experiencing the result of old windows that have lost their seals. Taking time to provide weather stripping around your windows should reduce the condensation you find there.

What if the condensation is between the window panes?

If you find condensation between the panes of glass on your windows, this is a more serious matter. Moisture buildup in your windows over time can lead to mold or water damage. This usually happens due to a bad seal. However, these can be difficult to fix. Once you see moisture building up between the panes, you will typically need to replace that window.

If you find yourself still struggling with condensation after taking the steps above, or if you have moisture between your window panes and are looking at replacements, give us a call. At SoCo Wood & Windows, we work with only the best brands, and have several experts on hand who can help you troubleshoot those pesky condensation issues away. To get started or view our showroom, visit us online or give us a call today.