In this post, we will take a look at how to stop condensation on windows in winter. Australia has usually been portrayed as a warm sunny corner of the world in media, but we do get our fair share of cold. And condensation is the bane that comes with the colder months of the year. You wake up every morning and you dread to lift the curtains. You know you will see a million droplets that unite forces to form miniature rivers that have the power to destroy walls and develop biohazards in your own home.
So let’s see how to stop condensation on windows because if left unchecked, it can lead to ghastly mould growth, unsightly discolouration and property damage. Not to mention the health risks.
What causes condensation on windows can be boiled down to temperature differences. Consider the following. The air in, say, your bedroom contains water molecules. Inside, it’s all warm and cosy. But it’s cold outside. So the glass of your windows becomes cold as well. Now the water molecules of the warm air come in contact with a smooth cold surface. So the water in gas form (vapour) is brought back to a liquid state. The molecules accumulate on the cold surface until they form visible droplets. The result is condensation on the inside of windows.
Essentially, condensation is the opposite process of evaporation. But the real question is exactly what causes condensation at your place! So let’s take a look at the underlying conditions that might be present in your home.
Partial indoor heating – Essentially, if you keep only certain rooms/areas of your home warm during the cold months, you are creating an ever-present temperature imbalance which can increase condensation.
High levels of indoor humidity – The indoor air itself is heavy with water molecules. The source of this could be a bathroom that is constantly wet or laundered clothes left to air-dry indoors.
Warm air being blasted onto a cold surface – Consider your indoor heating. Maybe your heater is situated unfavourably close to your windows.
Window frame specifics – The material your window frames are made out of is being affected by the cold.
Double glazed windows defect/damage – Such windows are great against condensation. If you have such and they get foggy, this might be a sign that there is a defect.
Old window panes – Perhaps your window panes have been put to the test of time and they are finally giving out.
Sleeping in a room – People also contribute to condensation on windows in the morning by the mere act of breathing. We tend to keep bedrooms warm so no surprise there.
Now let’s take a look at some of the main measures that you can take on how to stop condensation on windows in winter. Australia has cool winters so a temperature imbalance is already at play. And keep in mind that indoor condensation on glass is a complex problem caused by various factors and underlying conditions specific to the property so you need to employ various window condensation solutions and improvements. So it has to be tackled from all sides.
Get rid of condensation on inside of the windows
On the subject of how to stop condensation on the inside of windows, let’s consider the measures you can take to stop or at least minimise the accumulation of droplets.
As the days get colder, change the setting of your humidifiers or completely shut them off if necessary to reduce the condensation on the inside of windows.
Have double glazed windows installed as they don’t fog up as easily as single-pane windows.
Ventilate the rooms where appliances are at work, especially when the oven and the laundry dryer are on.
An exhaust fan in the bathroom and kitchen can also help a lot as they move the air.
Do a little experiment by lowering or raising the average indoor temperature. See if that helps.
Ceiling fans are oldies but goodies. If you have one, turn it on from time to time to move the air around, especially in the rooms where your heaters are.
To stop the condensation on the inside of house windows, make sure to open up those blinds to let your windows “breathe” (closed blinds trap the air next to the glass).
Keep the doors of unoccupied rooms open to ensure good airflow.
Position heat vents strategically. Place them beneath the most problematic windows. Make sure they are not blocked by any furniture or other bulky items. This will improve your indoor air circulation.
Stop condensation on the outside of the windows
Usually, condensation on the inside is such a problem that we rarely consider what is going on on the other side. But condensation on the outside of the window also occurs. This usually happens when chilly nights are followed by warmer sunny days. Again, high humidity and little wind can be contributing factors.
However, don’t be alarmed as this is something related to your local weather and climate. It’s not a sign that there is something wrong with your windows. In case it bothers you, you can take the time to wipe your windows from the outside with a dry cloth. You can also resort to applying some water repellent. It works the same way as when used on cars when it rains.
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Double glazed windows condensation fix
It’s a bit ironic that we have to delve into how to stop condensation on double glazed windows. Because double glazed windows are supposed to be great against condensation due to their construction. The frame holds two separate glass panes. The tight space between the panes is insulated so no air (and moisture) can get inside. This simple yet brilliant construction in itself acts as insulation and that is why double glazed windows don’t get as much condensation as single panes.
If you notice that condensation is forming in the space between the glass panes, then the integrity of your double glazed windows has been compromised. Maybe something went wrong during manufacturing. If they were recently installed, you should contact your contractor immediately to see what can be done.
If you are on your own, here are some ideas on how to stop condensation on double glazed windows in winter. There are some things that you can try to temporarily solve the problem.
Reach for the hairdryer – Simply plug your hairdryer in, turn it on the highest setting and point it at those annoying droplets. Hopefully, the heat will be enough to evaporate the moisture. Be careful, though. Don’t point the nozzle towards the insulation on the edges and don’t leave your hairdryer on for too long.
Bring in a dehumidifier – In case you have such a unit at hand, bring it to the problematic room and turn it on.
Improve ventilation – And of course, do your best to ventilate the room properly. Let’s hope that the condensation in your double glazed windows is a temporary thing and it will go away after you make all the necessary adjustments.
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Here are some more ideas and strategies on how to prevent condensation on windows. Regardless of the severity of your condensation problem and what exactly is causing it, there are some general good practices that you should always follow during the colder Australian months to ensure window condensation prevention.
Ventilation – The most important measure on how to prevent condensation on windows. This is your number one priority. Make sure the general living spaces are well ventilated. Open a window from time to time. Let some fresh air in.
Even heating – Make sure your home is evenly heated throughout the day and night. Find a comfortable temperature and stick to it.
Mindful cooking – When cooking, always turn the range hood on. If possible, open a window as well. Let the warm steamy air go outside.
Take the laundry outside – Don’t leave your laundry to air-dry indoors. The moisture will surely find its way to your windows. If possible, take the clothes to air dry outside.
Keep bathroom and kitchen doors closed when in use – The idea so trap all the vapour and contain it in certain areas. Then combat it locally. For example, you can turn on the exhaust van or simply open a window.
Turn down your humidifier – It seems that you have enough indoor humidity already so simply turn the device off to prevent condensation on windows.
Keep the drapes and blinds open – The idea is to let your windows breathe. The drapes and blinds inhibit their proper ventilation.
Houseplants – Consider reducing the number of houseplants you have indoors to prevent condensation. In case one room contains all of them, simply redistribute them throughout your home.
Australia has chilly winters so condensation on windows is common.
Window condensation is unpleasant and it can lead to property damage, mould, and health problems.
Condensation on the inside of windows is caused by temperature imbalance (warm air vs. cold surface).
To reduce indoor condensation, ensure proper ventilation and eliminate the sources of evaporating water.
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We are curious to find out your little tips and tricks on dealing with indoor condensation. Tell us about your go-to quick fixes!