Condensation and frost buildup on windows not only obstructs your view, it can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, and cause damage to windows and sills. By taking steps to clear up window condensation problems, you'll improve your outlook and save money too.
How does condensation happen? Moisture in the air condenses when it touches a cold surface. When the temperature of the glass falls below the dew point of the air inside your home, moisture will appear on your windows. The dew point is the temperature at which the air is fully saturated with water vapor.
Clearing things up
You can reduce condensation by controlling indoor humidity levels and increasing the temperature of window glass. Here are some tips:
- Install a dehumidifier. They reduce excess humidity in an area or room by pulling moisture directly out of the air. Purchase a unit that is ENERGY STAR® certified. ENERGY STAR dehumidifiers use 10% to 20% less energy than standard models.
- Operate exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom and whenever you are cooking or showering to help control moisture.
- Make sure your clothes dryer vents directly to the outside. Inspect the vent duct to ensure it's attached securely to the dryer. Also, check that it's clear of obstructions, such as lint.
- If you have older single-pane windows, especially those with metal frames, installing storm windows helps control condensation. The space between the two allows the interior window to remain warmer.
- Window insulation kits, available at your local home improvement retailer, are a more affordable alternative to storm windows. Made of clear film, these kits are easy to install and help save energy while reducing condensation and frost buildup.
The best way to eliminate condensation is to replace older, single-pane windows with new, double-pane models with low-e coating. These windows are more effective at keeping the inside glass at a higher temperature, reducing condensation and increasing comfort. Make sure your new windows are ENERGY STAR-certified for energy-efficient performance.