19+ Causes & Fixes to Get Rid of Inside & Outside Window Condensation

Condensation is one of the most common problems that homeowners experience. It reduces humidity and can cause extra expenses and unforeseen issues within the property.

This home problem refers to the formation of water droplets and frost on a surface. In turn, it raises the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. It forms for various reasons, including the internal surface temperature of the window being lower than the dew point of the surrounding atmosphere. Or it might be caused by high interior humidity and chilly outside temps.

So how do we beat it? Here, we will identify the factors that cause humidity to drop at home and the different ways to prevent it.

window condensation

Cold Moisture at Home (An introduction)

Humidity problems at home arise through moisture.

We know that air contains water, which we call humidity. This water is what forms a vapor. When we expose a cold surface to water-containing air, part of the water will settle in it. It will interact with other water molecules and form visible water droplets.

Water molecules build a weak chemical bond with the oxygen in the silicon dioxide in the glass, causing it to stick. Water will condense on practically any cold surface in theory. If those weak bonds aren’t formed, they will bead up like water on a surface. Unless the humidity is relatively high, the water will likely evaporate after a few minutes.

A cold surface will develop if you take a slow, hot breath and blow it against a window. If you watch it closely, you’ll observe the water re-evaporate and return to the gaseous state. It occurs because your breath is hotter than the window, yet it cools down and evaporates back into the air after some time.

In your daily life, you can observe examples of this. When you bathe or breathe, humidity levels rise. Another example is a cold beverage in a warm room with visible water droplets on the glass. It is the most basic kind of condensation.

Why do I Get Condensation on my Windows?

A lot of people believe that windows automatically cause condensation. In principle, it is triggered by humid or cool air coming into contact with cold surfaces. Or when vapor-filled air comes into contact with cold surfaces. And it is likely to be experienced throughout different seasons as well.

The seal has failed, which is why this is happening. When the inside seal is damaged, moisture from different temperatures can condense.

It occurs whenever the conditions are favorable. It is more prevalent during the winter when it is pretty cold outdoors. The windows get extremely chilly, and moisture from the inside air condenses on them.

Types

Before we learn how to stop this air problem, we need to understand the different forms.

Indoor or interior

It happens to the interior panes due to numerous factors such as air conditioning or cooking. Showers will also cause it. Cool air formed as a result of well-insulated structures trapping humid air within.

Excessive moisture in the house causes interior window condensation, most common in the winter when warm air condenses on chilly windows. It happens when the seal between the panes fails, or the desiccant within the windows becomes soggy.

Outdoor or exterior

It happens when the window’s interior is substantially colder than the exterior.

The shallower layer closest to the window gets chilled below its dew point temperature when humid air is outside. It can no longer hold the quantity of water vapor as it did. Water vapor sublimates on the cold glass surface, forming visible droplets.

Gap condensation on double-glazed windows

It takes place when two glass panes are used for double-glazed windows or doors.

It develops because the cold windows reduce the air temperature in contact with them below the dew point. It causes water vapor in the air to concentrate as water.

When the seal between the spacer and the two glass panes weakens, a reaction occurs. Specifically, it falls apart. It provides a channel for moisture to accumulate and condense on the coldest surface.

Moisture moves to a minor dense area of the atmosphere. Once the gas has wholly leaked out, the free space between the panes is filled with moisture.

Problems Caused by Condensation

The most severe issue is black mold and wood rot. There’s also a buildup that will occur.

Molds require sufficient water to spread and flourish. They love damp environments. If your windows are abnormally moist, this is the first sign of a probable infestation. Inadequate or inappropriate ventilation and missing or improperly applied sealant can all contribute to precipitation. Over time, it potentially causes structural damage.  Mold spores may follow and grow in the resulting damp environment when a seal fails.

If this problem is left untreated, it can cause issues with your windows and the surfaces below. Water allowed to run onto lower surfaces may cause wet and dry rot or even black mold.

A typical complaint is an inconvenient and unsightly look caused by mists, especially in older homes and humid areas. It may be more than just an aesthetic concern. Aside from foggy views or dark and dismal regions, the main issues are decreased energy efficiency. There’s nothing great about the possibility of wet, rot mildew spreading and damaging the frames.

How to Fix the Problem

There are several aspects to consider to fix this issue. These vary from controlling the humidity and moisture levels in the house and maintaining the temperature. Air movement within should is a big concern. Keeping cold air away from your home is the key to preventing misting.

The colder it is outdoors, the more likely cold steam may form. If you have single-pane ones, there may be no way to help without making your home excessively dry.

There are a few remedies you can try, all of which depend on the severity of the problem.

#1. Maintain the proper temperature in your home

It is essential to control the temperature in your home. The problem can only exist if a surface is cold on which moisture may accumulate. Keeping windows and walls warm is crucial. Use your furnace to boost the temperature during the winter months, especially if the humidity is intense.

First, purchase a hygrometer to determine your humidity levels. You should aim for approximately 35% or not higher than 40% for your comfort.

When the humidity in the house becomes too high, take action to lower it. When the temperature outdoors is below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, keep the humidity in your home between 15-25%. When the temperature is between 0-40 degrees Fahrenheit, keep the humidity indoors between 25-40 percent.

#2. Keep interior air moving (FAN ON)

After determining that your humidity level is correct, create an open airflow. Remove window covers and run fans on the furnace and ceiling fans, as well as anything else that will keep the air circulating. If your furnace has a humidifier, ensure it is correctly adjusted.

Changing the direction of your ceiling fans’ movement during the winter will help push warm air up and spread it. It prevents moisture from gathering and accumulating on your surfaces. If you have exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom, they can help you remove excess water from the air. On the other hand, ceiling fans should be rotated counterclockwise throughout the summer.

#3. Proper ventilation

When showering, use bathroom vents and fans. After your shower, leave them on for at least 20 minutes. When cooking, use kitchen and stove fans. After you’ve finished cooking, run them for around 15 minutes. When doing laundry, make sure your dryer vents to the outside. When using a wood-burning fireplace, keep the damper open at all times. A gas fireplace must have a chimney that ducts outside, and a wood-burning fireplace must have a chimney that vents outdoors.

ventilation being improved

#4. Consider Air exchanger

This is a heat exchanger with a built-in ventilation fan. These are pretty pricey, but they will help you save money on energy by reducing energy loss. Because this device raises the temperature of your home, it will aid in preventing wetness.

Installing an air Exchanger is the best option. It pumps fresh air into your house via a heat exchanger. However, this will be impossible if you live in an apartment. It’s a bit expensive, but it’s an efficient way to get rid of stale air and bring in the fresh air.

#5. Raise or moderate the dew point

Cool air problems arise on any surface when the temperature dips below the dew point of the air. To avoid it, elevate the temperature or decrease the dew point. Even low dew points will condense on the icy glass. The most reasonable approach to lower it is to raise the surface temperature. This is often accomplished by using numerous layers of window material or boosting the glass’s heated airflow. You may also want to increase the air conditioner’s temperature.

#6. Put off Humidifier

Humidifiers are designed to increase the amount of moisture in the atmosphere, leading more mist to form as condensation. When there is a moisture problem, shut off any humidifiers. Those linked to the furnace should also be shut off.

#7. Put up a Dehumidifier

Conversely, dehumidifiers are required to remove water vapor from the air. It makes them perfect solutions for homes vulnerable to dampness. You may either install a whole-house dehumidifier or buy a portable unit that you can move about anywhere in the house. For the best results, empty the drip pan on the dehumidifier frequently to keep moisture from dissipating back into the space.

This method works. However, it is costly and results in dry air in your home. If you’re going down this route, we recommend this unit from Vremi.

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#8. Improve Insulation

Why not try the insulation kits? These kits are units that may be installed outside your panes to prevent congestion from forming on the inside. These kits can help compensate for the loss of energy efficiency caused by condensation. They cannot fix the problem independently. However, insulation kits can assist if you want to save money on your heating expenses. We’ve included the one we like underneath.

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Great insulator kit from 3M.

#9. Invest in Air Deflector

Raise the temperature of the room, especially the area lying closest to the window. Perhaps AC vents in the ground or ceiling are blowing cold air on them. Installing deflectors to divert the air might help.

#10. Warm up the windows

Another solution is to keep the windows warm. You may achieve this by adding thermopane or storm windows or upgrading older single-pane ones with double glazing. The air gap between the panes prevents the interior pane from becoming cold enough to condense the water vapor in the air.

This may be costly, but it will enhance your home’s energy efficiency. It allows you to save money on your utility costs.

#11. Give them a good cleaning

It would be prudent to assess the problem by thoroughly cleaning the windows before taking any drastic remedies. The fogginess may have been coming from a cleaning chemical or grease buildup in the kitchen.

#12. Increase the flow of outside air

When the weather allows, take advantage of the chance to open your windows and let the fresh air inside your home. Opening up lets the heavier, heated air exit and circulates any moisture accumulated in the ducts or seals. When you leave open drapes and curtains, air can flow against the panes. It dries off wetness on the panes and blocks buildup from developing. The ideal time to open them and the curtains are bright days when the sun’s warmth and light will dry off moisture.

#13. Upgrade Your Panes

Upgrading your windows is a better option, although more expensive. It means you are wasting heat in the winter and gaining heat in the summer by opening up to the outside.

The problem is because of worn and broken seals in double-pane windows. You can fix this by replacing the panes, a reasonably inexpensive and easy procedure.

However, replacing the entire unit becomes a more likely remedy if the situation worsens.

Whereas moisture has leaked out of the seals into the frames, causing them to rot and grow inflated. When considering a replacement, it is wise to consult with an expert to determine the best choice for you.

#14. Seal Openings

The weatherstripping will keep cold air from blowing in and cooling the walls and windows. It will not only save you money on energy costs, but it will also prevent dampness. It’s a kind of weatherproof strip applied to windows to keep cold air out of joints and frames.

You should also consider installing a storm window, especially if yours only have a single pane of glass. This type will create a barrier between the outside and the interior of your home, reducing moisture.

Whether you have cold or warm weather coming in your direction, the weather sealing tape underneath can help. It will also save you money on your energy bill.

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This weather sealing tape from 3M is a cost-efficient solution to look into.

#15. Caulk up cracks and openings wherever you see them

Cracks and openings are other opportunities for chilly air to enter your home. You can use caulk to insulate around any cracks to keep the walls and windows from cooling. GE Sealants is a trusted company that you can use for the purpose.

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At less than $10 per tube, you cannot find a better offer on your sealant.

#16. DIY Alternative

You may use a 12 cm strip of Styrofoam against the glass on the inside of the window’s bottom. A 15 cm wide piece of coarse bubble wrap at the bottom of the glass might also work. Saturate the bubble wrap and lay it, bubble side up, against the glass.

#17. Homemade Insulator (Visqueen)

Another alternative is to cover the windows with Visqueen and seal the edges somehow. You might make a Styrofoam frame. Wrap your Visqueen over that frame, and tape it to the frame. Create an inch of isolated space for insulation. Prevent moisture from condensing on the glass inside the structure, causing mold. It would also help to insulate your interior and to avoid air leaks. Keep your windows warm and save money on heating. Prevent decay of the house.

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#18. Fix structural damage to the house

Because of the activities in these areas, some rooms are more prone to condensation. Examples are wet rooms and kitchens. When you heat only in some rooms, the hot air flows and collides with the cold surfaces in the unheated areas. It results in condensation.

#19. Remove exterior wall obstructions

Move plants and furniture away from the outside walls to allow proper circulation and ventilation.

#20. Moisture absorber

It uses a unique material that efficiently absorbs water and protects the window’s area. The “water snake” is the most frequent. It effectively absorbs moisture around the glass. Mini dehumidifiers and charcoal bags are popular in some houses. Nonetheless, they serve the same purpose as humidity absorbers.

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If you've got issues with moisture in your house, this can be a great solution if you don't want a humidifier running.

How do you Remove Moisture from Double Pane Windows?

If the seal is breached, it is impossible. There is no way to get the moisture between the panes of a double-glazed window once the seal fails. When the seals break, the windows no longer appropriately insulate. They are now costing you money to cool and heat the rooms in the summer and winter, respectively.

If you reside in a humid area, the ensuing fog on the glass may worsen with time and may even sprout mold. It is reasonable to have them re-sealed or replace the pane. The cost is high enough that replacing the entire thing is the most cost-effective option. Replace them with a suitable replacement.

FAQ

How can you stop condensation on windows?

There are multiple ways to limit or completely get rid of condensation forming on your windows. Such as, you can invest in a dehumidifier or moisture eliminator. Or you can opt for anti-condensation paint. The easiest way is to make sure your room is properly ventilated.

When does condensation occur?

Condensation occurs once the air temperature falls below the dew point. The excess moisture in the air at the dew point or lower is released in condensation. It is typically more common in colder areas.

How to get condensation out of headlights

Provide a constant flow of heat to melt away the condensation. The most preferred way is to use a hairdryer directly aimed at the outside of the headlight or the vent. If the hairdryer trick fails to work, you can pull apart the headlight and clean it from the inside.

Why is there condensation in my fridge?

Condensation in the fridge is mostly a result of the differing temperature inside and outside the appliance. The warm air from the back of the fridge seeps into the freezer, turning into condensation. Any cracks or broken seals in the fridge may also further this problem.

Here are the steps you can take to stop your air vents from sweating:

How to stop condensation on air vents

  1. Reduce the humidity around the vents.

    Make sure the placement of your air vents allows sufficient airflow between them. For example, if the vents are placed nearer to the ground, place some soil to lower the moisture level in the air. Or you can always install a dehumidifier in the room with sweating air ducts.   

  2. Remove blockage from the vents.

    Clean your air vents regularly to remove any blockage or dirt lining the inside. Restricted airflow is more likely to cause condensation. Therefore you must schedule regular cleaning sessions.  

  3. Clean your air filters.

    Maintain a regular cleaning schedule for your air filters to avoid dust from blocking the air vents. Apart from cleaning, they’re also supposed to be replaced every 3-4 months.

  4. Repair leaking vents.

    If there’s a leak in your duct, colder air is likely to seep out. The cold air comes in contact with the outside air and forms condensation.

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