The trick to preventing condensation from forming on your windows is to understand what causes it in the first place. Condensation builds up on the windows due to too much humidity in the air inside your home and this is the issue that needs to be addressed.
We are not talking about a little bit of condensation that forms occasionally after cooking but rather excessive condensation which blocks most or all of the window with fog or frost. This level of condensation indicates dangerous levels of moisture in the air which can cause a variety of problems in your home. This can include rotting sills, sashes, and frames; the formation of mold and moisture freezing in the insulation in the winter and melting in the spring – this can cause similar damage to a leak in your roof.
Here is a chart of recommended indoor humidity levels based on outdoor temperatures. By following these guidelines, you can prevent damaging levels of condensation:
How to Control Indoor Humidity
Fortunately it is not very hard to prevent these levels of moisture from building up inside your home. Begin by controlling the common sources of humidity by following these steps:
- Vent all gas burners and clothes dryers outside to lessen indoor exhaust buildup.
- Install and make good use of kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans, especially after cooking or showering.
- Ventilate your home for five minutes a day if it is not too cold outside: this will greatly reduce indoor humidity levels.
- Choose dry heat sources like electrical heating in order to avoid adding to humidity levels.
- If all else fails, you can purchase a dehumidifier that will strip some of that excessive moisture before it can cause problems.
Protecting your Windows
Another method for preventing condensation buildup is to protect the windows either from the warm air inside or from the cold air outside. Double or triple glazed panes do this automatically by using layers of gas trapped between multiple sheets of glass which act as insulation between the warm and cold surfaces. Replacing all of your windows with at least double glazed options (you may wish to opt for triple glazed instead if you leave in a particularly cold climate) is the best way to prevent condensation and it can actually help to lower your heating costs as well.
Installing storm windows can help to protect the outside of a window from cold weather and it a good option if window replacement is not a possibility. It is easier, however, to instead protect the inside of the windows directly from the harmful moisture by covering them with a plastic insulation. This insulation looks like a thick form of plastic wrap and covers the window completely to create an almost invisible, waterproof barrier.