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Expert Contributor

It happens every winter: homeowners notice condensation on the inside of their windows and panic. 

Does sweating windows mean that replacements are necessary?  In some cases, the answer is yes; you may need to install new windows. But, in the vast majority of cases, sweating windows can be fixed relatively easily – and with minimal expense.


Why Do Windows Sweat?

vinyl replacement windowsAny time a homeowner notices condensation on their windows, they automatically worry that something is wrong.  This is not necessarily the case.  Windows sweat in the wintertime for a good reason: the air inside is warmer than the air outside.  It really is that simple.  When the air inside gets warm, it expands and holds more moisture (this increases your indoor humidity level).  This warm air also helps to warm the interior glass of your windows.  Now, when air-cools, it contracts, and this can release moisture into the air.  Now, when it is cold outside the exterior of your window gets colder. When the warm interior air and cold exterior air meet, condensation develops.

Does this mean that your window insulation is subpar or that you suffer from drafty windows? Maybe, but probably not.  It is a fact of life that when hot air and cold air meet, condensation occurs. So what can you do about it? Here are some basic tips.


Lower Moisture Levels Inside of Your Home

There are several ways to lower the humidity level in your home:

  • Lower your interior temperature to between 66-68 degrees. The higher your interior temperature, the more moisture the air inside will hold (and the more likely you will see condensation on your windows).
  • Make sure your bathroom, kitchen and laundry area s are well vented.
  • Install dehumidifier


Keep Cold Air Outside Where it Belongs

If you really aren’t ready for the cost of replacement windows, there are other tricks you can use to keep window condensation down.  The key here is to keep that cold air outside where it belongs – and away from warmer window glass. Creating a barrier between exterior and interior air by making proper window insulation a priority can do this. This includes installing storm windows; insulating outside glass with plastic, and sealing any cracks around drafty windows. The less cold air the gets through the exterior pane, the less opportunity you have of condensation forming.


discount replacement windows near meIs Window Sweating Dangerous?

Any time you notice your windows sweating, it is important to do what you can to fix the problem. Condensation may be a normal effect of colder weather but that does not mean it should be ignored.  Left untreated, severe condensation can cause windowsills and frames to rot and even harbor a dangerous mold growth. That is why it important to watch for signs of condensation and deal with the problem right away.


When Is It Time for Replacement Windows?

Although most condensation problems can be fixed with the tips described here, sometimes (especially in older homes), new windows are needed. But don’t panic.  Rarely does every single window in your home have to replace at the same time. In most cases, a homeowner can only have to replace a few exhibiting a problem.  The rest can be treated with better window insulation, keeping moisture from building up and causing concern or even permanent window damage.

To determine if your window sweating can be fixed without window replacement, be sure to talk with a professional who is trained to determine the cause of your condensation and show you the best options for fixing it.


Maurcia H. is a seasoned writer with 20-plus years of publishing experience which includes 10 traditional print books, three book collaborations; more than 100 ghostwritten books. Specializing in both how-to pieces as well as industry oriented articles, Maurcia has written press releases, blog posts and articles for a variety of construction companies.