Your Window Guide for Winter


Does the area near a window in your home feel cold and drafty during the winter? Have you ever noticed frost formation or condensation on your windows? These are common problems, but they should be dealt with in order to increase indoor comfort and prevent damage to your windows and home.


Dealing with Frost and Condensation

Condensation usually forms on a window in the winter if the air near the window is too warm and humid and the window surface is too cold. The temperature of the window quickly cools the warm air that sweeps over it and moisture is produced. The reason condensation (and frost for that matter) is dangerous is because long-term moisture exposure on your windows can cause wooden frames to rot and virtually any type of frame to become moldy.

Here are several ways to reduce moisture throughout your home:

  • Turn on bathroom exhaust fans when you take a shower or bath and kitchen exhaust fans when you cook. Make sure all vents throughout your home are designed to expel air outside, NOT into your attic or another part of your home.
  • Keep all vents throughout your home OPEN. Shutting a vent will throw off a balanced system of air circulation in your home, allowing condensation to form more easily. This could also damage your heating and cooling system.
  • Wipe off any moisture you see on your windows immediately. Don’t let it sit and sink into the window frame, or it could cause rotting or warping over time.
  • Consider getting a dehumidifier for your home to remove excess moisture if necessary. Whole-home dehumidifiers are available and are able to monitor relative humidity levels inside your home and adjust automatically to keep them at their proper levels.
  • Increase airflow throughout your home by turning on ceiling fans. During the winter, set them to turn clockwise as you look up at them so that they push warm air that has risen to the ceiling back down into your living space. This airflow will help condensation on your windows evaporate. Open windows on warmer days to release some of the humid air.

Solutions for Drafty Windows

Learning how to fix drafty windows will not only make you more comfortable but will also increase your home's energy efficiency. Try these ideas to get rid of drafts coming from your windows:

  • Caulk around windows if current caulking is old or damaged. Remove the old caulk first, then clean the area before applying the new caulk.
  • There are several different types of weather stripping you can purchase to install around your windows to help keep out the chill. Types of weather strippping include v-seal, adhesive-backed foam, felt, and tubular rubber-gasket.
  • Put up thick drapes or shades. Some are designed particularly for keeping out cold drafts during the winter.
  • Add plastic shrink film to your windows for the winter to create an extra barrier between your windows and the inside of your home.
  • Replace your old windows with energy efficient windows. Windows have become highly advanced over the years. Today, you have the option of selecting windows with high airflow resistance and insulation values, low U-factors, and special coatings that protect against UV rays from the sun. Some types of windows are even designed to lower condensation levels on the glass surfaces.

Window Installation in Polk County

Whether you live in Ankeny, Ames, Huxley, or a surrounding community, Hedrick Construction can help you make your home a better, safer place. If you’d like a quote on new windows for your home or business, or if you need any roofing services, contact us! We’ll schedule an appointment to discuss project details with you.