Fighting Frosty Windows

Home Inspector with Electrospec Home Inspection Services

Windows let in light, and during winter they can also let in the cold, and they can be wet and frosty – sometimes encouraging the growth of mold, and damaging interior trim and finishes. Here's some tips on how to tame your windows and save money!


Why Do Windows Get Frosty?

During freezing conditions – and during periods of warm days and cooler nights, like late fall and early winter – windows of any age, type or style can condense moisture, if the interior and exterior conditions are right. Windows get wet when humid air comes in contact with cold windows, and if its’s cold enough, this sometimes turns to frost on the glass or window frame.


What to do?

Older windows – even double-pane windows can be drafty, with cold air coming in around the edges. Short of investing in new windows, replacing or improving weather stripping can often solve this issue. Storm windows can be an effective solution - however shop carefully and consider the age and condition of the existing windows, with respect to the overall cost and benefits of new windows.

There should be a heat source in every room, ideally at floor level right below the window. Bathing the exterior walls with warm air, especially in vicinity of windows will help reduce condensation. Air deflectors do nothing to help warm a room, or save money - and in fact exacerbate the problem by directing heat away from windows and into the already warmer areas further inside the house!

Shutters, drapes, blinds and every manner of window dressing can also cause problems by keeping windows cold, and by trapping indoor air until it finally condenses on the cold window.

In extreme conditions plastic sheeting, available at most hardware stores can be used as a temporary solution, until you upgrade the windows or find other remedies to reduce humidity.

Learn more about how to prevent moisture problems


Knowledge is the best tool for protecting and maintaining your home.

If you have a topic you'd like to see addressed in future newsletters, call or send text to 613-391-8515

Visit my home inspection website at

Comments (4)

Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Best Hawaii Realtor!

We have no "frosty" windows here on Oahu Gil Strachan .  Know of any solutions that can remove salt pitted stains from the glass windows?  Maybe that can be in another blog.  It did get chilly last night, for us it was "COLD" at 67 degrees!

Jan 01, 2017 02:32 PM
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

As our weather cooled, I noticed one of our bathroom windows condensing. Looks like I have some work to do to solve it, thanks for the info,

Jan 01, 2017 02:38 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Even new windows can get moisture.  So we use the 3m platic on the windows and it works well

Jan 01, 2017 05:09 PM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

I recently learned that new constrution can have excess moisture still trapped in the wood. Our first year in the home was very humid but we are in the third year and have almost no moisture. Thanks for the article.

Jan 01, 2017 05:15 PM