What Frost Inside Your Windows Means


A glass window pane with frost crystals creeping across the surface.
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Act before frosty windows lead to bigger problems.

Have you noticed frost on the inside of your windows this winter? While the ice crystals themselves are quite pretty, when that frost melts, it could lead to some ugly and expensive problems, such as rotted window frames and mold. Here’s what you can do to avoid the damage of interior window frost.

Understand why frost forms

When warm, water-laden air meets a cold windowpane, condensation forms. When outdoor temperatures drop below freezing, the accumulated moisture freezes. That’s it—water vapor cools on your windows, then transforms to a liquid and then a solid. This means there are two factors that you can tweak to correct the problem: humidity and air temperature.

Reduce humidity

Some humidity inside our homes is good during the winter months, as it naturally helps keep our skin and airways hydrated. However, too much humidity can accumulate from the use of humidifiers, as well as everyday activities such as long showers and cooking.

When cooking or showering, be sure to use your exhaust fan to move steam outdoors before it has a chance to accumulate on your windows. If you have a whole-house humidifier, consider lowering the moisture setting. If you use a portable humidifier, move it away from areas with windows.

Reduce cold air leaks

Remember that water vapor condenses on cooler surfaces. Be sure to seal all gaps and air leaks around window frames with caulk. On a cold day, you will be able to feel air leaks. Additionally, you can also carefully move a lit candle near a window; if the flame flickers, it’s an indication of an air leak.

What if reducing humidity and air leaks doesn’t resolve the problem?

In some cases, especially with single-pane windows, the best remedy is new windows. Modern double-paned windows provide insulation that reduces energy usage.

The average cost of replacement windows with installation is $564 per window, according to Bob Vila. A Consumers home equity loan is a convenient way to finance window replacements for many homeowners.

Consumers helps more than 2,000 members finance land, first and second homes, and home improvement projects each year. We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit; contact us online or call us at 800-991-2221.

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Consumers home loans

We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit.

Learn more.

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