Why do my windows get steamed up? How to stop condensation on windows

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  • If you find yourself waking up every morning and wondering why your windows get steamed up, this is why – and how to stop condensation on windows in the winter.

    Now it’s starting to get cold outside, you might notice your windows are starting to steam up. Not only do this look unsightly, but it can also encourage a build up of black mould around your home.

    But don’t worry, there’s plenty of things you can do to combat condensation and keep your windows and the rest of your house looking its best. Here’s why our windows get steamed up in the mornings and what you can do about it…

    What causes condensation on windows?

    Condensation on windows is caused by conflicting temperatures. It occurs when hot and humid air comes into contact with a cold surface (like a window)

    When this warm, moist air meets this too-cold surface, the moisture in it condenses. And this is what causes the resulting water vapour we see – known as condensation.

    Why do I get so much condensation on the inside of my windows?

    In winter we’re more likely to have the heating on, meaning our homes are a lot warmer than the outside temperature. Because of the extreme difference in temperature, condensation on windows is more likely to form. 

    If you only have single-glazed windows, your window panes will likely get very cold, but condensation also forms on double-glazed windows too. It’s mainly down to the the conflicting temperature, hence why it usually occurs in the winter months in the UK.

    Is condensation on windows bad for health?

    Condensation is fine in small amounts, but it can become a problem if its left to build up for a while. The major concern is if it causes black mould to form, as those with pre-existing health conditions might start to suffer more.  Some people will experience cold-like symptoms as a result of condensation.

    People can experience runny noses, sore throats and coughing due to condensation, but more extreme cases have seen people develop respiratory issues if there’s too much mould in the home. In addition, condensation has been linked to childhood asthma. People most at risk are babies, the elderly, and anyone with allergies or a weakened immune system.

    As long as you keep on top of condensation, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

    Should you wipe condensation from windows?

    Wiping down windows is a good way to prevent a build up of condensation. If mould has developed, the NHS recommends that you wipe it away with a cloth soaked with soapy water. Then use a dry cloth to remove any moisture, and throw both cloths away after using to prevent contamination. So there’s nothing wrong with wiping away condensation, but make sure you get rid of the cloth afterwards.

    How to stop condensation on windows overnight

    Unlike in the summer when you open windows to ventilate a room, it may be too cold to do that winter. Although if you can, it’s good to open a window to let fresh air into the room. Even for a short while.

    It’s too cold to open the windows during winter, there are other things you can do to keep condensation at bay.

    You can use your bathroom and kitchen fans every time you cook or shower, as showering and cooking releases a lot of moisture into the air. Only run the fans for 15-20 minutes at a time though – and don’t do it overnight.

    One of the most effective ways to prevent condensation on windows is by using a dehumidifier. If you don’t have one, they’re a great appliance to help reduce condensation in your house. By taking moisture out of the air in your home, it reduces condensation and may be able to relieve allergy symptoms and make breathing easier. You can leave these on overnight if you’d like, as there’s no risk to your health by doing this.

    A woman placing a dehumidifier in a room

    Credit; Getty Images

    However, some of them can be quite noisy or really dry out a room, so you might want to consider that before purchasing one.  We’ve listed some of the best ones to shop online right now.

    The best dehumidifiers to buy online: