How to Prevent Frost and Ice Inside House Windows

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Windows develop frost when the cold air from the outside cools the glass of the window, causing condensation to form when the warmer air in the house comes into contact with the window.
The resulting moisture can then freeze if the temperature outside is cold enough. Wet or frosted windows can even cause damage to the surrounding paint and wood of the windows, requiring costly repairs and replacements later on.
When fixing this problem, you have a few options to choose from. Here are the top ways to prevent ice or frost from forming in your windows.
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Stop frost on the inside of your windows by weatherizing them

Weatherizing your windows against the winter cold is one way to do away with window frost. Windows develop moisture when cold air penetrates them, which can lead to frost. Some steps you can take to weatherize your windows include:
  • Seal the outside edges of the window casing with caulk.
  • Use rope caulk to seal all of the moving parts of your window once you close them tightly for the winter.
  • Replace any worn or damaged weather stripping found inside the window tracks.
In addition, you need to open heavy drapes on sunny days to allow the sun to help warm your home and reduce the formation of frost on your windows.
If your drapes are closed on a sunny day, the heavy drapes could trap cold air between the drapes and the window glass, leading to the formation of frost.

Use a dehumidifier to prevent ice on the inside of your windows

High humidity on the inside of your house during the winter can also lead to frost on your windows. The easiest way to alleviate this problem is to reduce the humidity in the house.
A dehumidifier can help decrease the level of humidity in your home and curbs the formation of moisture on your windows, cutting the chances of any frost forming.
The type of glazing your windows have can also affect how much humidity it takes before the windows start frosting over.
Other ways to cut humidity in the home include:
  • Making sure that your dryer vents to the outside, either through ducting or an exhaust fan
  • Running the exhaust fan when cooking on the stovetop or baking in the oven
  • Running the exhaust fan in the bathroom when taking a shower

Warm your home

Warming your house sufficiently during the winter helps prevent your windows from frosting over. While you might want to remain energy conscious to help cut your energy bill, keep in mind the trade off if your windows get damaged by the buildup of too much moisture. This is especially important at night when the temperature tends to drop.
If you have one room in particular where the windows tend to frost over, put a space heater in that room to see if it helps.

Keep frost out by replacing your windows

Replacing your single-paned windows with double-paned windows is the most drastic measure for preventing frost on your windows, but it’s likely the most cost effective over the long term.
A double-paned window creates a dead air barrier between the outside and inside pane of glass, reducing drastically the buildup of moisture. You can even install triple-pane windows if your area sees extremely cold winters.
In addition, a double-paned window increases energy efficiency by roughly 50% over a comparable single-paned window. A triple-paned window increases this efficiency by as much as 90%. As you can see, double- and triple-paned windows hold a distinct advantage over single-paned windows.
While many ways exist to avoid the formation of frost on your windows, keep in mind the costs associated with each. Ultimately, you want to prevent frost on your windows to keep them in good working order for many years to come while also saving money.
Whether you decide to weatherize your current windows, use a dehumidifier, turn up the heat, or install double- or triple-paned windows in your home, keep in mind to use the method that works best for you and your budget.

FAQs

How do I keep house windows from freezing shut?

The methods listed above are good ways to keep windows from freezing shut in the first place. Keeping a warm home with properly sealed windows should prevent them from freezing shut.

Why do my windows freeze on the inside?

If your windows freeze on the inside, it could be because of a leak in your window that allows cold air to get through. You may just be facing extremely cold temperatures with an inefficient single-paned window, however.
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