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Why There is Ice on the Inside of Windows & What to Do About It

updated Jan 11, 2023
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Waking up to a freshly fallen sparkly blanket of snow can be a magical (if inconvenient) experience, but waking up to a thick layer of ice bordering the inside of your windows? Still sparkly, but much less magical… 

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Having a situation where ice is accumulating on the inside of your windows is not only unpleasant, but it doesn’t bode well for your home’s environment, either. It likely means your windows aren’t suitable to keep out drafts, humidity and moisture. Wondering what to do about ice on the inside of your windows? We’ve got some solutions here. 

Why is There Ice On The Inside of My Windows? 

According to the site, glowindows.com, “Poorly performing windows, during winter months, have low interior surface temperatures because the window is unable to properly insulate against the cold winter air.” 

Nick Lines, Director of Internal Doors & UK Oak Doors says, “Ice can accumulate inside a home’s windows due to condensation. This occurs when warm, moist air from inside the house condenses on cooler glass surfaces. Additionally, when warm, moist air inside your house hits a cold window surface, it often causes water droplets to form and freeze.”

What To Do About Ice On Inside of Windows? 

While it can be startling to witness ice forming inside your home, fear not. There are things you can do to cut down on this happening. Below, we’ve listed 7 tried and true methods for preventing or cutting down on ice on the inside of your windows. 

1. Use a dehumidifier. 

This seems counterintuitive, as we generally think of winter as a dry season, with the use of indoor heating increasing the dryness immensely. However, an excess of humidity is definitely possible, and can be a major contributor to indoor ice. Modern homes are often extremely well-sealed, meaning all of the moisture created by making tea, cooking pasta, taking showers, and exhaling stays within the house and condenses on the cold windows.

2. Use your exhaust fans.

Another way to cut down on excess moisture in your home is to increase ventilation by operating bath and kitchen exhaust fans. Even when you’re not cooking or showering, these fans can cut down on inside humidity. Just be sure that exhaust fans are blowing directly outside of your home instead of into attic space.

3. Seal all joints.

“First, check for drafts and seal any cracks that may be present near window frames or sills, says Lines. “This will help keep indoor temperatures consistent, preventing unwanted condensation build-up on window surfaces.”

A more temporary solution is to install a plastic film over the windows, making sure to wrap it around the frame. This is a simple DIY that can be done with plastic film and a hairdryer, and is easily removed when temps start to rise outside. 

4. Open the curtains/blinds.

“You can increase ventilation by opening windows and allowing fresh air to circulate during warmer months when conditions permit it; this will help reduce humidity levels inside your home, decreasing the chances of condensation on window surfaces,” says Lines.

5. Use heavy drapes.

According to Lines, “You can use thermal curtains or heavy drapes as an additional barrier against the cooler air outside and maintain interior temperatures for longer periods.”

6. Increase the heat.

 Trying to keep the heat as low as possible? This can backfire when it comes to ice on the inside of your windows. It’s important to maintain a certain level of warmth in your home, especially at night, in order to prevent ice from building up on the insides of your windows. 

7. Check your ventilation settings.

Lines advises, “ensure that your home’s heating system works properly. Having ventilation that works correctly prevents cold drafts from penetrating through windows as they open or close throughout winter months. This can lead to cold spots where condensation may occur easily if not appropriately prevented.”

-Re-edited from a post originally published December 16, 2017 – DF