When our Pittsburgh weather gets so cold that it’s unbearable to be outdoors, we like to imagine the warmer days ahead by staring out our windows. If you go to look out your windows and notice they are obstructed by the outdoors being on the inside, you may ask yourself, “Why is there ice inside my windows?” We are going to help you answer that question and review some reasons why your windows may be inviting the outdoor elements in.
Why is There Ice Inside my Windows?
While frosted windows and smiley faces may bring back warm childhood memories, they are not as enjoyable for Pittsburgh homeowners. With our cold winter temperatures, it is important to keep an eye out for any condensation, frost, or ice buildup, which may appear on the inside of your windows. Icy windows can often be a sign of inefficient windows, air leakage, excess humidity, or even poor ventilation within your home.
Let’s review further some of the common reasons there may be ice inside your windows.
– Water Vapor and Humidity: Water vapor is the gaseous phase of water and is the moisture in the air inside our homes. The water vapor in your home is drawn to your windows, and when the outside surface temperature lowers past the freezing point, that water vapor solidifies into liquid and freezes into ice crystals on the inside of your windows. If your home is too humid in the winter months, the moist air could be the cause of the ice inside your windows.
– Air Leaks: If your windows are not sealed properly or are in need of replacement, they could have air leaks, which will invite the cold and moisture in, causing ice to develop on the inside of your windows. You can try to prepare your windows for colder weather by adding window stripping, chalk, window treatments, and by having new windows installed, when needed. Modern windows usually come with double or triple pane glass. These window features add extra layers of protection against the cold and wet weather.
– Inefficient Windows: Heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25% to 30% of residential heating and cooling energy use. If your windows are not energy efficient, they may be letting the outside elements in and allowing the warmth of your home to escape outdoors. Poorly performing windows will not be able to properly insulate against the cold air, which can allow ice to form on the inside of your windows.
Why Should I Not Want Ice Inside my Windows?
Perhaps the most obvious reason you don’t want ice on the inside of your Pittsburgh windows is because it is cold and unattractive.
Ice and frost on the inside of your windows can cause damage. As it melts, it transfers moisture to whatever it is next to it. If that’s a wooden window, it can discolor varnish and crack paint, or even damage the wood. Frost can also melt off single-paned windows and seep down into a wall. If moisture is not handled swiftly and completely, mold can begin to grow (Bob Vila).
How Can I Prevent Ice on the Inside of my Windows?
The best way to protect yourself and your home from the outdoor elements, is to have windows that will serve as your first line of defense. If your windows are not doing their job, you may want to look into having new windows installed.
If your windows are in good condition and you still have ice, it’s likely due to your home’s humidity level. Try adding a dehumidifier to keep the inside air drier, so ice is less likely to form. You can also weatherize your windows; check out our tips here.
When it comes to your windows, Residential Glass is here for all of your needs. We’re Pittsburgh’s window replacement and repair specialists. We help homeowners find the right windows for their home, helping them save money and avoid installation hassle.