How to stop window condensation in winter

hand wiping condensation on window


Posted June 04, 2024

Excessive window condensation, which is common in winter, can lead to problems like mould or structural damage in your home. Here’s how to combat condensation on your windows this winter.

Window condensation occurs when warm, moist air inside your home comes into contact with the cold surface of your windowpanes and turns it into water droplets that linger on the glass.

RACV Head of Trades Kieran Davies says window condensation can be particularly problematic in winter, when interior air is often warmer than the outside air.

“Condensation forming on windows over a prolonged period of time can rot wood and damage plaster, causing structural damage to windowsills, walls and ceilings,” he says. “It can also grow mould, which has its own set of problems, including an increased risk of respiratory issues.”

Poor ventilation and high indoor humidity can exacerbate window condensation. Here are our top tips to reduce the problem.

Top tips to stop window condensation in winter

Create proper ventilation throughout your property

It's tempting to keep all the doors and windows shut during winter, but it's important to ventilate the rooms every day, even if it's only for five minutes.

"The best and most direct way to prevent window condensation is to properly ventilate your home," Davies says.

Choose a time when the house is relatively cool, before you turn the heater on, and open the windows wide for a short time. This encourages moisture to escape outside rather than forming on your windows. It’s also good for improving air quality in your home. Just remember to always close and lock your windows whenever you leave the home to help prevent burglary.

Humidity levels also get high in your kitchen and bathroom, so use extractor fans whenever you cook or shower. These activities release a lot of moisture into the air, which extractor fans can help remove. Run the fans during cooking and showering, and for at least 15 minutes afterward.


person opening a window

Open your windows for a short period every day to air the house and prevent condensation. Image: Getty

Use a dehumidifier

Investing in a dehumidifier can help remove damp air from your home. These freestanding appliances can be set up in ‘problem areas’ to suck in moisture-filled air, filter out the water, and blow the dried air back into the room. This results in far less moisture ever reaching your windows.

Invest in insulation

Proper home insulation keeps indoor temperatures stable, reducing dampness and the need for constant heating or cooling.

"One of the best ways to increase home insulation and prevent window condensation is to invest in double- or even triple-glazed windows, which retain heat better than single-pane windows," Davies says.

If you can’t install double-glazed windows, plastic window film is a cheaper and less permanent option. The performance of window film is considerably lower than double-glazing, and you should carefully research the different products and installation types available before purchasing.

Keep heating low and constant

Keeping your home temperature stable can reduce condensation forming on your windows. Rather than putting on your heating full-blast and then turning it off, try keeping your heating system on a constant lower temperature.

The Australian Government’s Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water recommends keeping your heating between 18°C and 20°C in winter to cut down on energy bills.


air conditioner showing 23 degrees celsius

Keep your heating between 18°C and 20°C. Image: Getty

Consider where you dry your clothes

Drying your laundry can be more difficult in winter, when there is less heat and sun to help the drying process.

If you use a dryer, a heat pump dryer or condenser dryer is better than a traditional vented dryer because these types of dryers store the moisture rather than sending it out as exhaust. Heat pump dryers are the most energy efficient and one way to save money on your laundry bills in the long run.

If possible, dry your clothes outside on a clothesline or outdoor clothes airer. This avoids introducing extra moisture into your home, and it's a great way to save on your energy bills. The fresh air and sunlight may also help kill bacteria and dust mites. 

If you can’t dry your laundry outdoors, an extra spin cycle after your normal wash can help wring out excess water before you hang out your washing.

Use moisture traps

Moisture traps can help eliminate excess moisture in damp areas of your home. They use desiccant material such as silica gel beads or calcium chloride crystals in a tub or pouch, which absorbs moisture from the air.

These are relatively inexpensive products available from the likes of Woolworths, Bunnings, Officeworks, Kmart and Big W. They work particularly well in enclosed spaces like bathrooms, wardrobes, closets or cupboards. Keep in mind that they need replacing every few months, and place them out of the reach of children and pets.


laundry drying on a clothes airer

Dry your laundry outside, or in a well-ventilated room near an open window. Image: Pexels

How to clean off window condensation

Wiping off any window condensation that does form can help prevent condensation build-up, and therefore damage to your windows.

Grab a dry, clean microfibre cloth and gently wipe the window from top to bottom. Lay a towel or rag along the bottom of the windowpane to soak up any rivulets. Try not to wipe towards the window’s edges: you don’t want to push the moisture into your windowsills or frames, which could promote mould growth.


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RACV Trades is a trading name of RACV's trade partner, Club Home Response Pty Ltd (Victorian registered domestic building practitioner number CDB-U 100178). All works are performed or arranged by Club Home Response Pty Ltd. trading as RACV Trades.