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Minnesota Winter Window Condensation: It’s Not Your Windows

With the bitter cold we’ve been experiencing in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area the past few days, we’ve been expecting our office phone to ring quite a bit, and it has.  Whenever the temps dip below zero, we get calls from our customers thinking there is something wrong with the replacement windows we installed because they’ve got condensation on the glass, and sometimes even frost around the frames.

We get similar inquiries about patio doors and entry doors with glass panels as well.

Here’s what our president, Bob Davis, shared just the other day with one customer who was concerned there was an issue with his new windows.

“Rest assured your windows are performing properly.  I am still going to have Tom call you to set a time to stop by check your windows and patio doors, but I thought my comments below might help explain what is going on in a little more detail.

We are experiencing record low temps with high winds; -60º below wind chill has not occurred here in over 25 years.

New windows are more energy efficient, therefore they do not allow the interior air to escape through the window frame.  When this air turns cold due to declining exterior temperature, it will eventually reach the dew point and start to freeze on the glass, especially if drapes or blinds have been closed.  If your humidity in the home is over 13% when it is -25º you will see frost start to form on the glass and around the windows and doors.  Airflow over the window/door is required to keep the air moving so it does not reach the dew point.  You might try putting a fan in front of the windows/doors to see if that helps.

I have frost on many of the windows in my home and on the frame of one of my patio doors.  I have my humidifier turned off and I am still showing 25% humidity in my house, which is too high!

I hope this helps to explain why this is occurring.  Hopefully this extremely cold weather will pass soon.”

Besides turning off your humidifier, there are other things you can do to reduce the humidity in your home:

  • Run your bath fan longer than normal
  • Keep your kitchen exhaust fan on while you’re cooking
  • Use your ceiling fans to keep air circulating  (If it has a reverse switch as many models do, turn that on – it will pull air up rather than blow it down)
  • If your humidity is really excessive, run a dehumidifier

Now, it is possible if you have older windows that they in fact may be at fault here. If they no longer tightly in their openings, or seals are broken, or you’ve got single pane windows, they could be causing some of the problems as well.  We’d be happy to schedule a time to come out and inspect your window situation and make recommendations if needed.  Just give us a call at one of the numbers above.

Window Outfitters, Inc. is a licensed Minnesota home improvement contractor.  We specialize in exterior services such as replacement windows, exterior doors, and siding.  We serve the greater Twin Cities metro area as well as outlying communities like Fairbault and Rosemount. 



Window Outfitters is a premier Window Replacement, doors, siding contractor and installer. As Contractor in the St Paul, Minneapolis, (Twin Cities) Minnesota (MN) metro, we proudly serve, but are not limited to, the following areas: Minneapolis Energy Efficient Vinyl Windows, Replacement Window Contractors Minnesota, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Lakeville, Savage, Bloomington, Edina, Richfield, Eagan, St Paul, Hastings, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Eden Prairie, Farmington MN, Chaska, Shakopee, Chanhassen, Victoria, Mendota Heights Anderson Windows Minneapolis, Marvin Windows Minneapolis.