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What Do Frosted Window Panes Say About My Home?

When it comes to music, it is hard to fault Frank Sinatra.  I mean, he was Frank Sinatra.  But, there is one thing that I just can’t quite get on board with:  how he romanticizes “frosted window panes” in his song, “The Christmas Waltz.”  Sure, frosted window panes look pretty, and looking out a frosted window across a snow covered yard can seem magical, but they can end up causing some pretty significant damage to your home.

Why Do Window Panes Frost?

In order to answer this question, you will have to take a trip back to your 3rd grade science class and the day you learned about the water cycle.  If you remember, when water molecules are heated they vaporize into a gas.  When those same molecules encounter colder temperatures, they condensate and return to liquid form.  When temperatures drop below freezing, the molecules solidify into ice.

On cold winter days, the air around your windows is probably a little chillier than the rest of the house, and the window panes themselves might be cold to the touch.  Any humidity or water floating around your home’s warm air in a gas form will condensate when it comes near the cold windows, and when those windows’ temperatures are really cold, that moisture will freeze on the window pane.

Why are Frosted Window Panes a Problem?

Water and homes is something you always want to be wary of.  In this case, when that frost melts it will drip into the frame.  If the frame is wooden, that can cause damage such as rot.

What Can I Do About It?

Frosted window panes are usually more common of a problem in older homes with older windows.  If you have older windows, you do not need to panic about replacing all of the windows just yet.  You can take some simple steps first to try and remedy the problem.  Try these:

1. Lower your home’s humidity

We generally recommend home humidity levels to be around 30-50% humidity.  These levels can help to prevent the flu, keep your home from feeling too dry, and also save you money on your heat.  However, if you are experiencing problems with frost on your windows, you may want to keep your humidity level on the low end of that spectrum, or even dip down a little bit lower.  See what works best for your home.

2. Increase Sealing of the Windows

Add draft blockers, fill in caulking, and add weather stripping to your windows in order to reduce the amount of cold air coming in through the windows.  Doing this has an added benefit of increasing your home’s energy efficiency level as well.

Replacement of windows with newer, double paned versions, is of course always an option, but if that isn’t in the plan right now, I suggest trying some of these other tips first.  If you are still missing your beautiful “Sinatra” frosted window panes, you can always spray a little fake frost on with this product.

Are you looking for more advice on keeping your home warm, safe, and comfortable this winter?  Contact us at FLAME Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical to learn more about our residential heating services.

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