Condensation running down a window

How To Control Condensation on Single Glazed Windows

5 December 2023

There are plenty of properties through the UK that feature single glazed windows, and for one reason or another, the owners are either hesitant or unable to install double glazing as a replacement.

Unfortunately, as anybody with single glazed windows knows, they can be surfaces on which plenty of condensation can be created. If you are in the situation of having to keep your single glazed windows condensation free, then making sure your equipped with all of the advice and information you can get is vital.

So, here we have collected some of the best and most effective tips on how to keep your single glazed windows condensation free.

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Why Do Single Glazed Windows Collect Condensation Faster Than Double Glazed?

Evidence of condensation forming on interior window

When it comes to condensation, it’s important to learn why it collects on surfaces, as then you will have a better understanding of why different surfaces condense faster, slower, or even collect a greater amount of condensation than other surfaces around them.

In simple terms, condensation is what happens when the moisture in warm, damp air comes into contact with a cool surface. The steam from a shower, for example, coming into contact with a cool mirror will turn the steam from its gaseous state back into a liquid on the surface of the mirror.

What’s also important to understand about this process is the actual behaviour of the warm air.

Because warm, moisture rich air is ‘heavier’ than cooler air thanks to the moisture content, warm air is drawn towards cooler spaces and areas because of the difference in air pressure. That means that warm, moist air created in a house is going to be drawn towards spots on the properties walls and windows that aren’t as well insulated as they could be.

This is why single glazed windows are often a hotbed of condensation creation, because the single window pane (and often the pane itself) are not up to modern insulation standards found in double glazing.

It’s easy to see then why warm air created in the property will be drawn towards these single glazed windows, and condense onto the glass, causing the obvious condensation on single glazed windows.

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Should I Replace My Single Glazed Window with Double Glazed?

Condensation on a window inside a property

If you are looking for a more thermally efficient, soundproof, and more modern window then yes, we recommend that you replace your single glazed window with a double glazed one. Double glazed windows retain heat better than single glazed windows, so the likelihood of condensation building up on the pane is reduced.

However, there are situations where replacing your window is out of the question. Double glazing is expensive to start with, and the price could be prohibitive to plenty of people.

Or, you might have a historic window frame that you cannot replace because the property or window is listed. It could be the case that your window is an original feature, and you want to keep it to retain the feel of the property purely for your own purposes, or it might that the window is special and you like it.

So, if you cannot or will not replace your single glazed window, what options are available to you to reduce condensation?

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How Can I Reduce Condensation on Single Glazed Windows?

Because single glazed windows can accumulate more condensation than a modern, double glazed windows, it’s more important to learn how to control that condensation, and reduce the chance of black mould growing on your window pane and around the window itself.

Here are some tried, tested, and true methods of controlling condensation in your property that will help to reduce condensation on single glazed windows.

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Increase Ventilation in The Room Containing the Single Glazed Window

Condensation, as we have already gone over, is a problem born out of a lack of adequate ventilation.

If the room or hallway containing the single glazed window does not feature any other kind of ventilation through which the warm air can escape, then its going to be drawn to the coolest surface in the area – the window.

So, having additional control over where the warm, moisture rich air goes is going to help you dictate where condensation isn’t going to appear. The installation of an extractor van, a trickle vent, or even an air brick can go a long way in directing the warm air out of your property without it gathering on your window.

Control the Temperature in Your Property

We all know that running the heating is expensive, more so now than ever, but it can be an incredibly useful tool when you want to control, or even reduce condensation.

Keeping the temperature inside your property steady means that the chances of the warm air being created coming into contact with a cooler surface is reduced, therefore the chance of condensation being created is also reduced.

Keeping your heating off in your property is a cheaper solution, and it can be tempting to keep the boiler off to save money. It’s important to remember that without heating a property can very easily develop much more than just condensation on a window.

It’s often the case that in properties where the heating is neglected, condensation can be worse, damp issues can set in, and the perfect breeding environment is created for black mould growth, with the spores landing and growing quickly. You might also find that dry and wet rot are more likely to develop in your properties timber as well, meaning that you might not just find that your single window pane is condensing, but also that your window pane is rotting.

Making sure that your property experiences regular and consistent heating won’t just control the condensation being created on your windows then, but also reduce the chance of your property developing other, more serious property care issues.

Improve Insulation in Your Property

Insulation is a key factor when we talk about condensation. As we mentioned, the warm moist air is drawn to cooler surfaces, so by eliminating the cool surfaces you can reduce condensation. This can be achieved through effective insulation.

Whilst a single glazed window pane is going to be a tough surface to insulate, you can take steps to protect the surfaces around the window – and even protect heat loss.

For example, you could put a curtain up in front of your single pane window. This might sound like a simple step, or one not needed as what window doesn’t have a curtain already covering it? Well, plenty of older houses are fitted with feature windows in the hallways, or decorative windows around the front or back door that might not have a curtain rod above ready installed.

A thick curtain, as we all know, can go a long way when it comes to retaining heat, and the same can be said for a curtain installed in front of a single glazed window.

Another step you can take is to be certain that the window pane or lintel above the window is still effective, and that neither has failed. If you have a window set in a draughty pane then its not just going to be generating condensation, but losing any heat you generate much quicker than it should – and the same can be said of a failed lintel.

Insulating Around Your Single-Glazed Window

Making sure that your property is thermally efficient is at the front of everyone’s mind right now, and it doesn’t have to be a costly or hassle heavy process.

For example, the application of thermally insulating paint onto walls can be a cheap, quick, and effective way to improve the insulation by a couple of degrees. This paint can be covered by paper or other paint as well, so its easy to keep your property decorated and in line with your aesthetic whilst still improving the thermal efficiency.

Ensuring that your cavity wall insulation is still effective is important as well. If cavity wall insulation becomes ineffective then your property can start suffering from interstitial condensation, and your single-paned windows won’t be the only surface developing condensation, just the only one you might be able to clearly see.

Get Professional Help to Get Condensation Under Control

Surveyor drawing plans on tablet inside a property

If you are struggling to keep your windows condensation free, then you can always talk to our team about arranging a condensation survey. Our surveyors will be able to identify exactly why your property has a condensation problem, and provide helpful advice to help you keep the condensation level low.

To get in touch with our team, either call 0800 288 8660, or fill in the contact form below, and we will be in touch as soon as possible to help you with your problem.