How to Prevent Ice on Windows in Your Home (And Why You Should)

When nighttime temperatures start to drop in Northern California, you’ll notice dew and even frost on your car’s windshield in the morning. But what about your home’s windows? We don’t get snow storms in Sacramento, but that doesn’t mean your picture windows are safe.

You may not worry about frost and ice on your panes — after all, it provides a cozy, whimsical atmosphere that inspires you to make a cup of hot cocoa. But ice can cause damage. Let’s talk about why window ice happens and how to prevent ice on windows at your house.

Why Does Ice form on Windows?

Ice and frost form on windows when two conditions are present: cold air outside and warm, moist air on the inside. As you blast your heater in winter months, you could be creating a recipe for window frost or sheets of ice without even realizing it!

We’re not suggesting you turn down the furnace (you don’t want to freeze every night), but there are some ways to keep your home warm without allowing ice to form when it hits the cold windows.

What Damage Can Ice and Frost Cause?

Let’s talk really quick about why you should care. While frost and ice don’t usually create damage at first, when they melt there could be issues. Your wood window frame could be damaged, or your siding may start to peel just beneath certain windows. What’s worse, if melting ice pools against wood, mold could begin to grow over time.

Preventing Ice From Forming on Windows

There are a few things you can do to keep ice and frost from forming on your windows on colder nights. Not only will these methods allow you to remain cozy, but you can keep your windows in good shape for a long time.

1. Run a Dehumidifier

The key to avoiding frost and ice build up has a lot to do with the level of moisture, or humidity in the air, inside your home. If you can bring down the humidity — you can greatly reduce the chances of having frost build-up on your window panes. And running a dehumidifier is a relatively inexpensive and easy fix. If you can’t have one in every room, at least run one near major picture windows and rooms (like the kitchen) where a lot of moisture tends to accumulate in the air.

2. Seal Your Window Frames Again

Be honest: when was the last time you sealed the perimeter of your windows with new caulk or rubber stripping? It’s probably been a while. Unsealed windows can allow melting ice to make its way inside or penetrate your indoor window frame. Do yourself a favor and reseal your windows before the coldest temperatures hit this year.

3. Wipe Down Window Glass 

If you notice condensation on your windows during the day, wipe it off. This is the first step of frost forming, and it could even lead to a sheet of ice. Regular condensation on the inside of your window is also a signal that your room is getting too humid. You should find ways to get rid of moisture in the room (such as running the dehumidifier more or not air drying we clothes) if you are having to wipe off condensation on a regular basis.

4. Consider Replacing Your Windows

Finally, double-pane windows are less likely to form frost or ice. Because the cold layer of outdoor glass and the warm glass on the inside of your home are no longer two sides of the same pane, they are no longer as apt to create frost. It’s just science.

Do you have more than window problems? If you’re also dealing with a leaking roof and you’re underwater in your mortgage, you may want to consider selling your home in as-is condition. That means skipping the MLS and looking into alternative methods.

When you sell to a company like California Family Homebuyers, we don’t ask you to make any repairs before we take over. You don’t have to worry about how to prevent ice on windows in order to present the home in “sellable” condition. We take over properties with all sorts of issues. Give us a call today to see if we can help you move out of your Sacramento home!

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