Can I wax my house window to prevent condensation?

Written by stephen byron cooper Google
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Can I wax my house window to prevent condensation?
Condensation comes from air moisture. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Condensation dripping down windows can be annoying. It makes it impossible to see outside and the accumulating moisture can rot your wooden frames. Some people attempt to prevent condensation by waxing their windows. However, this will not work. To understand why, it is necessary to study the effects of waxing windows and the causes of condensation.

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Waxing

The majority of reports on the efficacy of wax on windows comes from car owners who apply car wax to their windshields. However, many “car wax” products don’t actually contain wax. The “wax” that people recommend for glass is usually some type of synthetic polymer coating. An example is Maguiar's "Ultimate Liquid Wax." The car wax maker, Turtle Wax, produces a “Sparkling Glass Cleaner” for car windows, but that isn't a wax either. If you actually used real wax on your windows, such as furniture wax or candle wax, you would not be able to see out of them, because wax has similar properties to grease. The fact that 3M, the makers of "Quick Wax," produce a complimentary glass cleaner shows that their research found that wax is not good for cleaning windows.

Condensation

Condensation is the manifestation of air moisture. In the UK, you will get condensation on the inside of windows because of the effect of warm air contacting a cold surface. Activities such as drying clothes, boiling water, keeping a fish tank or watering plants sends water into the air. Moisture has a natural tendency to flow towards dry air where is dissipates, however, people today keep their homes air tight to eradicate cold drafts. Water vapour cannot escape, but builds up in the house. Keeping your home well heated in warm weather causes water vapour to condense on windows, which stand between a hot and cold zone.

Wax on windows

The term “wax” has two meanings, actual wax and cleaning products that term themselves as “wax,” even though they do not contain any wax. Covering your windows with either type of wax will not alter the temperature difference between the outside and inside of your windows, nor will it eradicate air moisture in your home. Therefore, it will have no effect at all on condensation on windows.

Solutions

Instead of putting wax on your windows, try improving ventilation in your home to enable air moisture to escape. If this is not possible, or if the air outside is just as damp as the air inside, then reduce the activities that send moisture into the air. When you boil water in a pan, keep the lid on and change your kettle for one that cuts off before much steam builds up. Ventilate your tumble dryer directly by using a flue to the outside of your property. If you still have condensation problems, then try a dehumidifier, which will extract the moisture from the air in your home before it gets a chance to condense on your windows.

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