Windscreen and window condensation has been irritating drivers since the beginning of time (or, at least, since the beginning of windscreens). The problem is most annoying at this time of year when it is not cold enough to warrant having your heating on high, but cold enough for your body temperature to cause a steam, and in the winter when it seems to take forever to banish the condensation in the morning.
It is vital that you clear condensation adequately from your windscreen; driving with limited visibility could lead to a fine, not to mention putting you and other road users at risk. Although condensation is largely inevitable, there are a few things that you can do to prevent it. First, it helps to understand what causes condensation.
Causes of condensation
Condensation is a natural phenomenon when the temperature inside a space is different to that outside. As ambient temperatures tend to drop overnight, condensation usually happens at night time, which is why your windscreen is misted up when you go to work or on the school run in the morning. To put it simply: when your windscreen is cooler than the air inside your car, when the warmer air in the car hits the windscreen it condenses; the water in the air turns to liquid on the cold surface, causing condensation.
Turn up the heat – although you don’t want to make the air inside the car any hotter, switching on your heated windscreen will instantly warm up the glass and turn the liquid back into gas. Once the windscreen is cleared, keep your heating on a medium level so it is enough to dry out the air, but not so much as to add to the existing humidity.
Air con – if you have air conditioning, switch it on in conjunction with your heater; together, they should banish condensation pretty quickly.
Keep it dry – in order to have condensation, you need water in some form. Damp clothes, wet shoes, a towel or umbrella all add to the levels of moisture in the car, which will evaporate as they dry out. Even travel mugs with drops of moisture in them can have an impact; every drop counts. So, treat your car to a good clear out. You will reduce the condensation and it will probably smell nicer, too.
Clean your windows – while you are on a tidying spree, give your windows a clean, too. Condensation clings to dust and debris much more easily that it does to clean glass.
Look for leaks – if you suspect that your car may be letting water in somewhere, keep an eye out for potential leaks. Any cut in the car’s structure has potential to leak: heating vents, sunroof, windows, doors. If you suspect you have a leak but can’t quite find it, head to a local mechanic who will be able to help.