How to Stop Car Windows from Fogging Up in Winter
Winter can be lovely in the Duluth and Superior area, but it also comes with its share of hassles for drivers and daily commuters. As the thermostat starts to drop, mornings can mean working a lot more time in your schedule to warm up your vehicle and get all of the frost cleared away.
But even after all of that effort, it’s not uncommon to deal with fogging windows while you’re driving down the road. More than just a nuisance, foggy windows can actually impede a driver’s ability to see clearly and interfere with safe driving.
At Zenith Auto Glass in Minnesota, we work with drivers to get them safely back on the road every day. In the spirit of safe driving, we’re covering tips and tricks to keep your car windows from fogging up during the winter months. To learn about our auto glass repair services, give us a call today.
WHAT CAUSES CAR WINDOWS TO FOG
To keep your car windows from fogging up, you’ll need to understand what causes fog to begin with. During the winter when the weather is cold, any moisture brought into your vehicle by passengers or yourself will instantly turn to condensation inside your car.
Specifically, this occurs when the difference between the air temperature inside and outside of your vehicle is dramatically different. As warm, moist air inside your vehicle encounters your cold windows, condensation will begin to form that instantly turns to frost on colder days. And depending on a number of factors, your windows may be unevenly frosted, with some windows completely clear while others are extremely frosty.
This water change is also why as the temperature of your windows warm up, you’ll experience less fog on your windows. It’s also why you can end up with condensation on your windows on especially hot, humid days as your car’s AC cools your windows.
THE PURSUIT OF CLEAR WINDOWS
Whether it’s just one window or all of them fogging up, you don’t want to drive around with fogged-up windows. To keep yours clear, follow these tips:
1. Heat up your ride first.
There once was a time when heating up a car before taking a car was necessary for performance. But vehicles manufactured from about the 1990s on use electronic fuel injection and don’t require this.
However, there are plenty of other good reasons to take the time out to heat up your ride before taking off. Obviously, one of the best reasons is to make your ride to work more comfortable. But taking that time out to warm up your vehicle will also even out your window temperature and reduce the fog and frost in your windshield while you’re driving.
To maximize your results, turn the heat up all the way to dry out as much water as possible.
A note of caution: Be careful not to turn on the air recirculation function unless the air outside is very dry as this could bring more dewy air into your ride, causing even more condensation.
2. Use the heat-and-cool switch trick.
Try hacking your condensation with this helpful trick from car window repair experts. After baking out as much moisture as you can by turning on the max heat setting, switch to your AC setting for a few minutes.
As the AC pulls air over the cooling coils, moisture will be drawn out of your air. If the air outside is dryer than inside your vehicle, crack your windows for a few minutes. Once your windshield and windows have warmed up, go ahead and roll them up and turn your heater back on.
3. Roll down your windows.
If the air outside is dry and there’s no precipitation, rolling down your windows can help even out the moisture from warm breath and clothing inside your vehicle. This will reduce the amount of moisture inside your vehicle and prevent the windows from fogging up.
Once the temperature of your windshield has evened out, go ahead and roll up your windows.
4. Limit moisture inside your vehicle.
Every bit of moisture that ends up in your car will end up in the air at some point and could cause your windows to fog and frost. While you can’t keep all of the moisture out of your vehicle, you should make an effort to limit the amount that gets into your car.
Take a moment to shake any snow or rain off of your clothing and shoes. If you’ve got an umbrella or towels, put them in your trunk instead of on your car’s floorboards.
5. Use an anti-fogger.
Anti-foggers can be incredibly useful during the winter months. They work by coating your windows so moisture can’t stick to the glass and even help to keep your windows cleaner of dirt, oils, and residue.
Be sure to use a microfiber or lint-free cloth when applying anti-fog products to your windshield and windows.
6. Keep your windows clean.
Any residue on your window is going to make it harder to see out your windshield anyway. But dust, dirt, and grime can also make it easier for condensation to stick to your windshield.
Use any household window cleaner to clean your windshield and car windows at least once a week if you’re doing a lot of driving. And make sure to dry them thoroughly after cleaning.
7. Don’t forget to bring a towel.
Although it’s best not to wipe your foggy windows, a towel can be handy in a worst-case scenario, so keep a small, lint-free cloth stowed in your glove compartment. That way if you need to pull over for safety reasons and wipe your windows, you’re covered.
Once you’ve wiped your windows down, stash the wet towel in your trunk so the moisture doesn’t end up back inside your vehicle.
8. Use a dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers work by absorbing moisture from the air and work exceptionally well in small spaces, and some brands can be customized to set the humidity level you desire in the vehicle. In an optimal situation, you would have a system that fully dehumidifies the space each morning. And while there are plug-and-play style dehumidifiers that you can purchase online, these are not always the most practical option.
However, an alternative to consider is dehumidifying boxes. The product is filled with silica gel beads and traps moisture inside. The best part is that you can leave them in your vehicle overnight to help reduce condensation and fogging for less build-up in the morning.
9. Repair any leaks and clean out the space.
Another area where moisture can get inside is through leaks in the vehicle. If you don't have properly sealed doors, your windows are not flush with the frame, or your sunroof's seal is damaged, these are all areas of concern. These scenarios can cause excess moisture to accumulate on the seats and floor mats, leading to condensation build-up if left unaddressed. And while it can be challenging to pinpoint a leak inside the vehicle, if you suspect this is a problem, it is highly recommended to have a professional inspection to reduce build-up.
Condensation can also accumulate from items like old coffee cups, open water bottles, or drink receptacles, especially if they still have liquid remaining inside of them. Over time water from the containers will evaporate, resulting in more moisture trapped inside the vehicle, so be sure to remove any unwanted containers.
GET DULUTH/SUPERIOR AUTO GLASS REPAIR WHEN YOU NEED IT
To stay as safe as possible while you’re driving around Minnesota this winter, don’t put off auto glass repair when you need it. At Zenith Auto Glass, our mobile auto glass repair pros can come to you to get you back on the road fast.
To connect with our windshield repair team, call 218-275-5555 or connect with us online today.