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What is The Cost to Repair Fogged Windows?

Foggy or misty double-glazed units are a very common problem. In the window industry, these units are described as ‘failed’ or ‘blown.’ Repairing a fogged window or ‘defogging’, can cost anywhere from under $100 to several hundred dollars but the average is between $70 and $120 per window.

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Solutions to fix fogging windows

There are other solutions for foggy glass and these include:-

  • Replacing the entire sash which means the IGU (Insulated Glass Unit) plus the fiberglass or wooden frame around the glass
  • Removal and replacement of just the IGU panel inside the sash frame
  • Total replacement of the double or triple pane window glass

Replacing double or triple pane window glass is usually the most expensive of all the available options. The average cost is between $350 and $400 per window. The actual price will depend upon the style of the window, the type of glass and the labor costs.

What are the factors that affect the cost of repairing fogged windows?

  • The number of windows you need repaired
  • The size of the window/s
  • The company you choose to do the work
  • Your geographic location – costs vary across the States and sometimes quite widely within a state or region

Some contractors will offer a discount if they are repairing multiple windows.

If you're feeling brave enough to attempt your own repair then check out the video below, which is one of several that can be found on the topic of Foggy Window Repair:


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What is defogging?

Defogging is a new technique which eliminates unsightly and unwelcome moisture that appears between the sealed units of double or triple glazing.

The contractor will drill a small hole in the glass and clean and dry off the condensation on the interior of the panes and then reseal the unit to prevent future problems. However, the likelihood is that the seal of the window unit has been compromised which is why it became misty in the first place so the problem may just recur.

Failed double glazed units

If your double glazing has become foggy then the sealed unit has failed permanently. Double glazed units are there to keep the cold out and allow energy generated by your heating system and/or solar gain to remain inside the house.

The seal on a double or triple glazed unit can break or become compromised for lots of different reasons. The unit could simply be too old. Over time, the hot and cold temperatures cause the gas inside the unit to repeatedly expand and contract. This puts pressure on the seal of the window and eventually weakens it to the point of failure.

There may be a problem with the manufacture or installation of a failed unit if it is new. Window installation can also damage the seal and even cleaning products used on the glass and frame if they are oil-based or contain harsh chemicals, over time can cause compromise.

How to protect your sealed window units when you clean them

Try and avoid products that either contain harsh chemicals or which are oil-based. There are lots of eco-friendly options available which are kinder to the environment and won’t damage the seal on your windows.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Will defogging return the window unit to its previous factory seal and energy efficiency?

The window will look much better, but the process of defogging is purely aesthetic and will not replace any of the gasses or return the window to its original factory status thermal resistance.

What causes foggy windows?

Double or triple pane glass has a layer of air or gas called Argon in between the panes. This is present to act as insulation. If the seal on the window unit breaks or is compromised, moisture will penetrate and accumulate, and this creates that distinctive condensation or foggy glazing.

Is it worth the cost to replace sealed units that have broken?

Foggy window units even when repaired will continue to leak energy from your home especially during the colder months so you are literally paying to heat the environment and your energy efficiency rating will drop right down.

There is condensation on the inside of the window, is this the same as fogging?

Condensation that you can wipe away on the inside of the window is not fogging. It is caused by poor ventilation in a room often if washing is being dried or in a kitchen where there is plenty of cooking going on and doors and windows are closed. Condensation is easy to resolve and doesn’t mean your double-glazed units have failed. Increase ventilation if you can or use a dehumidifier if you are drying laundry.

What causes condensation on the outside of a double-glazed window?

Condensation on the exterior of a double-glazed window is a sure sign that the window is performing just as the manufacturer intended. Once the sun rises, the condensation will disappear. This tends to occur more in the spring and autumn when the temperature of the glass falls to a low level at night and is then exposed to morning dew against the cold surface of the window.

How can you protect your windows from fogging?

Apart from fitting good quality units and using professional installers, there is nothing else you can do to protect a window from fogging other than being careful in your choice of cleaning products. Always ensure that you have a good ‘repair or replace’ warranty on the windows you buy, ten years is an excellent average to aim for, this means, if you are unlucky and find some or all of your units have fogged, then you can have them repaired or replaced.

Can you claim under household insurance for fogged windows?

Unless the fogging can be linked to an accident or peril like storm damage or flooding then any repair work or replacement units will not be covered under your household insurance policy.

How can you tell the difference between condensation and fogging?

Internal condensation can be wiped away with a cloth, external condensation will burn off as the sun gets warmer, fogging will remain permanently and cannot be accessed from either the inside or the outside of the window.