Living in a house built in the 1990s with original glazing means condensation on windows is pretty much a daily occurrence at this time of year, especially upstairs. I wanted to try a window vac to see if it was successful at sucking up the excess moisture in quick-time.
Leaving window condensation to its own devices would mean leaving the water droplets to simply evaporate, and I didn’t like the thought of excess water making the room feel damp. If I wiped them down, the water would run down the panes and pool onto the frames and sill, and the windows would be streaky — I’d end up wiping up the water and then polishing the glass, a faffy, time-consuming job when you’ve got multiple windows to clear up.
Opening windows helped a bit but I wanted to try something that was an efficient and speedy way to mop up the moisture on my windows.
The solution was to experiment with a window vac. There are plenty available – some more expensive than others – so I researched options in my price bracket. I didn’t want to splurge so I went for the mid-range Vileda WindoMatic a handheld window vacuum that is currently on offer for £50.03 down from £70. And I actually found it to be rather useful.
Before getting into it, it's worth pointing out, that window vacuums aren't just for clearing condensation on windows, they also good for sucking up spills on glass and streak-free window cleaning as they have a squeegee head and onboard tank.
I found the window vacuum lightweight and easy
The Vileda WindoMatic power vac is portable with a rechargeable battery, which I liked for convenience. The fact that the battery is part of the window vac made me think it might be quite heavy but it was lightweight albeit sturdy — it felt up to the job.
There's a power boost on the window vacuum and it worked surprisingly well on the panes where condensation was dripping down rather than just misty. I simply turned it on, pressed the boost button and moved it down the window pane and it sucked up the water in seconds. It’s not noisy but it does sound like a small voltage car vacuum when it's turned on.
The water collects in a handy removable water tank, which can be washed out; it can even go in the dishwasher if you want to give it a thorough clean. Do look out for the max water line though — if it is too full, water will start to leak out, especially if you turn the window vac to the side, which is what happened to me.
And the flexible neck added precision
What I liked about the Vileda WindoMatic was the flexible neck. I used it from the top of the window to the bottom and it glided down smoothly. It becomes a little squeaky if you reach a part of the window that isn’t wet as it drags a bit, but it’s not a big problem at all.
If you have a lot of condensation on your windows, some excess water will start to pool on the frame and sill as you move down the window, but the boost button and flexible neck meant I could suck this all up before it started to drip everywhere. The flexible neck meant that I could press a bit harder to suck up the condensation on the frame and sill, too. I did actually use the WindoMatic from side to side, which also worked well (apart from when I hadn’t realised the water tank was full and it spilled out!).
The Vileda WindoMatic has a battery run time of around 40 minutes, which was a decent amount of time. I removed the condensation from eight windows every day for around a week and it lasted well over that time before I even had to think about recharging it.
On the whole, I liked the product and it didn't feel at all gimmicky. I felt that incorporating it into my cleaning regime each day was worthwhile to stop the condensation causing any long-term damage to my windows as well as preventing damp.
What different window vacuum models are there?
Compared to other window vacuums, the Vileda Window vacuum is a mid-range product — perfect for giving it a test to see how much you end up using one. Below, there's some other options on window vacs that might also be worth a look.
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Michelle is Homebuilding & Renovating magazine's Deputy Editor. With an editorial career spanning more than 18 years, Michelle spent time working on educational magazines and websites until her career took an exciting turn into the world of homes and interiors. Working on sister titles Real Homes and Period Living, she then joined the Homebuilding team in November 2018.
She’s just completed her second kitchen renovation project and bathroom renovation, armed with an ever-growing knowledge of homebuilding advice and design inspo (and a Pinterest board or two, of course).