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Interior Condensation

  • Home Owner Tips
  • Thursday, December 10, 2015
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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas; beautiful frost building on the trees, snow gathering in the mountains and that frustrating layer of moisture building up on your brand new windows!

Let’s talk about interior condensation, the causes of it, and what you can do to avoid it.

Water or frost on windows is caused by condensation, which is formed when warm, moist air comes in contact with cooler, dry air. An example of this is when the bathroom mirror steams up after your hot shower. Just like that mirror, the inside or outside of the windows in your home can sweat or fog due to temperature differentials.

Glass is usually the first place you notice condensation because glass surfaces have the lowest temperature of any surface in a house.

Faulty windows are not the cause of condensation. The cause is excess moisture in the air, and the reason you may observe a build up of condensation in your home is actually because of modern energy-efficient home building products and techniques. Insulation and construction materials used today are designed to keep cold air outside in order to keep your family warm, and save costs on heating. While energy-efficient designs and weather-stripping keep cold air outside, they also keep warm, moist air inside. Older window designs were less efficient and consequently allowed moisture to escape.

If you’ve ever lived in an older house and noticed didn’t have as much condensation on the windows, it’s probably because they were drafty. Good windows and insulation create barriers to the air exchange of a home. When combined with additional moisture from every day activities like showering or cooking, the result is excess moisture and a high relative indoor humidity level.

So, how do you avoid it? Our Services & Warranty Team put together some tips:

  • Check your humidistat to ensure it is set to 10% – 20%, depending on the temperature. (See chart below.)
  • Turn on your ventilation system during colder temperatures, which will help circulate the air regularly. The ventilation switch is usually next to the thermostat on the main floor. It should be labeled ‘ventilation’.
  • To accelerate the drying of windows, turn all fans on (bathrooms, ventilation, and hood fan in your kitchen) for a few hours per day.
  • If your bathroom fan is dripping, run the fan in the affected area for 4 to 6 hours straight.
  • Ensure that all blinds are pulled up, open and drapes are pulled back, allowing air to circulate.

These six things will help remove the condensation from your home and reduce the amount of humidity that gathers on your windows sills and piping from the bathroom fan to the roof.

– Heather Dietrich, Marketing

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