Does your home have foggy or dripping windows, peeling wallpaper, or damp and oily-looking spots on your walls?
Do you regularly feel clammy, sticky or sweaty in your house, even when you’re sitting still?
Are you noticing a musty smell in your home or even seeing traces of mould growth?
If you’re nodding to any or all of these things, pay attention.
Like humans, homes need to breathe to function properly. That means getting rid of excess moisture indoors.
What is humidity? What is condensation?
Humidity is the measurement of water vapor in the air. Excessive humidity in your home creates airborne moisture, causing water droplets to appear on your windows. This is known as window condensation.
Why does it happen? Condensation occurs when warm air (inside your home) comes in contact with a cold surface, such as your window. During Canadian winters, it occurs more frequently because of the differential in temperature between the indoors and outdoors.
Can condensation damage my home?
Day-to-day living can introduce as much as 10 litres of excess moisture into your home on a daily basis, and it’s all got to go somewhere. Window condensation is one of the first signs of excessive moisture in your home. You may also see it on bathroom mirrors or tiles after you shower or bathe. A few droplets may not seem that serious, but excessive moisture can lead to a whole host of problems for you, your family and your home.
Too much moisture creates damp and humid conditions, getting into your wooden fixtures, walls, and furniture. It can attract dust mites, cause the wood in your home to rot and deteriorate. It can even bring on fungi, rust, mildew and, most dangerous, mould.
Can condensation affect my health?
Absolutely. Living in a home with high levels of humidity and condensation can feel very uncomfortable. Sweat does not evaporate very well in humid temperatures, so your body will activate other defense mechanisms to protect you from overheating, like increasing respiration and altering your blood flow.
However, the most dangerous thing of living in a home with high levels of condensations is when mould occurs. If not prevented, this can lead to mould growth and dangerous mould particles floating in the air. Any presence of mould in your home can wreak havoc on your health, especially to people with weaker immune systems and respiratory problems.
What is a “healthy” humidity level?
As the table below demonstrates, a low outdoor temperature requires a lower humidity level.
To measure just how much humidity is in your home, you can purchase a hygrometer for about CDN$20.
How do I maintain proper humidity levels in my home?
Keeping proper humidity in your home is simple. You can make a noticeable difference by doing some of these simple yet effective things:
1. Wipe down your windows every day
Do your windows “sweat,” especially during colder months? This can be a powerful trigger for mould to grow in your home. First thing every day, wipe your panes dry using a towel or absorbent cloth.
2. Place your furniture wisely
Proper air flow can help prevent mould. Keep your furniture, especially bigger pieces, slightly away from your walls to allow air to circulate.
3. Air out your home
To immediately improve indoor air circulation, open your windows. This creates a cross-flow across the entire house. Even a 15-minute airing will make a difference. Opening up your house to the outside world will allow moisture to escape and, over time, decrease the relative humidity of the air indoors. Consider doing it while you’re cooking or drying clothes, both which release a lot of moisture into the air.
4. Use all your fans
Reduce condensation by turning on your fans: your ceiling fans, and exhaust fans in your bathroom (as you shower or bathe) and kitchen (as you cook). You may want to keep your fans running a few minutes more, after you shower or cook.
5. Buy dehumidifying plants
Did you know plants release moisture into the air? Like people, plants can sweat a lot, adding to your home’s humidity levels. (Just think of how humid it is inside a greenhouse; that’s not just because of sunlight!) Luckily, there are also house plants that can help dehumidify your home.
6. Turn down the humidifier
Especially in Canadian winter, humidifiers are great for keeping your home from completely drying out. Consider turning it down a bit; this releases less moisture into the air.
7. Use a dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers are great for reducing moisture and pushing out dryer, warmer air. Learn all the ways a dehumidifier can reduce condensation.
8. Use a “moisture eliminator” product
Moisture absorbing products, which remove excess moisture from the air, generally come in a bucket or a bag, which you either place or hang in your home.
9. Install weatherstripping
Weatherstripping can help seal air leaks around windows and doors and improve overall air quality and humidity control. Plus, it can help prevent dust, pollen and mould from entering your home, and prevent mildew build-up.
10. Replace your windows
For a number of reasons including condensation, you may decide it is time to replace your windows with new, more efficient ones. Modern windows are manufactured to increase resistance to condensation. Energy-efficient windows are least likely to experience condensation; however, their resistance to condensation depends on your indoor humidity level. A humidity level of more than 40 percent, when the outside temperature is -20°C or colder, may cause condensation even on a well-performing window. That’s where it becomes important to action some of the tips listed above.
In addition to condensation resistance, replacing your existing windows with ENERGY STAR® products can help significantly lower your energy costs while also improving the comfort of your home. Remember, though: a window will not work properly if it isn’t installed to perfection. Learn more here about choosing the best professional window installer company.
Thinking of replacing your windows?
At Weaver Exterior Remodeling, our skilled, certified professionals are the reason for our proven track record of success. We’ve been in business for 20 years and we stand by the quality of our products and provide exceptional customer service. Yes, we earned that nearly-5-star Google rating, and we’ve won awards too! Our pricing is honest and transparent, and our goal is to stay on time and on budget.
We believe in the quality of our products so much that we offer a Lifetime Warranty on our windows, no questions asked and at no additional charge. Our customers can have peace of mind when purchasing windows from us because we stand behind our products and know they will last for years to come.
If you are thinking of replacing your windows, try out our interactive quote tool and set up a free quote with us.
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