How to Get Rid of Excess Moisture on Your Windows
Excess moisture can cause damage to your home and to the health of its occupants. Too much moisture on your windows can cause wood casings to warp. On the inside, that moisture can cause damage to your walls. Airborne microbes, too, thrive in a moist environment. Many of these tiny invaders can cause allergy symptoms to flare up. Some can even cause respiratory illnesses.
The same dew that looks so pretty on the grass in the morning can form on your windows as well. When the glass in your windows is cooler than the dew point of the air in the room inside, condensation occurs. In the spring and summer, you’ll see droplets of water on your windows. If you live in a cold climate, you may think that Jack Frost has stopped by to paint your windows with an icy film.
When the humidity rises during wet or steamy weather, condensation is even a bigger problem. In the chill of the early morning, the water vapor in the humid air will form droplets on your windows.
Unfortunately, the same insulation that keeps outside air from leaking into your home, protecting you from cold drafts and lofty heating bills, keeps the air in your home from moving around easily. You won’t have a drafty home, but you lose the drying effect of those drafts on condensation. There are, however, ways to keep your home draft-free while reducing condensation. Here are some tips:
Use Exhaust Fans in Humid Areas of Your Home
Kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms are particularly vulnerable to humidity. Exhaust fans can force humid air out of your home, keeping condensation to a minimum. If you don’t have an exhaust fan, an open window can have a similar effect.
An Air-to-air Heat Exchanger Can Reduce Condensation
A heating, ventilation and air conditioning professional can install a device called an air-to-air heat exchanger. These devices make the air in your home move around freely and keep condensation from forming.
Vent-free Fireplaces Can Cause Condensation
If you have a vent-free fireplace, the combustion of gas can cause water vapor to form in the air. When the air becomes saturated with water vapor, droplets of condensation form on your windows. Consider limiting fireplace use, particularly during humid weather.
Air Conditioning Overuse Leads to Condensation Troubles
If you live in the South or in the Southwest, you want your home’s air conditioning to keep your home cool. Setting it too low over extended periods of time, though, can cause condensation, since when the cooled air in your home hits that warm window, droplets of water vapor condense out.
A programmable thermostat can be a big help, especially if you live in an area of the country that gets extremely hot during the summer. Set the AC to run at a higher temperature while you’re away so the warmer air can keep condensation to a minimum. Have it set to lower the temperature just before you arrive home. You’ll find that you not only reduce condensation, but that you’ll save money on utility bills by not cooling your empty home.
Certified Windows Can Prevent Condensation
If your home’s windows are old or of low quality, you may save money in the long run by replacing them with newer, efficient windows. When you look at replacement windows, choose only ones that are certified by the AAMA, the NFRC, or Energy STAR. These energy-efficient windows prevent moisture beads from forming at a certain dew point. Always have a professional install your windows to maximize their efficiency.
If you have condensation on your home’s windows, consult an expert HVAC specialist to track down the cause of the excess moisture. Condensation will not go away on its own. Make an appointment with your HVAC professional today.