Frosted windows may be part of the classic imagery of winter, but the reality of excess moisture in your home is far less appealing. Cold winter weather combined with warm and moist indoor air can cause water to condense on window panes and sills, obscuring views and potentially damaging your home. Don’t settle for wet windows this winter. Here’s how to clear up the panes and pains of window condensation.
Humidify and dehumidify right
Use your humidifiers and dehumidifiers appropriately to ensure no area of your home becomes too humid. Ideal indoor humidity levels are typically between 40 and 60 percent, although you can strike your own balance that best manages comfort and condensation. Standalone hygrometers (humidity meters) are available at home improvement stores or online for $15 or less and can help identify problem areas in your home.
Vent a little
Venting humid air is another important part of managing indoor humidity and condensation. Bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans should be run during and at least 15 minutes after bathing and cooking to vent humidity from those activities. Air exchangers or simply opening windows are another way to replace indoor air, although the outdoor temperature and humidity may limit when you can open windows.
Moving the air around your house can help eliminate problem areas of high humidity. This includes running your ventilation system, leaving interior doors open (as practical) and using ceiling fans – ideally in the configuration to push hot air down from the ceiling.
Beef up your windows
Storm windows and weather stripping can better insulate your interior windows and prevent condensation. Moisture may still form on the storm windows, although this can also be a sign that your windows have leaks that need to be corrected.
Warm those panes
Raising the temperature of your windows is another way to fight condensation. This can be accomplished by turning up your thermostat or opening blinds, curtains or drapes to prevent colder air from being trapped against the windows.