Have you noticed tiny droplets of moisture – otherwise known as condensation – forming on the inside of your windows this winter? If so, you likely have an issue of high indoor humidity. So, why does it happen? New homes in Canada are built to be airtight, limiting the flow of air in and out of the home to reduce heat loss. As a result, it’s difficult for excess moisture to escape during the winter months when windows are constantly closed.
High indoor humidity can fog up and eventually rot your windowsills. With excess amounts of condensation, mold will begin to grow on vinyl windows. And that’s mold that you and your family will breathe in every day. Bathrooms and kitchens are moisture monsters – steamy showers and boiling pots build up water vapour in the air that condenses when it touches cold walls and windows. In this environment, mold will eventually start to grow.
Excess moisture is a problem you don’t want to ignore, but you’ll be happy to hear that there are many simple ways to remedy the situation. Here are some tips for reducing moisture levels in your home:
Use exhaust fans. Be sure to run the bathroom fan for about 20 – 30 minutes after showering. Get in the habit of turning on your range hood when cooking to clear the air.
During the winter months, avoid drying wet clothes on racks inside. If you must, dry them in the bathroom with the fan on.
On a day that isn’t too frigid, crack open a few windows for an hour or so to let some of the moisture escape.
If you’re replacing your windows, opt for windows with a high R-value – the higher the R-value, the better equipped the window is to prevent condensation from forming.
Install a heat recovery ventilator (HRV). Many new homes are being built with HRVs to help eliminate this problem. This suitcase-sized appliance typically has one fan to bring in outdoor air and another fan to push out the stale, moist air. Heat is transferred from the outgoing air to the incoming air by passing the two air streams through a heat-exchange core, also helping to reduce heating costs.