As the weather drops you may start to see window condensation. There is no need to worry as this is completely normal. Read more on how to limit or prevent it from happening! 

What is condensation? 

When warm air inside your home comes in contact with cold surfaces like windows it leads to condensation. Some condensation is to be expected when the temperature outside is a lot colder than inside. But if there’s too much moisture trapped inside your home, you’ll get a lot of condensation. And, this can cause damage to surrounding walls, trim, hardwood floors and windows. If left uncorrected it can also lead to other problems like mildew and mould. High humidity levels causing increased condensation are known to be a direct cause of window seal failures. These failures are NOT covered by the window manufacturer’s warranty. In fact, most North American new home warranties do not cover damage caused by condensation if it can be traced back to a failure to maintain adequate ventilation. This is outlined in your local Construction Performance Guidelines. Therefore it’s very important that you learn how to maintain proper humidity levels to ensure that there’s adequate ventilation.

You can reduce this condensation by:

  • Run the furnace fan continuously.

  • When you’re cooking, turn on your kitchen fan a few minutes before you start and leave it on for a while after you’re done, even when using rice cookers.And, cover pots that are simmering or boiling to reduce the amount of steam.

  • Turn the bathroom fan on before you start your bath or shower and leave it on

  • If you have a dryer make sure that the vent is installed correctly and that it directs vapor outside your home or unit. Also, make sure that the lint trap is cleaned regularly.

  • If you have curtains or shutters open them so that they don’t block airflow to the window surface. Drapes and blinds should be left open during daytime. At night, raise blinds at least 4” up to allow air to flow against the glass. When possible, open windows for short time. Ventilation is the most effective means to remove moisture from your home. By exchanging some of the drier outdoor winter air for warm humid interior air, the moisture level inside the house will be reduced.

  • Turn the bathroom fan on before you start your bath or shower and leave it on for a while after you’re done.

  • If you have a dryer make sure that the vent is installed correctly and that it directs vapor outside your home or unit. Also, make sure that the lint trap is cleaned regularly.

  • If you have curtains or shutters open them so that they don’t block airflow to the window surface. Drapes and blinds should be left open during daytime. At night, raise blinds at least 4” up to allow air to flow against the glass. When possible, open windows for short time. Ventilation is the most effective means to remove moisture from your home. By exchanging some of the drier outdoor winter air for warm humid interior air, the moisture level inside the house will be reduced.

  • Do not store firewood inside – a cord of wood can release 60 gallons of water.

  • Make sure attic, basements and crawl spaces are well-ventilated and free of obstructions. Simple housekeeping also controls moisture; keep storage areas tidy to allow air circulation. Store newspapers, magazines and clothing in dry areas and investigate any musty odors around the house.

  • If you have a humidifier, set it to the correct outside temperature.

  • Install energy efficient windows and doors.

  • And finally, consider using a dehumidifier.

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