Cold weather invariably brings with it the formation of condensation – water droplets – both on the exterior and interior of your windows. This can be very annoying for homeowners who, in addition to the obscured view, have to put up with water freezing on the glass or falling to drip onto surfaces inside the home.
While exterior condensation – water condensing on the side of the window panes outside your home – is much like dew forming on grass, a product of a difference in temperature between the air and the glass, condensation forming on the glass inside your home is a warning sign that your home is too humid. Left unchecked, these elevated levels of moisture can damage your home and lead to the formation of mold and mildew. Here’s what you can do:
Control the humidity
Keep kitchen and bathroom doors closed when cooking or taking a bath or shower to prevent the steamy air from moving into colder rooms and forming condensation. Afterwards, use an extractor fan to vent moisture, and keep it running for 15-20 minutes.
Cover pot lids when cooking or boiling water, and keep other sources of moisture, such as indoor aquariums, covered as well.
Dry your clothes outside whenever you can. If you must dry your clothes indoors, make sure to open windows and doors to reduce excess moisture.
Move plants outdoors and see if that reduces humidity.
Lower the settings on your humidifier if you have one.
Ensure proper ventilation
Make sure all gas appliances, clothes dryers, and exhaust fans vent outside your home. Get vents installed for any appliances that don’t already have ways to vent the air outside.
If your windows have insect screens, remove them during winter.
Open windows in frequently-used rooms to allow the air to circulate.
Prevent moisture from getting trapped
Open drapes and window coverings when you don’t need them, as these tend to restrict air flow around the windows and increase condensation.
Keep furniture away from walls to let air circulate; a gap of around 50mm is sufficient.
With the air moving in our homes, it’s time to tackle routine maintenance how-tos. Stay tuned for Part II!