During the winter months you will probably notice condensation on your windows especially on colder days. The reason for this is that windows are the coldest part of your home. When hot air from inside the home makes contact with the cold surface of the window, any moisture in the air condenses and turns into water droplets on your window. You may also see condensation on your walls. This may indicate missing insulation. Although water buildup on vinyl windows is not quite as bad as build up on wood windows, it still indicates that there is too much moisture in your home. Where does this moisture come from? You & your family showering, cooking and even just breathing as well as pets, house plants and humidifiers. If you have a humidifier hooked up to your furnace, make sure that it is turned down in the winter (less than 10% when it gets really cold and between 10-30% when it is moderately cold). Moisture also indicates that there is poor circulation in the home, which means more dust, pollen and other allergens in the air. Newer homes are made to be more air tight, with very little chance for moisture to escape. Older homes were more breathable so the air circulation was better, but your heating costs were much higher. Today, more insulation is used in the walls and attic letting less air out. Materials are also better with windows being made triple paned (meaning there are 3 layers of glass) where as 40 years ago there was just single pane. This allows less cold to make it to the inside window. Also, now more gaps in building materials are caulked to seal up the holes. So what can you do to prevent condensation build up and promote better air quality in your home? Turn on the fan when you are cooking and when you are showering. If you need extra humidity in the winter, get a smaller humidifier for the particular space (ie, bedroom). Turn down your furnace humidifier during the winter months. You can also replace your windows to triple pane. Although this is expensive up front cost, you will save money on heating costs in the long run. Also, check to make sure your clothes dryer is vented outside and check to see that the vent is completely sealed. Newer homes usually have a switch by your thermostat for ventilation. Keeping this on all the time will help to keep air circulating throughout the home, reduce humidity and promote better air quality. If you have any questions about your home, drop me a line. I would be happy to help you out!
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