We hear this all of the time and with the recent cold snap that came just after a foggy and damp day, the problems are much worse. Don’t panic, there are some pretty easy things you can do to reduce the problem. Here is the simple fix list that will reduce the amount of moisture visible on windows. See the 4 tips below:
1. Wipe Your Windows
Yes it sounds simple, but this can actually help as the water that sits on the inside of the window can actually make condensation worse as it increases the relative humidity at the glass and helps keep the window colder and even more susceptible to condensation, so get a towel and walk around and wipe the moisture away. Of course, until you do something else, the condensation will return, but at a slower rate and you may prevent more damage to your windows by removing the excess water.
2. Increase the Temp Inside Your Home
By increasing the temperature of the home, you will increase the inside temperature of the windows and reduce condensation. This is a pretty expensive method of reducing condensation, but it will reduce condensation some.
3. Lower the Humidity in Your Home
Get a humidistat to measure relative humidity and manage the humidity in your house. To lower the humidity in your house during the winter, simply bring in outside air by running your ventilation system, or turning on your exhaust fans (bath fans and kitchen fan if it is vented to the outside). Typically, a couple of hours of extended run time will lower humidity levels by 5% or so. If that does not work, you can crack a window or door for a few minutes and the house humidity will drop quickly. In Wisconsin, we have found that with good windows you can eliminate most condensation by getting the humidity levels below 35% at 65-68 degrees. On older windows, you may have to drop the home’s humidity down to near 30% at 68 degrees. Once you get relative humidity levels below 30%, you will start to notice significant static electricity and skin drying, so I would shoot for the low to mid-30’s if possible. In any case, most windows will still condensate at below zero temperatures.
4. Air Flow & Circulation
You can increase air flow past your windows by making sure your registers are open, turning the circulation fan on your furnace from “Auto” to “On, and also by running the ceiling fans in your bedrooms and Great rooms. Most importantly, if you have casement windows, remove the screens. Raise blinds and/or open up window treatments so the air in the room can reach the glass. All the ventilation in the world won’t help if the air cannot get to the glass.