Tips & How To's,

Window Condensation & Humidity

Condensation and frost on windows and doors, even on those of the highest quality, are common in most Albertan homes when the weather cools. Your windows and doors are not the problem but are clear indicators of a different issue: humidity. If there is enough moisture in your home’s air and your window glass is cool enough, that moisture will deposit onto the glass. Proper humidity levels in your home can prevent condensation and frost from occurring. It can also prevent other issues such as peeling paint and mildew.

condensation on a window

Ideal humidity levels will depend on the exterior air temperature. The Government of Alberta recommends an indoor relative humidity of between 20% to 60%, depending on the time of year, and an average temperature of approximately 22°C. Health Canada recommends you keep your home’s indoor relative humidity levels between 30 and 55%.

In winter months, aim for humidity levels of 20-35%. Window glass manufacturers tell us to aim around 20%. However, it is recommended to have your home’s humidity between 25-35% for your health as well as preserving items such as furniture and flooring. Each home is different, so you will need to adjust accordingly. If you are still finding condensation on your windows, lower your humidity more. Be aware, however, that when humidity levels are too low, viruses and other toxins can thrive in your home. Ultimately, you will need to choose which solutions are most practical for you. We have included the following chart for reference:

Will frost or condensation on windows hurt your home? Yes and no. This is a complex question as it depends on how your home was built and what products were used. For example, if your windows are vinyl interiors, the frost and condensation won’t hurt them; however, if those same windows have MDF casings around the interior, you may see swelling.

Make sure your home has proper air movement, especially in areas that you find condensation. Open window coverings during the day to allow for proper airflow and use fans when bathing, cooking, and cleaning to circulate air and remove excess humidity. Having your furnace fan running continuously allows for air movement and lowers the likelihood of frost building up. Ensure your heat registers are open and unobstructed. If you have a humidifier, now is a great time to clean out any deposits or debris.

Vleeming homes are comfortable. Constant interior air temperature no matter the season, reduced outside noise seeping in, the use of natural lighting to animate individual areas… everything is intentionally designed to increase the comfort factor. You’ll feel the difference of a Vleeming Custom Home the first time you walk through the door.

Published November 30, 2022

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Industry,Pre Planning,

ICE Panels or Wood Framing: A Cost Comparison

Example project: 1,700 sqft bungalow with large, attached garage.  

In 2021, we conducted a side-by-side comparison on a bungalow style home for a customer to determine the initial cost differences between using wood walls or ICE Panels for his home build. 

The 7.5” ICE panel package for the main floor, exterior walls and exterior garage walls would cost around $49,000. 

A wood frame building envelope would be around 33% less providing nearly $16,000 savings in build cost.  However, wood walls (2×6 wall with studs at every 16”) have reduced insulation value with an Effective R-16 (+/-) while ICE Panel walls deliver an Effective R-value of 29 on this specific home. The long-term operating costs increase due to the sacrifice for a small initial savings of $16,000.  

7.5” ICE panels provide 81% more effective insulation value than wood framed walls for this specific home. Additionally, the Energuide rating on this home, built with ICE Panels, is 75 GJ/year whereas a typical new home is around 136 GJ/year. This means that this home uses 45-55% less energy than a typical new build.  

Disclaimer: values noted are based upon time of posting and are specific to the project compared at that time. 

Published October 6, 2022

Learn More About ICE Panels

Are They the Right Choice for You?

Industry,Pre Planning,

Building With ICE Panels

One of Vleeming’s preferred building methods is using Greenstone Building Products’ ICE Panels. ICE Panels are the framing, insulation, and vapor barrier of your home’s building envelope. ICE Panels are an engineered combination of EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) and steel stud framing. The panels use two independent structural frames bonded together with EPS to create a strong, durable building envelope with no thermal bridging and a life cycle that will last generations.  

Carlo Vleeming states that some of the advantages to using Greenstone ICE Panels include high insulation values, airtight construction, better air quality, less construction waste, and the fact that they are 100% recyclable. Depending on terrain and other factors, ICE Panels can also be used as your home’s foundation, the basement floor, above grade walls and even its roof structure.   

In a traditional wood-framed wall, a “thermal bridge” is present along each stud, plate, and header which allows hot or cold elements to enter your home. Vleeming prefers using ICE Panels because they provide a 100% thermal break and R-values of 24 to 42, depending on Panel thickness used. In comparison, conventional wood-framed homes with 2×6 walls and studs 16” on center offer effective R-values of only 16.5. The National Building Code (for Alberta) requires an Effective R-value of 17.5 (for zone 7a) for all above ground framed walls. 

Published October 6, 2022

ICE Panels or Wood Framing

What building method is more cost effective?