Tips & How To's,

Window Condensation & Humidity

Condensation and frost on windows and doors, even on those of the highest quality, are common occurrences in most Alberta homes when the weather cools. While it’s easy to blame the windows and doors for these issues, they are actually clear indicators of a different underlying problem: humidity. When there’s an excess of moisture in your home’s air and your window glass becomes cool enough, that moisture will inevitably deposit onto the glass surface. The good news is that maintaining proper humidity levels in your home can effectively prevent condensation and frost from occurring. It can also help in preventing related issues such as peeling paint and mildew.

condensation on a window

Optimal Humidity Levels

The ideal humidity levels for your home 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. Meanwhile, Health Canada recommends maintaining indoor relative humidity levels between 30 and 55%.

During the winter months, it’s advisable to aim for humidity levels between 20-35%. Window glass manufacturers generally suggest aiming for around 20%. However, for the sake of your health and the preservation of items such as furniture and flooring, it’s often recommended to keep your home’s humidity between 25-35%. Keep in mind that every home is unique, so you might need to adjust these levels accordingly. If you’re still experiencing condensation on your windows, consider lowering the humidity further. However, be cautious because extremely low humidity levels can create an environment in which viruses and other toxins thrive. Therefore, it’s crucial to find a balance that suits your specific needs.

Impact on Your Home

You might be wondering whether frost or condensation on your windows can harm your home. The answer isn’t straightforward as it depends on how your home was built and the materials used. For instance, if your windows have vinyl interiors, frost and condensation typically won’t damage them. However, if these windows have MDF casings around the interior, you may notice swelling.

Practical Solutions

To combat window condensation and frost effectively, ensure proper air movement within your home, especially in areas prone to condensation. During the day, open window coverings to facilitate better airflow. Use fans when cooking, bathing, and cleaning to circulate air and reduce excess humidity. Running your furnace fan continuously can also help with air movement and lower the likelihood of frost buildup. Additionally, make sure that your heat registers remain open and unobstructed.

If you have a humidifier, it’s a good practice to clean it regularly to remove any deposits or debris that may be contributing to excessive indoor humidity.

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. Revised October 25, 2023

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