Simple Solutions to Winter Condensation Concerns

During the cold winter months, condensation issues can arise when there are high levels of humidity inside the house and low temperatures outside the house. This contradictory combination causes surface condensation, which homeowners can both reduce and prevent. 

Some indicators of surface condensation issues include mildew or damp spots on walls, ceilings and closet walls, as well as frost on door handles and hinges, doors or windows becoming frozen shut, water or ice on windows and moisture on cold water pipes, light fixtures, wall and floors. 

One obvious indicator of surface condensation are windows, so it’s best to pay close attention when the temperatures start to drop outdoors. Windows are often the coldest area of the home, because they give heat the opportunity to escape. If you see condensation on the inside of your windows, it’s time to lower the humidity levels in your home. 

In order to control humidity, reduce moisture levels inside the home and prevent winter condensation, try the following:

  • Keep bathroom doors shut when taking showers, when done leave them open for optimal air circulation
  • Open windows for a short period of time
  • Turn on the kitchen fan while cooking
  • Open the damper in the furnace or fireplace
  • Even if unoccupied, room temperature should remain at a minimum of 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 degrees celsius
  • Run exhaust fans when mopping the floor on cold days
  • Open drapes and blinds a minimum of 4 inches during the day
  • do not cover hot or cold air registers
  • wipe up snow that has been tracked into the home before it can evaporate
  • vent clothes dryers to the outside of the home
  • shut off humidifiers (see chart) 

When it comes to windows, factors that can impact the performance of windows and cause surface condensation to form are as follows:

  • Poor air circulation near windows 
  • Drapes might restrict the flow of warm air
  • Higher humidity levels in certain rooms, like the kitchen or bathroom
  • Windows exposed to wind
  • hanging wet clothes to dry 
  • cooking and/or cleaning 

All in all, windows are a good indication of surface condensation within the home. It’s possible to reduce and prevent condensation by controlling humidity and reducing moisture levels. Take the above precautions to keep your home from creating excess condensation, which can lead to other problems like mildew and freezing issues.

Contact the replacement window specialists at Reflect Window and Door for more information on the role windows play in surface condensation prevention.