Does condensation build up on the inside of your home’s windows during the heating season? If it does, you’re not alone. Winter window condensation is a growing problem in Canada and its root has a surprising origin.
- Purchase a hygrometer.
- A hygrometer is a small and relatively cheap device that measures the humidity levels in your home. It can not only help you keep track of the humidity levels, but also help you assess whether different methods of battling condensation are working. Many modern thermostats come equipped with a humidity meter.
- Lower your thermostat.
- As we mentioned above, warmer air contains more moisture. If you are like most Canadian household, you can probably afford to turn the thermostat down a degree or two and still be comfortable. As a result, you may see a decrease in humidity and condensation.
- Use your fans.
- Your appliances, like the stove and dryer, can create a lot of humid air. Same goes for your shower. Make sure that these areas and appliances are vented to the outside of the house. Run a vent fan in your bathroom when you shower and turn on your range hood while cooking.
- Unblock your vents.
- A lot of times the biggest problem with airflow is a man-made one. Placing furniture above or directly in front of the vents prevents air from distributing properly, and affects the circulation in your rooms. Same goes for the return vent that takes the air back into the system. Ultimately it is all about making the air move through and around the whole house for best results.
- Clean your vents and change your filters.
- Dust on your vents or return grill can be a sign that the air moving around your home is not as clean as it should be. Physically cleaning the dust off can lead to increased airflow. Replacing or cleaning the air filter not only provides your family with cleaner breathing air, but it also makes your furnace run more efficiently. Some companies recommend changing the filter as often as every two to three weeks, so you may want to add it to the list of your regular chores. At the very least try to check on the health of your air filters monthly. This will be a good sign of their health and overall furnace performance.
- Seal leaky ducts.
- According to Energy Star, about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poor connections. That’s one-fifth of your heating bill disappearing into the ether. By redirecting, sealing off, or fixing the leaky ducts you can improve the flow of air and increase circulation.
- Circulate the air inside your home.
- As we said earlier, colder air means less humidity. One of the quickest ways to cool the air in your home is by simply opening a door or a window. This may not always be ideal because of the weather, but you should consider ventilating the air in your home daily, even if for a few minutes.
- Get a dehumidifier.
- One solution that seems to work well for everyone who experiences above normal condensation levels in their house is the use of dehumidifiers. These units are fairly cheap and you can find one that will do the job for 200-250$. This is also a good solution for homeowners with new windows that experience condensation, where other areas in the house may not be as significant in contributing to moisture on windows.
Moisture control:An ERV can give you more control over moisture levels in your home during warm and humid weather, by keeping excess moisture out of your home. Because less energy is required to lower the temperature of dry air compared to moist air, an ERV can reduce the work your air conditioner needs to do and save you money.
Moisture recovery:If your winter climate is extremely dry, ERVs recover some of the moisture that would leave your house through a regular HRV. This helps you maintain a comfortable humidity level within your home, avoiding static electricity, sore throats and other discomforts caused by air that is too dry.Recently, Ontario updated its series of ventilation code requirements to increase the energy performance of a building by 15 percent. The updates center around heat recovery on ventilation systems with incentives for making buildings more airtight.While much of the Ontario Building Code 2020 (OBC) Section 9 remains the same, a heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) or an energy-recovery ventilator (ERV) will be mandatory for all commercial and residential buildings.