We’ve had some bitterly cold temperatures in St. Louis recently. While it’s normal to notice a little frozen precipitation and condensation toward the bottom of your windows this time of year, excessive condensation could be a sign of another issue. It can be one that’s a little tricky to deal with. Here is some information Dennis Hayden of DH Custom Homes would give to his homeowners.
Every window the house seems to have an excessive amount of condensation.
I suspect the humidity in the house is too high. This could be the result of the humidifier not being set at the proper setting for the extremely cold temperatures. The colder the temperatures, the more the furnace runs, the lower humidity settings are needed to prevent so much humidity from being distributed to the return air.
Humidifiers do have instructions and recommended settings based on the temperature outside. For example, if it is less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit, set the humidifier at 35% humidity. If it is 0-20 degrees Fahrenheit, keep at 25%. However, just because it’s set to the right level for the exterior temperature, you may still have too much moisture. That’s because the humidity setting on most humidifiers is not like a thermostat that senses humidity conditions and reacts. It is a static recommendation. Even if you set it to 15% you could have 40% humidity in your house and the humidifier will continue to run. If you live in new custom home construction that is extremely tight and well insulated, your challenge is going to be to have air exchange in the house, bringing in exterior air and moving out moisture laden interior air. Moisture in your house from showers, baths and the humidifier will not be able to escape; it will condense. Get a hygrometer and monitor the level and adjust the humidifier according to the readings you are getting.
Even with normal levels of humidity in your home, it is natural this time of year with cold temperature to notice some frozen precipitation and condensation along the bottom of the windows. At night, when you close window coverings, it blocks the heat source to the window. In the morning, when the blinds or window coverings are opened, the heat from the home is reintroduced and causes a little condensation that dries up during the day. When I was a boy with single-pane glass, metal windows, the whole window would be frosted over when my mom opened the window treatments in the morning. She would have to put towels along the marble window sill to sop up the condensation. These days, most window sills are wood so if your woodwork or wood window sill gets wet, do not leave a towel in place. If necessary, simply wipe off with a soft, dry towel or cloth.
Don’t know about you, but we are looking forward to spring!