How to reduce & prevent condensation
Each person has his or her own preference regarding the humidity level in his or her home. If the occupants insist on a high level or humidity within the house, surface condensation must be expected when outside temperatures are low. Some indications of surface condensation include:
• Water or ice on windows
• Damp spots or mildew on walls and ceiling
• Damp spots or mildew on closet walls
• Moisture on light ﬁxtures
• Moisture on water closets
• Moisture on cold water pipes, walls and ﬂoors.
• Frost on door handles and hinges, or door frozen shut
Some humidity is necessary for comfort and health. In many homes, it is a struggle to keep enough moisture inside the home to maintain an acceptable humidity level for the occupants. Frequently, humidiﬁers are installed to add moisture to the air, but their use must be controlled or surface condensation problems may result. Unfortunately, a dry house may indicate a high leakage rate (depending on the amount of moisture added by the home-owner), which can contribute to concealed condensation.
In some newer homes, however, air leakage is controlled so well that removing moisture from the house becomes a problem. This problem is made worse by the use of humidiﬁers, resulting in condensation on windows, mold growth or damp spots on ceilings and room-side surfaces of exterior walls. Because windows do not provide much resistance to heat loss, they are often the coldest component of a building enclosure, and can be an indicator of humidity problems. Because condensation occurs on inside window surfaces whenever the surface temperature falls below the dew point temperature of room air, window condensation may signal a need to reduce the humidity level in your home.