Moisture on the windows is a very common occurrence in our Ottawa winters. It can lead to mould and mildew but mostly, it’s just annoying – and wet!
How do you mitigate moisture on your windows? Read on to find out where the moisture comes from and how to keep it at bay.
Where the Moisture on the Windows Comes From
Water on the windows comes from our air. The water in the air is from all kinds of sources. Most of the time we think our humidifier is turned up too high, but it can come from plants, dishwashers, baths, showers… even cooking.
The moisture in our air comes into contact with a window on a cold day, and it condenses. Just like water beading down a cold can of pop from the fridge in July.
If you want to get technical, this is what we call the dew-point temperature. It’s the temperature at which the water in the air will condense, like the grass in our yards on a summer morning after a cool night.
Dewpoint Temperatures – How They Work
The dew-point temperature can be very difficult to control, and even changes year-to-year.
If you think of our Ottawa winter this year, it’s 5 degrees one day, then the next night it’s -20.
If it’s 5 degrees in your home, at 40% humidity, then certainly when the temperature drops, all that moisture in the air will hit a cold window and start to accumulate.
How Do We Control Moisture & Humidity
So, what can we do about this?
Adjusting the humidifier to a lower setting may seem like the first step, but controlling humidity is a slow process. We aren’t going to go from 40% to 20% in a matter of hours – it can take days.
On top of that – you will likely be turning the dial back up in a few days anyway, to little or no effect. Even if you don’t have – or use – a humidifier in our winters, the other sources of humidity in our air can also be a factor.
This is where HRVs & Home Dehumidifiers Help
If you have an HRV, the dial is most likely controlled with a humidity sensor.
The common “low, high, max” settings on these dials are designed to run the ventilation fan at a low speed, and when the humidity level rises, the ventilation fan runs at a higher speed. Think of it giving the HRV fan an extra boost to really help kick the humid air out of your home!
HRV’s and whole-home-dehumidifiers can be a wonderful ally in keeping your home’s comfort stable year-round, and are becoming more common in the homes in our community.
They can be used in conjunction with most furnaces and air conditioners to keep your home’s temperature and humidity levels at a great neutral spot.
After all, while we don’t want moisture on the windows, we also don’t want dry itchy throats, nosebleeds, wooden floors and furniture separating.
Count on Advanced HVAC for Home Heating & Cooling in Ottawa
If you have any questions regarding an HRV or a whole-home dehumidifer, or want to learn more about how they can help your home, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
At Advanced HVAC in Ottawa our service technicians are also up to date on all the HRV’s in today’s market and will be more than happy to educate you on programming your current unit so it works optimally, giving you the confidence to make the necessary changes through our up-and-down winters!