In the colder months it is common for heaters to be switched on and humidity problems to start. This is because it is colder outside, windows are closed more often, and indoor air circulation and ventilation are reduced. During colder weather the inside face of windows and exterior walls become colder than normal. This can result in condensation forming on window and door frames, as well as wall surfaces.
Moisture is continually being released inside your home – as much as 10–50 litres a day – through routine household activities such as cooking, showering, bathing, doing laundry, and dishwashing. In addition, you, your pets, your indoor plants, and aquariums also produce or contribute to humidity (i.e. the relative amount of moisture in the air).
What are the trouble signs to look for?
- Water pooling and/or staining at the sill of windows or sliding doors.
- Water streaming down window and door frames or glazing.
- Wet carpets at bottom of full height glass windows.
What should you do?
- If you have a humidistat (i.e. a device that measures humidity) connected to your bathroom fan, keep it set to 50% or lower. This will draw moist air out of your suite.
- If your suite does not have a humidistat, you can lower the humidity by:
- Opening the windows a small amount for several hours each day.
- Leaving the bathroom fan on for several hours a day when you are at home.
- Using the kitchen exhaust fan when cooking.
- Using the bathroom fan when showering.
- If you have an aquarium, putting a cover on it.
- Reducing the number of potted plants in your suite and not over watering.
- Ensuring that make-up air can flow into your suite from the corridor. There should be a small air gap below the entry door.
- Opening drapes and blinds at least a few hours a day.
- Not placing boxes against exterior walls or windows.
- Ensuring that furniture is not covering heaters.
By following the above steps, you will be able to manage the humidity in your suite and maintain a comfortable, healthy living environment.