With freezing temperatures frequently in our forecast, keeping the heat on is necessary. However, have you noticed moisture or ice buildup on some of your windows? This can occur more often during the winter, and if not taken care of can result in the production of mold or mildew around your window frames. Find out why this happens and how you can prevent it to still enjoy warmth in your home without mold or moisture on your windows.
Why is Moisture Forming on My Windows?
Let’s think back to a warm, summer day. You take a glass of cold water outside and what happens? Water droplets form on the outside of the glass. The windows in a home react the same way. Throughout winter, windows tend to be the coldest areas of the home. As you heat your home, and that warm air comes in contact with the cold window surface, the air drops below dew point (35 to 40 degrees) and produces moisture, which can eventually lead to ice buildup or mold growth.
How do I Prevent Condensation on My Windows & Door Handles?
There are many different ways to combat moisture from forming on the coolest surfaces in your home. Using a few or all of these measures can help protect your home from the potential of mold and mildew or costly window repairs.
Reduce moisture from everyday activities
Activities, like showering, cooking, or doing laundry, can increase the amount of moisture in the air, making water droplets on your windows likely. Avoid taking extremely long, hot showers, don’t air-dry your clothes indoors, and use a fan while cooking to fight off any excess moisture that’s trying to go into your air.
Use vents and fans
Most bathrooms and kitchens have exhaust fans to help remove moisture and control odor. Make sure these work, and turn them on whenever someone is showering or cooking to help prevent humid air reaching your windows.
Seal and insulate
Are the windows in your home sealed and insulated properly? Poor seals, large spaces between panes, and lack of insulation allow winter air to sneak in and make your windows even colder than they need to be. Use weather stripping or window insulation film to help seal up drafty windows.
Avoid thick window blinds
While these blinds might help keep cool air from spreading from the window through your house, it can trap air making windows even colder. This can result in additional condensation. If you’re wanting to lessen the cool draft, consider weather stripping or another form of insulation.
Circulate more air near the windows
To prevent moisture and ice from forming on windows, the windows need to be a warmer temperature. Turning up the heat a bit and even placing a fan near the window to consistently blow warmer air across the glass can help increase the temperature and get rid of any water droplets or ice that may be forming.
Move your houseplants
During photosynthesis, houseplants release moisture into the air. Try spreading your houseplants throughout your home instead of crowding them around one window. This will help make sure you don’t have a high amount of humidity in one spot.
Newer home construction has helped with energy efficiency but can impact ventilation. Schedule a check-up with Wyckoff to have a technician walk through your home and provide insight on if additional vents or fans are necessary.
Check humidity levels
Healthy humidity levels in your home range from 30-50%. This has enough moisture to not dry out skin or furniture, while still avoiding any mold growth. Contact Wyckoff to perform a humidity check on your home, or purchase a humidity monitor to test levels in your home and ensure it is at a safe percentage.
Consider purchasing a dehumidifier
If you are still having problems with moisture on your windows and door handles, then purchasing a dehumidifier is your next best step. Dehumidifiers take humid air and draw it over cold coils, remove its moisture, and then send it back into the room after passing over warm coils.
Schedule a Humidity Check with Wyckoff Heating & Cooling
Whether you’re experiencing moisture issues on your windows, or want to be proactive and ensure humidity levels in your home are safe and comfortable as we head into the winter season, contact us at Wyckoff Heating & Cooling. One of our SAVE-certified technicians will be able to provide you with answers as well as suggestions on how to keep your home comfortable.