BuildDirect Blog: Life at Home

How to Control Moisture In Your Home in Winter

Moisture and condensation in winterWith snow and ice on the ground and colder temperatures outside, you may notice condensation collecting on your windows and in other parts of the house.

Though you should be concerned about this moisture, stopping it is not as difficult as you might think.

Before you can curb moisture you should understand that the moisture is generated by our activities that occur inside the house.

Balancing moisture levels in your home

An average family of four will generate about 63 litres (20 gallons) of water a week through normal household activities.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t continue to live the way you do but you should take steps to monitor how and when complete these activities and if you can cut back on the frequency of them.

You should also check the humidity in your home and when it is too high, turn down the humidistat. If your hardwood floors start to separate, the humidity is too dry and you should turn up your humidistat. You may need to regularly adjust the humidistat setting and the HRV setting to properly control the humidity in your house.

Ways to reduce condensation

Even if you monitor your activities in your home and the humidity, there are no guarantees that condensation will not appear on mirrors or windows. You should also look at the blinds and curtains used in these rooms and whether you keep them closed throughout the day and when the temperature starts to drop at night.

As a rule of thumb, monitor the outside air temperature and when it is below 15º, the relative humidity should not exceed 30% and in very cold weather, the humidity will need to fall below 30% to prevent condensation or frost on windows.

However, If the humidity level consistently stays above 30 percent in the winter months, damage will manifest itself in the staining of walls and ceilings, peeling paint, mould growth and odours. Airborne diseases also become more difficult to control.

Controlled moisture levels and optimum health benefits

Typically you should not need to use a humidifier in the winter because of the amount of moisture that is generated during your daily activities. However, if you find that the humidity is too low, you may need to resort to using your humidifier. Be sure that you stay in the 20 to 30 percent range for optimum health benefits and comfort and to control moisture in your home during the winter months.

One thing tied to too much moisture in the home at any time of year is the presence of mold. Molds can have a serious effect on respiratory health. Investigate the EPA website to find out more about how to control mold growth in your home.

Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.

1 Comment

  1. George Pepper Reply to George

    We used to have a terrible problem with mould and condensation around the window in our living room, particularly in the winter. In the end we resorted to replacing our upvc windows. These are great tips, though, so I will be sure to give them a go if we ever end up with the same problem again!

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.