How to Reduce Humidity
David Bareuther, Associated Press Building editor, sums up the problem of reducing humidity in this way. He says there are only three ways to reduce humidity:
- CONTROLLING SOURCES OF HUMIDITY: For instance, venting all gas burners, clothes dryers, etc., to the outdoors. Or using kitchen / bathroom exhaust fans.
- WINTER VENTILATION: Because outside air usually contains less water vapor, it will dilute the humidity of inside air. This takes place automatically in older houses through constant infiltration (leaking) of outside air.
- HEAT: The process of heating your home will reduce the relative humidity–provided it’s DRY HEAT. It will counterbalance most of all the moisture produced by modern living.
Inside “Relative Humidity” Chart
|Below -20°F||Not over 15%|
|-20°F to -10°||Not over 20%|
|-10°F to 0°||Not over 25%|
|0°F to 10°||Not over 30%|
|10°F to 20°||Not over 35%|
|20°F to 40°||Not over 40%|
Seven Practical Steps to Control Condensation
Here arranged from easy to difficult are the steps you should take to reduce condensation on your windows:
- Put on storm windows or double-glazing.
- Shut off furnace humidifier and any other humidifying devices in your home.
- Be sure that louvers in attic or basement crawl spaces are open and that they are large enough.
- Run kitchen or other ventilating fans longer and more often than has been your custom.
- Open fireplace damper to allow easier escape for moisture.
- Air out your house a few minutes each day. Air out kitchen, laundry and bathrooms during use or just following use.
- If troublesome condensation persists, see your heating contractor about an outside air intake for your furnace or ask about venting gas burning heaters and appliances. You could also ask about the installation of ventilating fans.
If the common remedies we suggested above don’t work, you have a serious condensation problem. That said, any changes your heating contractor may recommend to reduce humidity should not be very expensive. In fact, they’ll definitely be less expensive than a big paint job that was caused by excessive water vapor!
Before you spend money though, make sure you know about 5 common conditions that cause condensation in your home and 2 causes of temporary condensation. Read our final post in this series to find out more!