Managing Indoor Humidity

Managing Indoor Humidity Levels

As the seasons change and temperatures fluctuate, managing indoor humidity becomes crucial to ensure a comfortable and healthy living environment. Calgary recently experienced an extreme cold snap with temperatures dipping to -40°C (not including the windchill), leading individuals to stay home and bundle up. While everyone spent more time indoors, many individuals noticed condensation build-up on their windows and doors. This is a very common issue that homeowners will face when dealing with cold temperatures, and if it is not addressed promptly it can lead to much worse complications such as mold growth and structural damage in extreme situations. However, these issues can easily be avoided with a few simple tips that homeowners can follow. In this blog post, we’ll explore effective tips to help you maintain optimal indoor humidity levels and prevent condensation in your residential home.

Understanding Indoor Humidity

In order to prevent condensation from appearing on windows and doors, it is important to first understand why it is there in the first place. Alberta New Home Warranty Program has a great blog post in which they explain this phenomenon in more detail:

“Air can only hold a limited amount of water vapour at any given temperature. As warm room air comes in contact with a cool window surface, the air cools and loses the ability to hold water. If the air’s moisture is high enough or the glass is cool enough, the water in the air will deposit on the glass surface – this is called condensation.”

TIPS TO MAINTAIN OPTIMAL INDOOR HUMIDITY

Adjust Humidifier

  • In order to ensure humidity levels are at the appropriate level, adjust the humidifier to the recommended level based on the outside temperature. As a quick rule of thumb, the colder it is outside, the lower the humidity levels inside should be. Reference the following table as a helpful guide on what levels a home humidifier should be set at.

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Open the Blinds

  • Open curtains and blinds during daylight hours to allow natural sunlight into your home. This allows for adequate airflow near the windows and can prevent condensation from forming.

Ensure Proper Ventilation

  • Clean the HRV filter, as a clogged filter can lead to decreased efficiency and contaminate the air circulating back into the home. Once the HRV is cleaned, consider running it for at least 3 hours per day to promote proper ventilation in the home.
  • Utilize fans in kitchens and bathrooms to remove steam and humidity that is generated when cooking or bathing.
  • Turn on ceiling fans throughout your home.

Maintain Furnace

  • To ensure maximum air flow, check furnace filters and replace them if dirty.
  • Ensure the fresh air intake for the furnace is free of all blockages.

Check for Leaks

  • Check for drafts along windows and doors and seal any gaps to prevent warm indoor air from meeting cold surfaces which can lead to condensation.

Effectively managing indoor humidity is essential for a comfortable and healthy living environment. By following these practical tips, you can reduce the likelihood of condensation on windows and doors, preventing potential issues associated with excess moisture. Remember, maintaining a well-ventilated and properly insulated home is key to achieving optimal indoor humidity levels year-round.

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