Condensation on windows during winter

During the winter months you may notice condensation forming at the edges of your windows. This is caused by contrasts in temperature and humidity between the indoor air and outdoor air. In many ways this occurrence is a benefit and detriment brought on by increased indoor humidity levels. High humidity levels can be caused by taking long baths or boiling water but in most cases this is brought on by a whole-house humidifier.

Increased winter humidity has many positive effects. Homeowners skin and nasal passages will be less dry. Static shock is minimized while protecting wood and drywall from contracting to the point of cracking. Some sinus and cold symptoms can be lessened as well. Overall a humidifier will lead to a more comfortable and healthy home.

The downfall with supplemental indoor humidity is the formation of condensation around windows which can lead to pooling water at the base of a window. Prolonged exposure to pooling water can impact the aesthetic and structural integrity of a window sill. The only remedy is to buy better windows with better insulation or lower the humidity output of the humidifier. The good news is usually this occurrence isn’t present until outdoor temperatures remain in the 20’s or below. In St. Louis this fortunately is a small part of our winter. Window quality will play a role here as well. The better the window, the lower the outdoor temperature must be to cause this nuisance.

To manage condensation a homeowner can increase and decrease the output on the humidifier while the temperature fluctuates from frigid to mild. The drawback to preventing condensation is lower humidity levels which can lead to the comfort issues listed above. A homeowner’s option for managing this issue it to either keep the humidifier low all winter or adjust as needed. Our preference is to adjust as needed to keep as much humidity in the home as possible.

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