Condensation occurs when the air has too much moisture in it which is felt as high humidity. The water deposits on various surfaces that are cooler than the air itself. Several things can contribute to the high humidity such as cooking, dishwashers, clothes dryers, bathing and long showers.
If the home has a crawl space under the floor, inadequate ventilation or insulation can cause moisture in the home. There seems to be a difference of opinions about whether to vent or not vent. First, determine if you are having a problem and then, weigh the options available to find the best solution.
Condensation that forms on windows and other surfaces in your home can cause damage to window trim, frames, drywall, floor coverings and sub-floors as well and the interior framing.
To reduce condensation in a home, the moisture saturating the air needs to be reduced. Just as steam from a shower can fog a mirror, warm air holds more moisture. When the air cools, it releases the moisture. There are other things that can be done to reduce the moisture and the condensation.
- Adjust humidifier
- Bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans
- Circulate the air; ceiling fans can help with this
- Open windows to release warm air
- Raise temperature
- Add weather stripping
- Window insulation kits
- Storm windows
- Move plants that release moisture in the air
The average life of a bathroom exhaust fan is about ten years with kitchen fans lasting about fifteen years. Regular cleaning can increase the life of the fans. Bathroom exhaust fans should be vented to the outside and should be run for 15-20 minutes after using the bath or shower to remove the moisture that causes mold and mildew.
Regulating the humidity in a home can protect against damage but it also promotes comfort in the form of breathing, relieving dry skin, sinus problems and sickness in general. Breathing is easier and the air feels more pleasant.