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Why do I have Moisture on my Windows?

by Michigan State University on Apr 26, 2012

Your humidistat is set too high if excessive moisture collects on windows and other cold surfaces. Excess humidity for a prolonged time can damage walls especially when outdoor air temperatures are very low. Excess moisture condenses on window glass because the glass is cold. Other sources of excess moisture besides overuse of a humidifier may be long showers, running water for other uses, boiling or steaming in cooking, plants, and drying clothes indoors.

A tight, energy-efficient house holds more moisture inside; you may need to run a kitchen or bath ventilating fan sometimes or open a window briefly. Storm windows and caulking around windows keep the interior glass warmer and reduce condensation of moisture there.

Humidifiers are not recommended for use in buildings without proper vapor barriers because of potential damage from moisture buildup. Consult a building contractor to determine the adequacy of the vapor barrier in your house. Use a humidity indicator to measure the relative humidity in your house. The American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends these maximum indoor humidity levels.

Outdoor
Temperature
Indoor
Relative
Humidity
+20 F. 35%
+10 F 30%
0 F. 25%
-10 F. 20%
-20 F. 15%

The ideal relative humidity for health and comfort is somewhere between 30-50% humidity, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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