The same windows that allow the summer sun to stream into your Southern Maryland home are unless in the winter if the glass is covered in fog. It’s inevitable that the frosty outdoor air hitting your heated window glass will result in condensation, but there’s a way to foil this natural process.
What causes window fogging?
Condensation results from temperature and moisture. The amount of moisture that the air inside our homes can hold is limited, depending on the temperature of the air. When the air is saturated, it becomes warm and moist. And when it comes into contact with the cold glass of a window, it condenses into liquid, according to the United States Department of the Interior.
This process is similar to how your iced-tea glass begins dripping on the outside when the weather is hot.
There are solutions to foggy windows
The first thing to try is to get rid of excess humidity in your home. This isn’t an easy task, considering that even our breath adds to a home’s humidity level. In fact, according to the pros at Thermal Windows, Inc, the everyday indoor activities of a family of four “can add more than 18 gallons of water a week into the air in the home.”
Of course, we aren’t suggesting you stop breathing, but there are steps you can take to reduce indoor humidity:
- Houseplants contribute to the humidity level inside the home. Consider moving them to one room during the winter.
- Use the exhaust fan in the laundry room, in the kitchen while cooking, and in the bathroom while showering or bathing. Let it run for about five minutes after you’ve finished.
- Take shorter showers.
- Open some windows for a few minutes, several times a day, or in the evening.
Then, check the crawl space and basement for moisture and use a plastic vapor barrier to keep moisture to a minimum, suggests Tom Feiza, author of “How to Operate your Home.”
The Family Handyman offers an easy-to-follow walkthrough of the installation process.
In spring, check the yard for correct grading and drainage.
If all else fails, use a dehumidifier
Excess humidity can do more than fog windows. It can lead to other problems including peeling paint, buckling floors, rotting wood, and deterioration of insulation. It also attracts dust mites to your clothing, rugs, carpeting, and, yes, even your bed.
A dehumidifier removes “between 10 pints and 50 pints of water from the air each day,” according to the experts at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Not only is this good for taking in that view outside your windows, but for your health as well, especially for those who suffer from allergies and asthma.
One of the disadvantages of using a dehumidifier is that these machines require consistent cleaning to discourage mold growth. Also, small units may not work on a larger Southern Maryland home, so the University of Rochester Medical Center suggests larger capacity units, rated at 50 pints a day or more.
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