Winterizing – Ventilation & moisture

Winterizing – Ventilation & moisture

Our conversation about indoor air quality continues today.

If your home is not winterized and its Energy Efficiency is greatly improved by eliminating Cold Air Penetration and stopping Heat Loss, the problem becomes stagnant indoor air and the resulting mold and mildew.

If you are wondering whether you have that problem here is a quick and easy way to assess the problem.  During the really cold months of the year, does water collect across the bottom of your windows?  On bitter cold nights does that water freeze and appear to be snow or ice?

During the summer months on a particularly hot day when you set a can of cold soda on a table top there will be a ring of water and the outside of the can will be wet.  That is water condensing on the cold surface and the puddle that’s left is condensation.

Your window in the winter is the exact same thing.  The window’s glass takes the place of the cold can of soda and the warm air inside will create condensation but ONLY if there is excessive moisture in the air.  Just like the can of soda will sweat severely on a hot humid summer day, your window will sweat on a cold winter day with high humidity in the house.

This visual, condensation on the window, isn’t really harmful it only tells you that you have too much moisture in your inside air.  That excessive moisture can be a problem.  Mold is a source of health problems and the easiest way to prevent mold growth is to keep the moisture in the air low. 

Moisture in the air is lowered by the use of an HRV by introducing fresh air to the house.  So, if your windows have water/condensation on the bottoms then you have too much moisture in the air and you need an HRV.

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