Have you recently noticed a patch of mold in the upper corner of your living room? Have you been having problems with window condensation? If the answer to both these questions is affirmative, you should start coping with the humidity level in your home.
When the weather is cold outside and your home is too humid, there will be condensation on your windows and mold on your walls.
In the next six paragraphs, you will learn more about reducing humidity in your home and removing condensation from your walls.
Reducing the Kitchen Moisture
Most of the things we do in the kitchen include heating and boiling water. Evaporations generated that way increase the humidity level.
Therefore, it’s important to reduce the humidity and moisture coming from the kitchen.
In an ideal scenario, kitchens come with windows. If you open the window while you’re cooking, most of the evaporations will go out.
Unfortunately, many kitchens in apartments don’t have natural ventilation. What’s more, kitchens and living rooms and dining rooms often make a single unit.
If you live in such an apartment, always use lids while you’re cooking. That way, you’ll minimize the amount of vapor spreading throughout your home.
Also, think about installing a kitchen exhaust fan to let out some of the vapor.
Another option is to get a dehumidifier and use it while you’re preparing meals.
Increasing the Room Temperature
Humidity and mold are more likely to increase in colder homes. The ideal humidity level in your home should be from 40% to 60% of the total air concentration, which can be measured by a hygrometer. If the weather is cold outside and your room temperature is between 60 and 70 F, the humidity level will increase.
Therefore, make sure to keep the temperature above 70 F, which should reduce the humidity level.
If condensation still appears on your windows, you can install some practical curtains and drapery especially thicker ones. If you want to heat the room, you can close them to enhance thermic insulation.
But if condensation still appears on the windows, you can open these coverings so that the drops from the windows evaporate more quickly. Movable drapes and curtains would be more efficient than fixed window coverings in this case.
Also, when you have condensation on your windows and high humidity level, make sure to frequently air the room.
Drying the Clothes Outdoors
If you want to deal with window condensation once and for all, you need to avoid drying your clothes indoors.
Even though clothes dryers are affordable devices, they don’t fit into every type of apartment. Some multi-member families live in small apartments and they can’t squeeze a tumble dryer into that space.
That’s why some people still use a drying rack for their wet clothes. When combined with an already humid apartment, it can be fertile soil for mold and additional moisture within your four walls.
In that case, you should place your drying rack on your balcony. If the weather is rainy or cold, protect the balcony. The clothes might be drying for a more extended period of time but at least you’ll reduce the humidity level indoors.
If you don’t have a balcony, you can install a drying rack next to your window or at the top of your building and dry your clothes there.
Weatherstripping and Sealing
The humidity level in your home may increase if there are any holes or leakages on your windows and doors.
Windows should be maintained in two different ways.
On the one hand, there’s weather stripping. This means dealing with holes between windows and window frames. Also, if there are any cracks around your window frames, make sure to seal them, as well. If necessary, consult a professional glazier to check out the panes and frames.
On the other hand, you may need to caulk your windows, especially if they are old. As windows are getting old, window caulk can crack and fall off. This affects the insulation quality of windows, as well as their stability. Caulking and sealing those panes can reduce air leakage and, hence, the humidity level.
Installing Thicker Windowpanes
In some geographical areas, winders and autumns are colder than in other parts of the world. This is important to take into account when you’re buying your windowpanes. If you opt for too thin panes and the temperature drops below 20 or 10 F, thin windowpanes may lead to a higher humidity level in your home.
That’s why you should consider getting thicker windowpanes.
Another option is to install double- or triple-glazed windows, to ensure proper insulation from temperature extremes. Of course, first, make an estimate on the cost-effectiveness of triple-glazed windows.
If this is not financially feasible for your entire home at once, start with the kitchen and the bathroom (in case you have any). As you save money, you can gradually replace all the old and thin windowpanes with modern, efficient ones.
Improving Bathroom Ventilation
Having a shower or taking a bath releases a lot of vapor into the living space. The more vapor comes from the bathroom, the higher the humidity level you can expect.
You can prevent this by sorting out the vapor level coming from the bathroom.
For starters, place a dehumidifier in the bathroom and install an exhaust fan, just like we’ve recommended for the kitchen.
Add a curtain to your bathtub to prevent vapor from spreading around the home. If possible, replace a bathtub with a shower stall with a door to keep the vapor under control.
If you can’t afford any of these things immediately and your bathroom doesn’t have a window, use tepid or lukewarm water instead of the hot one. This should reduce the humidity level you produce while using the bathroom.
Humidity can harm your respiratory system, causing problems with sinuses, breathing, and lungs. Also, spending time in humid rooms can make you feel nervous and annoyed.
High humidity levels damage walls, furniture, and even electronic devices.
Window condensation is a clear sign of an increase in the humidity level in your home. That’s why it needs to be properly treated the same moment you notice it. We hope that the tips and tricks from this article will reduce the humidity level in your home and make it a more comfortable and healthier living space.
Zana is a window treatment consultant with over 20 years of experience.