Can’t See Out Your Windows? Check Your Home’s Humidity Levels

Maintaining the right humidity levels is crucial for its comfort, energy efficiency and overall home health. If humidity levels reach too high or dip too low, you may notice issues such as furniture and house deterioration, an increase in germs and mould, and the inability to see out your windows. Here’s how to check your home’s humidity levels and what to do it they’re too high or too low. 

How to Check Indoor Humidity Levels

If you’re unsure how to check your home’s humidity levels, you’re definitely not alone. There are a few easy ways to check if the humidity levels in your home are too high or low. 

Do you notice the windows in your home and constantly fogging up and collecting moisture? If you’re noticing fog and condensation on your windows that’s making it difficult to see outside, this can be a sign that there’s too much humidity in your home. Condensation forms when warm, humid air contacts a cold surface. If this problem goes on for too long, it can lead to costly problems down the line. 

Moisture and mould occurring on walls is also a sign of too much humidity. Mould growth occurs on any surface that remains wet or damp for a prolonged period of time. If moisture and mould continues to build without anything being done to get rid of it, it can cause permanent damage to your home, and breathing in mould can also lead to serious health problems. 

On the flip side, there are also telltale signs that the humidity inside your home is too low. If you’re noticing more static electricity, dried or cracking millwork or paint, or the constant need to water your plants, all these things indicate that your home has low humidity levels. 

What To Do If Your Home Humidity Level is Too High

If your humidity levels are too high, you will likely notice issues during the winter months, especially when it comes to window condensation. There are numerous things you can do to lower the humidity levels in your home. First of all, if you’ve been using a humidifier, turn it down or off, and instead use a dehumidifier. 

Use exhaust fans while cooking and baking, or if the air outside is dry and fresh, open the windows while you’re doing your thing in the kitchen. Reduce the amount of water coming into your home by taking shorter showers, reducing the number of plants in your home and cooking with covered pots. 

What To Do If Your Home Humidity Level is Too Low

Humidity levels drop during wintertime because cold air holds less moisture than warm air. On top of increased static and plant watering, low humidity levels can also lead to dry skin and hair, increased susceptibility to colds and respiratory illnesses, and cracked wood floors. 

There are a bunch of ways to introduce more moisture into your home. You can leave wet clothes and towels out to dry or leave a bowl filled with water on top of a shelf. The moisture will eventually escape and be absorbed by the air. The most common way to increase humidity levels is to use a humidifier- either a portable humidifier or a humidifier that’s added to your furnace so you can control humidity levels with a humidistat. 

Having proper indoor humidity levels is key to a healthy home. Use our tips to make sure your humidity level is where it needs to be!


The Top 10 Ways to Reduce Humidity in Your Home

It’s never a good sign when humidity starts taking over your home. From condensation on the windows, to mouldy spots, musty odors and water stains, humidity can wreak havoc if you’re not careful. The best way to ensure humidity doesn’t damage your home is having a strong foundation, but there are also some easy changes you can make to banish humidity inside.

Here are the top 10 ways to reduce humidity in your home.

1. Resistant Siding

Investing in siding that’s resistant to water damage and humidity is one of the best steps you can take to protect your home. Quality vinyl siding like Gentek’s selection should hold up no matter the climate, and Sagiper siding is known to excel in high humidity areas. Make sure your home is equipped with the best products to save you hassle in the long run.

2. Storm Windows

Although storm windows themselves can sometimes have condensation, they reduce condensation on the interior windows. By adding a storm window, you protect your home by adding another layer of glass and increasing thermal insulation. Check out more benefits of storm windows on Gentek’s site here.

3. Ventilate

Make sure you have exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry rooms and check that they vent to the outside. If you don’t have exhaust fans, open a window to dry out the air. Ceiling fans and box fans also help to increase ventilation.

4. Invest in a Dehumidifier

If you want to rid your home of humidity, a dehumidifier will reduce humidity levels and odours, reduce irritation to your skin and respiratory system, and lower energy costs by helping your air conditioner run more efficiently.

5. Place House Plants Outside or in One Room

Plants release moisture into the air, so if you’re a plant fanatic this could be the reason for the humidity in your home. Concentrate your plants in one room, or keep them outside for a while until the humidity goes away.

6. Take Colder, Shorter Showers

When you take long, hot showers you increase the moisture in the air. Switch to cold, shorter showers to reduce humidity.

7. Be Mindful of Your Home’s Temperature

The relative humidity in your home will decrease if you raise the indoor temperature, so it’s beneficial to set your heat a few notches higher. Also note that if the temperature difference is too big between indoor and outdoor, humidity will increase inside.

8. Check Your Gutters

Don’t forget to check your gutters. Ensure your gutters are clean so water can leave your home efficiently.

9. Use a Slow Cooker

While stove-top cooking produces a lot of moisture, slow cookers result in less humidity in the air. If it’s not possible to use a slow cooker, make sure to turn on exhaust fans, but think about investing in a slow cooker as soon as you can.

10. Run Washers When Full

If your dish washer or clothing washer isn’t full, refrain from running a load. This will help decrease unnecessary humidity and will also reduce water waste.

If your home is showing signs of humidity, use these tips to clear the air.


Worried about window condensation?

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All air contains humidity, and in your home, especially in winter months, you tend to notice that there is more humidity on the inside of your windows.

It’s often referred to as sweating.

Indoor humidity can result from everyday activities such as showers, cooking, your furnace and even mopping your floors… it’s very common. When water vapour comes in contact with a cold surface like a mirror or window, the vapour turns into water droplets called condensation.

So why do your new energy-efficient windows show more condensation than the old ones? It’s simple. Your old windows were not air-tight and allowed heat and humidity to escape, but your new windows come with a tighter seal and the extra moisture in your home is now not able to escape.

But don’t worry. After a few weeks of heating, your home should dry out – reducing if not eliminating condensation.

The table below shows the recommended or comfortable levels of indoor humidity during the winter months.

OUTSIDE TEMPERATURE             INSIDE RELATIVE HUMIDITY

-20˚F                                                   15% – 20%

-10˚F                                                   15% – 20%

0˚F                                                    20% – 25%

10˚F                                                    25% – 30%

20˚F                                                    30% – 35%

(Indoor humidity can be measured with a humidistat or psychrometer.)

Here are a few ways you can help reduce humidity in your home:

  • Use kitchen, bathroom and laundry room exhaust fans after humidity-producing activities
  • Air out your home periodically, it helps get rid of stale, moist air
  • Adjust your humidifier to the recommended setting for your home
  • Make sure air circulation is adequate in your basement and attic
  • If troublesome condensation continues, see your heating contractor