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How Does Condensation Impact Indoor Air Quality?

water drops on a blue glassDo you have a window condensation problem? You know when the windows of your home get all fogged up and covered in wet droplets? It looks like the glass is “sweating” and doesn’t make for the tidiest of environments. What’s worse is that all of that extra moisture in your home can be bad for your health. As we pointed out in our last blog, it’s important to try to reduce the amount of humidity in your home.

How does condensation occur? According to Tom Feiza on AshiReporter.org, “’Steam’ (condensation) occurs when invisible water vapour in the air condenses on the cool glass. Windows and metal window frames tend to be the coolest surfaces in our homes, so moisture forms there first — just like condensation beads up on the outside of your ice-cold lemonade glass in the summertime.”

So what’s the problem with condensation? RestorationsWindows.com reports that “warm, humid environments encourage the growth of moulds and fungi, which can lead to allergic reactions. Dry environments can irritate sinus linings and can progress to a sinus infection. The best way to combat this is to achieve the appropriate balance of temperature and moisture in your home.” Condensation, of course, indicates the presence of excess moisture.

So how do we resolve the condensation problem? There are many different ways to limit moisture in the home. Among them is doing away with your humidifiers and using dehumidifiers instead. As well, you may want to “limit plants, aquariums, and pets. If you care for a lot of plants, group them in one sunny room and avoid over watering,” says RestorationsWindows.com. You’ll also want to be careful about the types of appliances you use.

Feiza writes that certain types of heaters can not only add moisture to the home, but emit toxic gases as well. Neither of the two is good for your home’s indoor air quality. “Never use unvented fossil fuel-burning devices like kerosene heaters indoors,” he insists, “Burning fossil fuels creates carbon dioxide and water vapour, introducing excessive moisture into your home. It can also create dangerous carbon monoxide.”

RestorationsWindows.com agrees. The website warns that gas appliances require our special attention. “Have your gas appliances checked, if you have not recently,” advises the website, “Malfunctioning gas appliances can deliver excessive water vapour into the air along with more dangerous contaminants. Be sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm.” Other tips include air drying clothes outdoors only, eliminating plumbing leaks and storing firewood outside.

Is there anything else that can be done to limit condensation? As you may have guessed, good ventilation always helps. “Structural ventilation or attic ventilation removes moisture from the structure of your home,” writes Feiza, “Because moisture flows with air leaks and can push through many materials, general structural ventilation is important. Point-source ventilation removes moisture at specific sources.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer both Air Quality Services and Moisture Monitoring Services. Our team of experts work to ensure that all sources that negatively impact your home’s indoor air quality are discovered. Our inspections are designed to provide you with the best quality air possible in your homes. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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