Water and ice condensation problem


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Old 12-18-16, 06:36 AM
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Water and ice condensation problem

I'm not sure if this is the correct group to ask this question. If not, please move it to the correct group.

Almost all windows in my house have either water or ice condensation especially when the temper is near 0 or below 0 Fahrenheit. My house thermostat is set to 72 degree Fahrenheit. Do I need a central dehumidifier system?
 
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Old 12-18-16, 06:58 AM
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With the very cold weather we are having there is really very little you can do. There is no point to a dehumidifier as the humidity in winter is already very low and will likely only ice up. If you have a humidifier you can turn it down/off so it does not add moisture to the air. When taking showers be sure to use your bath fans(s). Cooking will also add moisture to the air, but you have to eat right?

One other thing you can do is to install window plastic insulator kit. They have been around for a long time and helps prevent warm air from getting to the cold glass of the window.
 
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Old 12-18-16, 07:54 AM
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The condensation you are seeing is originating from your house, the people inside, and their activities. When cold outside, the actual moisture content of the cold air is very low.

You start by measuring the inside relative humidity (RH) and related temperature at the same location. The RH next to a cold wall or window will be higher than in the center of the room even though the air in both locations contains the same amount of moisture.

Then you address the sources of moisture. A wet basement/crawlspace or a dirt floor down there will contribute a lot of moisture. Long showers without running the bath exhaust fan for 20 minutes after to remove excess moisture. Venting a dryer to the inside of the house or hanging clothes to dry inside. Storing lots of firewood in the home. Lots of cooking. And there are more.

Measure what your RH is and address all of the moisture sources you can, that's a start.

Bud
 
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Old 12-19-16, 04:20 AM
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You need ventilation. As said do the things listed above and open a window a 1/8 or so. This will bring fresh air into the home and reduce the moisture.
 
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Old 01-07-17, 04:02 AM
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I am having condensation and I've build up on all of my Hurd windows. The house was built in 2012 and have done this every year. We live in northern Indiana and the weather is cold right now, around 5F. Interior humidity is in the 30% range but I've measured as high as 46% when the meter was sitting on a window sill. I guess the humidity at the glass surface is 100% so not that surprising.

Anyway I am concerned about the chronic condensation during cold months. The wood trim at the bottom of the window pane are showing signs of deterioration.

I have been advised that we need to reduce the humidity level in the house because homes are so well insulated and sealed these days. While I don't disagree with this suggestion I also wonder if there are other factors in play such as a poor seal of the window? Poor insulation around window?

I read some posts from 2009 and as late as 2013 with people experiencing this problem. One individual had success reducing/eliminating condensation by changing the weather stripping on the windows.

I have contacted the local supplier of the windows and asked that they take a look. I will also ask for Hurd's input and support.

I certainly am not jumping to any conclusions....just looking for feedback and support to remedy this situation. Standing water on the wood will eventually cause rotting. I want to avoid that of course.

Thanks in advance for any inputs or thoughts.
 
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Old 01-07-17, 04:21 AM
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You both need outside air in the form of an ERV
 
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Old 01-07-17, 04:40 AM
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Thanks for the suggestion. Do you have any recommendations on a particular ERV. Is the idea to draw in outside drier air and expell the more humid interior air? What is the function of these systems in summer months?
 
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Old 01-07-17, 04:50 AM
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Hi ben,
Google Condensation Resistance Factor (CRF) as all windows have a rating that tells us what combination of temperature and humidity will result in moisture.

As you have concluded, as the temperature drops as you get closer to the window the humidity level increases. Your choices are to lower the the humidity in the house or raise the temperature of the window surface, a fan will do that. Also, leave the curtains open if you are using them.

The shrink wrap plastic over the windows may help as it increases the surface temp of the exposed inside surface, not the plastic. Outside storm windows will do somewhat the same.

Poor window seals will reduce the temperature near the window but may also be providing dryer outside air. The plastic trick above will also eliminate and air leaks through the windows. Leaks around the trim would not be covered.

Ask Hurd for the CRF for your windows. In many cases they are not rated for the climate where they are being sold, sad but frequently true.

Bud

Just to add, reducing the humidity can also involve changing the human activities. Running bath exhaust fans for 20 minutes after showers, shorter showers, kitchen fans while cooking, low flow shower heads, confirm dryer and exhaust fans are vented to the outside, and no drying cloths inside. Firewood is loaded with water if you use any and NO UNVENTED gas heaters.
 

Last edited by Bud9051; 01-07-17 at 04:54 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 01-07-17, 01:11 PM
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Thank you very much for the helpful feedback. I will likely be implementing the fans and maybe trying the plastic also. Probably will have to try lowering the base humidity level in the house also. I don't know the exact series of Hurd windows so perhaps there were higher end series with better insulative properties. I'm guessing it will take a combination of changes to fix the problem. Outdoor temps above 10F wouldn't hurt either !

Thanks again I'll report back after experimenting!
 
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Old 01-07-17, 01:40 PM
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In the bottom left or right corner of your window there may be make and model information that (out of curiosity) you can check out over the internet. I say curiosity because you aren't going to replace them for a few years.

Because it is a cold weather occurrence and there is NOTHING we can do about that we simply have to learn how to manage it. We are at our high, 15 degrees, for two more days.

An HRV air exchange unit would help but is expensive and that cost would need to be compared to the energy saved in comparison to just increasing the fresh air into the house. Many homes meet the minimum requirements by simply putting a timer on a bath fan and allowing fresh air to find its own way back in, somewhere. That "somewhere" isn't the best option, but our homes leak all of the time anyway. I'm in the energy business and would guess your home is a bit tight. But that just means it takes 4 hours (that's 4 hours) for all of the inside air to be replace by way of leakage instead of 2 hours in a very leaky home. I've done some contracting and was shocked when I learned that, I now teach it.

Here is a handy temp/humidity/dew point calculator to play with.

Bud
Temperature, Dewpoint, and Relative Humidity Calculator
 
 

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