is your houses experiencing the winter blahhs

Now that the cold weather has set in there may be a few things you have noticed about your home that is a "what's up with that ".

Iced up windows are a perennial problem. The cause is simply the warm humid air on the inside of the home contacting the cold glass. (tri pane windows are not immune from this as the inside pane can still be cold)  As the thin layer of warm inside humid air contacts the cold glass the air loses the ability to hold the moisture so it condenses on the glass then freezes. It really is about the humidity in the home and our daily habits. Reduce the humidity and you will go along way in reducing or preventing the ice build up.

The ice build up should be reduced if you can, not just for esthetic reasons., but on a warm day the ice will melt onto the window sill, and will sit there until it dries or is absorbed into the wood. If excessive, it will carry on its journey to the floor leaving a water mark trail on your drywall. It is hard on the painted and stained finishes of the sills and the drywall. So what can you do about the excess humidity? 

Electric baseboard heat is more susceptible to this excess humidity we create in the home because there is less air exchange than with a forced air furnace. If you have a home with baseboard heating you may have to be just a bit more diligent.

Make sure your clothes dryer is vented outside, although most are, I see many homes where it is just vented to the basement. All that moisture back into the house. I don't blame folks for this this because it is not that easy to install a dryer vent through a foundation wall if the builder did not provide one. Might be a good project for the spring.

Lower the humidistat setting if you have one, it will likely suggest a setting of 25% at a temperature of -20 C. Most people will have a lot higher than that.

Try not to close your venetian blinds flat. The moist air can still get to the glass but the natural air flow in the house can't reach the glass to "let it air out" the window needs some air flow over it to keep it clear much like a car windshield. Leave your venetian a few inches up off the sill, and don't close the slats all the way. Leave them canted at an angle so there is room for the air to flow out as it rises or falls. You might find it better to turn the slats concave to the room. 

If you have an independent bath fan, turn it on and put a piece of tissue paper flat up against the cover. The air flow should easily hold the tissue paper against the grill. If it does not  then look to improving that exhaust flow. Maybe just a new fan assembly will do the trick.

If you have an air to air heat exchanger that is connected to your bath and kitchen exhaust system, slip outside and find the fresh air intake and exhaust hoods. While the system is running you should be able to feel the air being sucked into the house and exhausted out.  Check the intake hood screen, a lot of air flows through there and over time the screen covering it can get clogged with dust, debris, lint. Cleaning this layer of stuff off should improve air flow. Also clean the filters inside the collection box and gently wash out the actual air exchange box. 

Did you change your furnace filter at the beginning of the heating season. If the furnace filter is dirty and clogged up the fan motor will be working harder to move less air than it should. This not only will complicate the window icing situation, but makes for a colder home because of lack of air flow so you wind up turning up the thermostat which is going to cost you more in heat bills. All because of a $2.00 furnace filter.


Hope that helps if you have question, please email or call,

happy winter to you



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Jeff Sim

Jeff Sim

CENTURY 21 Westman Realty Ltd.
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