Moderate Indoor Humidity in Winter

Humidity makes your home more comfortable in winter, but you can have too much of a good thing. When you see condensation on your windows in winter, it’s a sign that you should lower the humidity level in your house. Otherwise, the water that condenses on your windows — not to mention inside your walls — can cause damage over time.

Indoor humidity

Time — 1 to 2 hours
Difficulty — Easy
Expertise — None
Frequency — Once a year
Where — All US


Try these suggestions for reducing humidity levels.

  1. Reduce moisture sources within your house:
    • Don't store firewood in the home.
    • Repair foundation leaks.
    • Cover any exposed earth floor in a basement or crawl space, as well as sump pump pits.
    • Don't hang laundry to dry inside your home.
  2. Limit the use of vaporizers or steam generators.
  3. Ventilate your home:
    • Vent your dryer to the outside.
    • Use exhaust fans when showering or cooking.
    • Install a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) to exhaust humidity from your house and replace it with dry, fresh air from outdoors.
  4. Turn a stand-alone humidifier down or off.
  5. Adjust the humidifier on your furnace, based on the outdoor temperature:
 Outdoor temperature
  -20°     15 percent  
  -20° to -10°     20 percent   
  -10° to 0°     25 percent   
  0° to 10°     35 percent   
  10° and above     40 percent   

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