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April 5, 2011

Tame The Humidity In Your Home's Air

Condensation, "fog" or frost on your home's windows are sure signs that they're too inefficient to keep cold air out in the winter and in during the summer. Moisture in the air condenses when it touches a cold surface, causing the glass to "sweat" like a cold glass of iced tea on a hot day. Condensation can form on the glass and even pool on the window sill. And like any excess moisture, it can eventually lead to mold and mildew. It also can damage your windows over time. One solution: Replace drafty, single-pane windows with double-pane versions that are more energy efficient. If that's not an option right now, install storm windows to add extra layer of glass, and try taming the humidity inside your home. Here's how:

1. Install ventilating fans in every bathroom, and turn them on before every shower. Let the fan run until the "fog" clears out of the bathroom, but no longer. Overuse of exhaust fans can send your home's comfy, air-conditioned or heated air right out of the house.

2. Use the hood fan over your stove when you cook. Cooking sends moisture into the air-along with lingering odors. the fan will rid your home of those smells and humidity. Again, run the fan just long enough to clear the air.

3. Vent your clothes dryer to the outside. Check the duct for leaks, especially at the point where it's attached to the dryer, and for obstructions that can prevent hot dryer air from escaping to the outdoors.

4. If you run humidifiers inside the home, don't overdo it. It's possible to add too much moisture to indoor air.

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