I currently don't have a Hrv. I'll have to research what model to get etc...
In the mean time I might try what George suggested and bring in fresh air directly to the cold air return with a damper.
As a side note my windows are made by Lincoln. Wood dual pane with no argon, casements (very cheap builder grade). I'm going to replace two bedroom windows this spring just because they have some rot already since they face southwest. The sun beats the crap out them and they will take paint three times a year if I had the time do to paint them that many times.
Inefficient windows will get condensation on them even with low humidity levels.
Originally Posted by George2
I'm hoping it's not the windows, but that's what I was putting the blame on. I'll try to experiment with the fresh air idea and go from there.
Originally Posted by George2
Thanks to everyone who replied.
Careful using the term "inefficient". A well sealed single panel window can still outperform a leaky thermal pane window in terms of total BTU's transferred.
Originally Posted by George2
But, glass with a high transmissive level, will have a lower surface temperature at the same given outdoor temperature.
Learning to live with the windows you have is a starting point. Keep the glass warm by avoiding setback t-stat keep the drapes open. Increase fresh air ventilation until the moisture is controlled. Operating exhaust fans and cracking windows are methods of increasing fresh dry air to purge indoor moisture.
In cold climates with near zero temps, dehumidifiers are ineffective at keeping windows dry. Increasing dry outside air and warming the glass are the most effective methods of decreasing condensation. Occasional sweat bands without dripping on the wood frame is acceptable.
Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"
Where the humidity forms can be very informative. Condensation on the inside of the window is simply an indication that the specific pane of glass is below the dew point of the room air. Thus, if it's a double glazed window, then the outer galze doesn't seem to be doing its job. Or the internal vacuum/gas may be compromised and air had entered. Either way, as TB has stated, keeping the inner pain warm is the primary key to stopping the condensate.
In days of single glazed windows with storms, if the storm window seal was tight and the indoor window was also tight, there was no frost/condensation to be seen. But if the inner window leaked, then frost would form on the storm window inner surface. On the other hand, if the storm window seal leaked, then the frost would form on the inner pane of glass. This was always a way to tell where the dew point was reached (though the scientific terminology wasn't present). Note the use of the word "frost'. Those were the days when fuel was cheap, houses leaked like a sieve and nobody really cared. It also gave birth to the myth that most houses need humidifiers to keep the humidity levels tolerable in the winter.
If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.
If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!
Those days still exist... and hopefully will for some time since historic wood frame windows in many ways are still superior to all the the best repalcement windows... and far more cost effective to add atroms over repalcement. ROI on repalcement will be at least 30 years and as long as 200 years compared or adding Low-E storm depending on the situation.
Originally Posted by skippedover
In a single story house, yes frost will occur on the inside if the prime window leaks. But on a 2 story house, if the exterior storm windows are installed correctly, no moisture will occur on inside of the downstairs windows, but you'll have moisture on the upstairs windows. IN summer, of course, it will be reversed on evening where the dewpoint is above about 75F.
In winter I find for me, it's dewpoint below about 25F. The inside panes windows don't devlop moisture unitl about 15F... that's only 5F higher than my midrange low-E repalcement windows on my last home. This is when keeping it between 32-38% RH indoors. With overnight lows going up the next few weeks, I'll raise the setpoint a litlte higher and maintain 38-42% RH.
Leaks can be decieving. Its often the actual glazing that leaking, as much as the seal to the meeting rail, sill and stiles. Actually, of the 5 windows upstairs on my home that develop the most moisture, the primary issue is they need to be reglazed, or as a stop gap, at least have some glazing putty added for now. On one of them, I beieve the glass was replaced and it wasn't installed properly... and was thinner than the original glass.
On final note, due the aforementioned infiltration from stack effect, the upstairs humidity is also higher. By about 2-3% most of the time at hte sme air temperature on both floors.
Remember... maintenance free is just a nicer way of saying disposeable. ALL things wear out eventually, and they can either be repaired/rebuilt or thrown out. It just a matter of service life vs. a service interval. I've always said, you can any car maintenance free... it will just simply have a shorter service life. I actually consider most historic wood frame windows "maintenance free" since the service interval is often jsut as long or longer than the service life of replacement windows.
I don't have condensation in between the panes. It's on the inside pane, at the bottom two to three inch mark.
Thanks for everyone's input.
Solved my problem with window condensation. I had a 12 inch cold air return in the basement. I've seen this done in numerous newer homes (well maybe not as big as 12 inches of cold air return) so I never gave it much thought.
Eliminated the cold air return in the basement and all the condensation on the inside of the windows is gone.