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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    49

    A LOT of condensation on widows and sills

    Hello all! I live in south Alabama and the past few nights the temp. has gotten around 35-39 degrees. I have a brand new Trane 16 seer variable speed heat pump with a thermostat that has humidity control. I keep my set temp. at 70 degrees when i go to bed. The next morning, I have pools of water on my window sills and the windows have droplets of water all over them and are also fogged over. I have also noticed when the heat is running, it is putting my humidity level between 64 and 70. To me that doesn't sound normal. Does the high humidity level have something to do with this? Also, the house is a new home with upgraded insulation. The windows are double paned, but are metal, not vinyl, which I don't think the winows have anything to do with what's going on. I guess the humidity control doesn't work unless the a/c is running, correct? What the heck is going on? I'm really getting frustrated. Thanks for any help that can be offered.

    Chad

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,698
    New homes tend to have high humidity due to the new materials,i.e., lumber and plaster or drywall. Your level of humidity is way too high. New homes are built to much tighter standards, installing a fresh air intake might work for you. I know that HVAC in the south must be an entirely different animal because of the high outdoor humidity.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    9
    This is the Ask Our Pro's forum. In order to post a response here, you must have verified qualifications and have been approved by the AOP Committee. You may ask a question by starting a new thread.

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    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 01-20-2013 at 10:30 AM. Reason: Non AOP member

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,671
    jazpek

    This is the Ask Our Pro's forum. In order to post a response here, you must have verified qualifications and have been approved by the AOP Committee. You may ask a question by starting a new thread.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

    Additional infractions may result in loss of posting privileges.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    south louisiana
    Posts
    3,188
    window choice has everything to do with it.

    metal is an excellent conductor of heat/cold.
    the window frames contribute to the condensation.
    look at the window numbers..solar heat gain coefficients
    and u-factors.

    a double paned vinly with low e coating will have a .37 shgc & u-factor.
    take that same insulated glass unit and put it into a metal frame
    and these numbers jump to .57 shgc & ufactor.

    as it gets cold outside, these temps transfer thru the metal.
    even thermal break doesn't stop the transfer.
    so when the cold of the outer frame reaches the warm of
    the inner frame..they condensate.

    granted new construction materials may contain higher moisture
    content. this usually settles down to normal range in a full
    heating cooling season.

    adding supplimental dehumidification helps, but this is really
    a poor window choice that has been made.
    in the summer time condensation will be to exterior of
    windows.

    if hvac system is oversized, then in summer it will not run
    long enough to dehumidify.
    ideally 50% RH inside the home is what we try to achieve
    in the south.

    you may want to look into stand alone dehumidifiers.
    if this works well then investing in a whole house
    dehumdificiation sytem is a good choice.

    best of luck.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    49
    George2

    What exactly is a fresh air intake? Also, what size dehumidifier would I need?(not the whole house type, just one you sit on the floor) The living area of the the home is 2200sf.

    Thanks

    Chad

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,698
    [QUOTE=clllclal;15033881]George2

    What exactly is a fresh air intake? Also, what size dehumidifier would I need?(not the whole house type, just one you sit on the floor) The living area of the the home is 2200sf.

    Thanks

    The cheapest and easiest way (for fresh air) is to run a 6" or 7" pipe from the outside directly into the return air duct. I live in the midwest and I assume that your humidity varies greatly from ours but I had a customer that had tightened his home and developed excess humidity. I mean it was dripping like I had never seen.

    I told him to try the "simple" fresh air method and I have to say it worked like a charm. Every time he sees me he can not stop talking about the difference that it has made. He's a customer for life!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Arnold mo
    Posts
    3,967
    What kind of water heater do you have? One with a metal flue and a draft diverter?
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
    http://www.mohomeenergyaudits.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    49
    Quote Originally Posted by tipsrfine View Post
    What kind of water heater do you have? One with a metal flue and a draft diverter?
    Actually, I have 2 hot water heaters. Both of them are in the attic.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Arnold mo
    Posts
    3,967
    Quote Originally Posted by clllclal View Post
    Actually, I have 2 hot water heaters. Both of them are in the attic.
    My question was in regards to possible flue gases being drawn into your conditioned living area. You don't seem too concerned, so I'll stop.
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
    http://www.mohomeenergyaudits.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    West Monroe, LA
    Posts
    1,535
    Quote Originally Posted by energy_rater_La View Post
    window choice has everything to do with it.

    metal is an excellent conductor of heat/cold.
    the window frames contribute to the condensation.
    look at the window numbers..solar heat gain coefficients
    and u-factors.

    a double paned vinly with low e coating will have a .37 shgc & u-factor.
    take that same insulated glass unit and put it into a metal frame
    and these numbers jump to .57 shgc & ufactor.

    as it gets cold outside, these temps transfer thru the metal.
    even thermal break doesn't stop the transfer.
    so when the cold of the outer frame reaches the warm of
    the inner frame..they condensate.

    granted new construction materials may contain higher moisture
    content. this usually settles down to normal range in a full
    heating cooling season.

    adding supplimental dehumidification helps, but this is really
    a poor window choice that has been made.
    in the summer time condensation will be to exterior of
    windows.

    if hvac system is oversized, then in summer it will not run
    long enough to dehumidify.
    ideally 50% RH inside the home is what we try to achieve
    in the south.

    you may want to look into stand alone dehumidifiers.
    if this works well then investing in a whole house
    dehumdificiation sytem is a good choice.

    best of luck.
    This is a very good post. energyraterla is correct. The best double pane window with low e and thermal break still not hold a candle to good double pane vinyl window.

    Over the years all the improvements to metal windows have really been non successful as one thing remains the metal frame which will conduct heat and cool. Think about it put a piece of metal and vinyl in the sun and wait just a few minutes which one gets hotter? The metal does plan and simple. While the low e and thermal break just address the glass not the metal frame.

    It still amazes me that this day in time that buliders are still using metal windows? In the past when homes were not as tight people would not see the problems that you are due to the home having leakage. Over the past 20 years all the thought process of building a new home has gone to getting the House tigher and they have become so right in some cases that fresh air make up most be part of the heating and cooling systems so the home can breath.

    Freash air makeup is when you introduce outside air into the home to allow it have healthy air changes per hour. While the humdity levels you are reporting are very high and need to looked at before any more damage is done to window sills, inside of the home etc... Depending on your home and how you run your system you would want in the winter for your home to be somewhere between 30-40% on average and during the summer 45-55% humdity levels. A good dehumditfer might be the answer to remove all the excess moisture in your home.

    You say you have a Trane 16 seer heat pump. What are the model numbers of the system and how much aux. heat due you have? If the system is oversized during the summer your system will not run long enough to remove the humdity in the home and during the winter usually heat dries out the home but it is not designed to remove humidity like the a/c does. Dehumditfer again might be you best option to help with this. What does your builder and hvac installer have to say about the problem?

    More then lickly in your home it is just really tight and the metal is conducting the opposite temp on the windows vs the indoor with the metal windows. I understand that this is not what you want to hear in a new home but this are things that you need to address before they get worse and while your home is still under warranty. Please keep us posted on the outcome!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    49
    Quote Originally Posted by duckman06 View Post
    This is a very good post. energyraterla is correct. The best double pane window with low e and thermal break still not hold a candle to good double pane vinyl window.

    Over the years all the improvements to metal windows have really been non successful as one thing remains the metal frame which will conduct heat and cool. Think about it put a piece of metal and vinyl in the sun and wait just a few minutes which one gets hotter? The metal does plan and simple. While the low e and thermal break just address the glass not the metal frame.

    It still amazes me that this day in time that buliders are still using metal windows? In the past when homes were not as tight people would not see the problems that you are due to the home having leakage. Over the past 20 years all the thought process of building a new home has gone to getting the House tigher and they have become so right in some cases that fresh air make up most be part of the heating and cooling systems so the home can breath.

    Freash air makeup is when you introduce outside air into the home to allow it have healthy air changes per hour. While the humdity levels you are reporting are very high and need to looked at before any more damage is done to window sills, inside of the home etc... Depending on your home and how you run your system you would want in the winter for your home to be somewhere between 30-40% on average and during the summer 45-55% humdity levels. A good dehumditfer might be the answer to remove all the excess moisture in your home.

    You say you have a Trane 16 seer heat pump. What are the model numbers of the system and how much aux. heat due you have? If the system is oversized during the summer your system will not run long enough to remove the humdity in the home and during the winter usually heat dries out the home but it is not designed to remove humidity like the a/c does. Dehumditfer again might be you best option to help with this. What does your builder and hvac installer have to say about the problem?

    More then lickly in your home it is just really tight and the metal is conducting the opposite temp on the windows vs the indoor with the metal windows. I understand that this is not what you want to hear in a new home but this are things that you need to address before they get worse and while your home is still under warranty. Please keep us posted on the outcome!
    Which dehumidifier would you suggest that will not break the bank?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    south louisiana
    Posts
    3,188
    start with a stand alone dehumidifier.
    if it works well, then upgrade to whole house dehumidifier.

    I have a 15 SEER heat pump. air handler is variable speed.
    this alone keeps RH in 55% range, in the summer.
    for additional dehumidification I have Ultra aire 70H
    this brings RH down to 45% in summer. and it is very
    comfortable.

    have you had a blower door test (& duct test) on your
    home, or is the assumption that the house is tight due
    to newness of build?

    you should talk to Teddy Bear about whole house dehumidifiers.
    he really knows his stuff.

    ty duckman.

    best of luck.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

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