Reducing Moisture With Venting Skylights Can Help Prevent Damage
2010 VELUX Features Home
That wet mist that sometimes clouds the interior glass on your home’s windows could be the first warning sign that your home is retaining too much moisture. And even if your home doesn’t actually feel damp, excess moisture can do damage in unseen places. Roger LeBrun, product certification engineer with VELUX America, says that condensation is the tip-off.
“Condensation is the conversion of vapor to liquid. It occurs when the air becomes saturated with moisture and releases it in the form of water,” LeBrun says.
The air around us contains water vapor (humidity), and we add more water vapor to it by breathing, perspiration, cooking, cleaning and showering.
When the air becomes saturated with excess humidity, it dispels the moisture by condensing it back into water. This is what shows up on window glass.
It causes problems including mildew on walls, window seals and baseboards, peeling or bubbling exterior paint, deteriorating attic and wall insulation, damaged floor tiles and deteriorating furniture, and rotting of structural wood between outside walls.
To fight moisture problems caused by condensation, you need to limit the amount of water vapor in your home. Installing double paned insulated windows and doors with energy efficient Low-E glazings that help keep interior glass warmer will help or you could double-pane your current windows by adding exterior storm panels. Simpler methods include taking shorter showers to reduce indoor moisture and cooking with lids on your pots to reduce moisture.
“Since you can’t control all sources of moisture in your home, ventilation is very important,” LeBrun points out. “Your home needs to breathe to fight condensation. By allowing moist inside air to escape and dry outdoor air to enter, you can reduce your home’s humidity level.” He recommends these steps to help ventilate your home:
•Run kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans more often during the winter to expel hot moist air.
•Open a window in each room a few minutes daily to keep air circulated.
•Keep window drapes, blinds and shades open, allowing warm air to circulate around the glass.
•Keep attic louvers open to release hot air that rises to the outside.
•Open basement vents and crawlspace vents to release moisture to the outside, reducing dampness under your house.
•Make sure your clothes dryer and gas appliances properly vent moisture-laden air to the outside.
•Install a fresh air intake on your furnace.
Additional ventilation can also help control condensation. Venting skylights can not only help your house breath easier but also bring healthy, natural light into your home while providing more privacy, especially in bathrooms. Skylights can be operated with manual or electric controls to release warm, moist air and quality products feature Low-E insulated glass that keeps the interior glass pane warmer to lessen the chance of condensation forming.
Joe Patrick, who heads national product management for VELUX America, says that modern skylights make one of the biggest concerns of homeowners, the fear of leaks, a thing of the past. “Quality units offer matched, pre-engineered flashing kits for shingles, tile or metal roofing materials,” he says. “They are designed and engineered to prevent leaks over the full life of a roof and, properly installed, simply don’t leak.” In fact, his company has introduced a new ENERGY STAR® qualified product line, marketing it as the No Leak Skylight. “These units offer many new energy saving features plus three layers of water protection and are fully warranted,” he says. “They also carry an industry-first ten-year installation warranty in addition to product coverage.”
Patrick says that the growing availability of trained and certified skylight installation specialists also adds to the dependability of modern skylights.
And he points out that today’s skylights contribute to energy efficiency with light and heat control as much as with ventilation by offering easily installed accessories to adjust and control light, as do vertical windows. “Venetian blinds are available to adjust light, as are roller blinds to diffuse light and blackout blinds to block light,” he says, ”and the accessories, as well as the units themselves, can be operated by remote control.” Solar blinds are also available that qualify for a 30 percent federal tax credit.
For skylight selection or installation information visit veluxusa.com
. For government information on window and skylight energy efficiency visit energystar.gov
, and for independent agency information visit nfrc.org
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Image caption – Venting skylights in the home help control condensation.
VELUX America Information Series No. 23/10/F – Tips For Controlling Condensation In Your Home – Apx. 750 Words
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