When the air is too humid in your home that increased moisture can result in stained ceilings and walls, excess attic frost, frost on the windows, doors, and door knobs, swollen hardwood floors, doors and cabinets. While many homeowners don’t realize it, newer, energy-efficient homes tend to fall victim to problems of high humidity more often. Because these homes are sealed up tight to prevent energy loss from heating and cooling, the home also seals in a lot of moisture.

The homeowner is responsible to manage the humidity in their home. 

The following are some basic steps to controlling the humidity in your home:


HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator)

An HRV is designed to expel stale moist air and draw in drier, fresh conditioned air, it also provides a vital balance in air pressure.

If your home is equipped with an HRV make sure the filters are cleaned regularly and the unit is running properly.

In winter climate an HRV is required to run all the time.

Make sure your HRV is properly programmed to draw in air from outside and operate automatically in response to the conditions in your home. It will enter a “defrost cycle” occasionally but must return to drawing fresh air.

The colder the weather the more important it is that the HRV and primary fans are in operation.

Ventilation Fans (Homes equipped with ventilation fans instead of an HRV)

While there are many different configurations, the concept is the same.

If your home has a ventilation fan instead of an HRV it is vital the unit be in operation especially during the winter months.

As with an HRV, the ventilation fan provides a necessary service in the exchange of stale moist air with dry fresh air, it also provides a balance of air pressure reducing the chance that moist air is pushed into cold spaces (attic) in turn condensing and turning to frost.

Kitchens & Bathrooms

In the winter especially, it is very important you run the provided fans not only during cooking and showering but for at least 60 minutes after to help manage your homes humidity.

Moisture in the fan vent pipes requires time to evaporate or will freeze as it enters attic space.

Heat Ducts & Airflow

Air must be allowed to flow freely around the home.

Replace furnace filters as required by the manufacturer.

Raise blinds in the morning, open and the curtains.

Make sure heat vents are not covered by curtains, furniture, rugs, beds, etc.

Remove any ice build up from exhaust fans

Lastly, if you are unsure as to the operation and maintenance of your mechanical equipment, please reach out to your builder or HVAC supplier.