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Optimizing Your Windows and Doors for Summer | Golden Windows

Summer days are here at last. With the arrival of the sunniest season comes days spent outside soaking up as much natural light as possible before fall arrives. Much of our outdoor time centres around leisure. From time spent at the pool or lakeside, outdoor dining, bike riding, hiking and more – there is no shortage of fun ways to spend time outdoors.

But there are also some home maintenance tasks to attend to during summer – which is fun for some people. While spring and fall are the most critical times for home maintenance, there are some things to pay attention to, particularly in summer. In particular, there are some things you can do for your windows and doors throughout the lazy days of summer. By doing some simple and straightforward tasks, you can keep your doors and windows in top condition and help to extend the lifespan of these products.

As the manufacturers and installers of the best Kitchener windows and doors, we know how to keep them well maintained and what to be on the lookout for. Follow this guide to learn some quick and easy summer maintenance tips to keep windows in good working order throughout the season. We will go into the effects of excessive humidity on windows and the home, as well as tips for reducing humidity indoors. We will also explain what kind of window treatments can play a role in filtering or blocking the sunlight and insulating windows.

 

Summer Maintenance for Windows

When windows and doors are kept in good condition, they help keep your home cool, dry and comfortable throughout the summer's scorching temperatures. This helps reduce the strain on your air conditioner and keep energy bills low. 

One of the most important parts of maintenance is simply keeping the windows clean. In addition to making your home look great, clean windows help promote proper functioning. If you've done an extensive spring cleaning, then a lot of summer cleaning should just involve spot cleaning with a mixture of mild cleanser and a soft cloth.

During this spot cleaning, it's a good idea to keep an eye out for any debris building up in the tracks. It's also an excellent time to inspect the window panes and caulking for any cracks or other signs of deterioration. When these things become damaged, it allows for moisture to enter your home, which can cause further issues, as we'll discuss below.

If you find yourself cleaning your windows and noticing that they are in particular disrepair, you may want to consider getting replacement windows. Out of the many benefits of triple glazed windows, increased comfort and lower energy bills are two of the highest on the list. Triple glazed windows work to not only make your home more comfortable and insulated during frigid Canadian winters but also during the increasingly unpredictable Canadian summers.

The triple glazed windows from Golden Windows have outstanding thermal performance and provide enhanced comfort even when you're sitting right next to the window. They significantly reduce indoor condensation as well.

Window-With-Condensation

Effects of Humidity

We all know the effects of humidity on the human body. Who hasn't experienced those humid, sticky, hot summer days when you can never stop sweating or where the air feels so thick you almost feel like you could swim through it?

Humidity doesn't just affect us but also our homes and can cause numerous issues for windows and doors, as well as other elements of your home. One of the frustrating things about the effect of humidity on your doors and windows is that it can cause problems both if there is too much or too little humidity.

Humidity is caused by moist air touching a cooler surface, which often happens in our houses. Moisture in the air can have a variety of sources, such as cooking, bathing, laundry, and even regular breathing from occupants. Don't start worrying that you'll have to somehow control your breathing, though! Humidity is a perfectly natural occurrence in the home, and it is recommended to have somewhere between 50 and 60 per cent humidity in the summer and between 30 and 40 per cent humidity in winter indoors to feel healthy. When there is too little humidity, you may start to notice you feel thirstier and have dry lips or itchy skin.

If you're wondering how humidity affects your windows, think about if you've ever noticed moisture on the insides of your windows or if you find yourself having to wipe water from your kitchen and bathroom windows.

When Humidity is Too Low

Low humidity or lack of moisture means the air in your house will be dry. Without proper moisture, you open yourself up to all the pains that come with dry air: dry nose and throat, dry skin and increased risk of catching a cold. Dryness can also impact your home. Low humidity can damage wood and drywall, causing your wood floors to shrink and even causing pianos to go out of tune. Humidity levels are easily increased by using a humidifier. Humidifiers must be kept clean, changing filters regularly according to the manufacturers' instructions. Make sure you purchase a humidifier that will cover the amount of square feet necessary for the area it will be used in your home and one that holds plenty of water - you don't want to be constantly refilling it.

When Humidity is Too High:

When the humidity is too high in your home, that increased moisture can stain ceilings and walls, peel paint and wallpaper and provide a nasty breeding ground for mould, rot and insects such as termites and cockroaches. Basements are notorious for having higher humidity levels, as are bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms. Bedrooms and rooms closer to these areas will have a higher humidity level than ones further away. Newer, energy-efficient homes tend to fall victim to high humidity more often. Because these homes are built to seal up tight and prevent energy loss from heating and cooling, the house also seals in a lot of moisture, which in turn causes condensation on your windows.

Excess humidity levels for prolonged periods can cause damage to several areas, creating problems such as:

  • Mould growing around windows or in corners of the ceiling
  • Wood deteriorating, rotting or growing mould
  • Moisture spots on the ceiling
  • Peeling paint
  • Artwork or photos curling or becoming discoloured
  • Insulation and furniture deteriorating

High humidity levels can also lead to health issues. People with respiratory problems like asthma or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) are at increased risk.

How to Reduce Humidity in Your Home

While excess humidity in your home can cause various problems, there are thankfully a variety of steps you can take to reduce the moisture and humidity level in your house. Some are better suited to different times of the year, but they are all effective strategies:

  • Installing and using a ventilation system in the areas with the highest moisture, such as the kitchen and bathrooms
  • Installing vents in the roof to let warm moist air escape
  • Opening blinds and drapes throughout the house to increase air movement
  • Keeping a window open, even a crack, while bathing or showering
  • If leaks appear in either your pipes or fixtures, repair them immediately and dry the damp surrounding areas as soon as possible
  • Keep organic materials like indoor plants, newspapers, compost bins and clothes away from cool, damp areas
  • Indoor hot tubs, house plants, long showers and moist cooking are significant sources of moisture. Ventilate them accordingly to reduce your chances of condensation
  • Do not vent your dryer indoors
  • Schedule regular roof inspections (fall is a good season to make an appointment) to ensure that the shingles, flashing, and chimney caps are sealed properly
  • Regularly clear your eavestroughs of debris and consider extending your downspouts to direct water away from the home

If the humidity in your home is particularly bad, you may want to consider getting summer replacement windows. If you naturally have high humidity levels, choosing the right materials and style becomes essential, as materials like wood are more prone to having issues with moisture. Some may choose to replace fixed windows with operable ones to have better control over ventilation and moisture levels in the home. You can reduce condensation build-up by ensuring proper ventilation, potentially avoiding severe issues like mould. Operable windows are the best choice in bathrooms and kitchens.

Bathroom-With-Window-Shutters

 

How Window Treatments Can Help in Summer

One trick to optimizing your home for the season comes in the window treatments you select for your windows. As much as we might love the sunshine pouring into our homes, during the height of summer, things can get uncomfortable and fast. When temperatures are already high, a house bathing in direct sunlight for hours a day can make things unbearably stifling, even with the windows shut and the air conditioning on.

Window treatments are an effective way to enhance a space and block out the sun when you need to. Blackout curtains can not only help to keep the temperature at a comfortable level but also help to keep your furniture in good condition. Do you ever touch your couch or something else when the sun is pouring in and feel the burn? That doesn't just make things uncomfortably hot to the touch but also wears on things. It can make the colour of certain paint or fabrics fade over time.

Cellular shades are one of the most popular soft treatments for blocking solar heat and conduction heat gain or loss. They are occasionally called honeycomb shades and are made up of hexagonal cells that fold up along clean, crisp pleats. The cells form a barrier of air pockets between your window and interior, which promotes your window's energy efficiency. Some varieties can be opened from the top and bottom, allowing for more flexible light control options.

Another great option is roller shades. These shades consist of a fabric that is wrapped around a hollow tube. They are operated by a pulley, or increasingly common is to get them motorized and controlled with an app or remote. Roller shades come in a variety of light control. Some offer minimal privacy and allow light to filter in, while others are effective blackout shades.

Roman shades are a stylish option known for their crisp folds of fabric. They are decorative and come in various materials, with the heaviest able to block out most sunlight.

In addition to window treatments, getting new windows is another way to solve this problem. If your windows are getting up there in age, they likely don't have the same benefits and protections that newer windows have. Quality windows help to ensure protection from the elements.

At Golden Windows, we're here to help make your home more enjoyable and comfortable with our top-of-the-line windows and doors. We can help to install windows that will be effective at combating humidity and that provide better temperature control during periods of extreme heat or cold. Take advantage of our professional fall, winter, spring or summer installation services and start looking for your new or replacement windows today.

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