Recently I noticed ice or snow inside the windows - the humidity in the house is 22% in the house, I had turned my humidifier down on the furnace, which is not good for the hardwood. Is there a cheaper way to address the windows without having to replace them, can't afford too. I also need to keep the humidity in the house for the hardwood?
Unfortunately, if you are noticing this on the side pane of the glass, it means the seal is broken. Windows are double panes of glass filled with a Low E argon gas, which is sealed between the two panes. Only options are replace just the glass, install replacement windows (which will reduce the total amount of glass area) or full replacement.
The humidity issue is only if condensation is on the surface on the glass.
Hope that helps
Relative humidity in the house should be 30-50% dependant on time of year. What your humidifier is set at might not be an indicator of what the actual home reading is. Depending on age of home, ensure windows are sealed properly. Use exhaust fans while cooking and keep it running for at least 10 mins after a shower. Humidity will condense on cold zones (aka window). You can also consider using a dehumidifier if your readings are unusually high.
The seal of your window is broken that is why you noticed ice or snow inside. You need to replace the window.
For the rest of your house keep the range of 40 % of humidity when the outside temperature is between -12C to 0C. The best prevention is to keep your home's relative humidity below 50%. Do this by running an air conditioner on hot days, and by turning off your home's HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation) system.
It is Winter and these are the months where your house will tell you where it has issues. Not sure the age of your home or the composition ( drywall or Plaster lathe ) interior walls. Commonly windows are installed by cookie cutter developers very poorly and no real seal between window frames and brick/wood studs/metal studs etc. We use a reputable window provider/installer that costs a fraction of what window giants charge. Now if the ice is inside the home you may be able to apply a 3M product (plastic sheet) that will shield the inside air away from the glass pane and reduce this but will not eliminate it. Be advised this is how Mold starts to infiltrate the inside of the home. Get a good general Contractor to come in and check the openings.
Replacing the windows is not the limit of the repair, all the window casings and treatments will have to be replaced which may cost as much as each window depending on style. I have advised Trusted Pros where cases such as this we need pictures and more details on the house as built.
Best of luck and Happy New Year.
First if this problem is only on a few windows and not all of them, then it's not an inside humidity problem. If it was every window in the house would have water on them. Actually the setting for your humidifier should be adjusted frequently, depending on the outside temperature. Not many do this, including myself, but if it's set between 20 and 30% on the thermostat you should be fine.
From the pictures I can see that the windows have failed and need to be replaced. When they leak cold outside air comes in and meets the warm humid air of the house and freezes. If you just crack open a window, the same ice will build up right where its open.
To prevent any further damage from water, mould, etc. use one of the window sealing kits that stick to the frame of the window with two sided tape and you use a hair dryer to smooth out the plastic. This will seal the window to keep the warm humid air from touching the glass. It's temperary for this winter until you can get the windows replaced. And I'd suggest a full frame window replacement, not a retrofit that fits in your existing window frame.
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