Winter Humidity and Your Hibiscus Condo Unit
A couple of Hibiscus condo unit residents have asked me recently about moisture or humidity in their condos. They have said they have had, on the cooler nights, quite a bit of moisture condensation on the interior of their condo unit windows or in one case on the concrete walls. They had asked me specifically because they had heard that we have a dehumidifier in our unit.
High humidity at Hibiscus By The Bay condos, is oddly enough, most likely to occur in the winter.
I think condo units can become too humid in the winter because folks forget or don’t realize that the condo units are essentially concrete boxes. The air exchange in a condo seems like it is quite a bit different from a stick home. Excessive moisture is not a good thing in a Hibiscus condo unit because it can lead to the growth of mold. 😥
In the summer time most folks run the air conditioning (ac) and the ac takes the moisture out of the unit. However, in the winter there can be less air exchange because the ac is not running.
Our winters can be mild so you may have the sliding glass doors open on the nice days. If you live in a 2 bedroom unit you may have your windows open as well. Doing either means you could be filling your unit with air that has a high moisture content.
Some Hibiscus residents have green thumbs and some have quite a few plants in their condo. Plants respire and put moisture in the air. In the winter the moist air or humidity can build up in the unit. No big deal in the summer because the ac is run and it removes the moisture from the air.
Overtime in the winter your unit can become more humid. You may not notice it until we get one of those cool nights and you wake up to windows that are really wet and in some cases one resident said they had moisture on the interior concrete walls, which can make sense. The concrete can be cool enough to reach the dew point and the warmer moist air condenses on it.
With our mild winters you don’t necessarily have to run the furnace very much. My take on it is that running the furnace removes very little if any moisture from the unit anyways. I will defer to HVAC experts on that conclusion. In a stick frame house I think the moisture can evaporate out of the house. But in these concrete condos there is no place for it to go except into the drywall or when it gets cool enough at night it condenses on the windows or on the concrete.
The solution to reducing the moisture in your condo? You could turn the thermostat down run the ac and freeze your butt off. 🙁 Or you can get a dehumidifier and run it. You can get one that has a drain hose that you can set it up to drain into the floor drain where the ac drains its water.
We live in a 3 bedroom condo so we keep the dehumidifier in the maintenance room and we keep the door to the maintenance room open so the air exchanges more easily. We also keep all the doors open to to the other rooms in the condo so the air can move. The maintenance room is a pretty good location because when the furnace kicks on it draws the air from the other parts of the unit to the maintenance room where the dehumidifier is located.
In the winter we run the dehumidifier if we start to see moisture on the inside of the windows. I don’t think a little bit of moisture is any big deal mind you. Some of the newer dehumidifiers let you set the humidity level. Ours does not.
We mostly run the thing at night. It is kinda loud to run all day. The noise at night bothers us less than during the day. In fact, we don’t even notice it at night and it doesn’t keep us awake. We don’t have a lot of plants so we don’t usually get a lot of humidity inside the unit. If we have the doors open during the day in the winter, and I think the humidity of the air coming in is high, then I might run the dehumidifier that night.
Please let us know your thoughts or if you have any questions.
Have a GREAT day! Mike and Vivian