Q. We are having trouble with steam on our windows, especially during the cold winter months. My wife frequently waters 35 plants inside the house. Do you suppose all this watering causes the moisture on the windows? Edward S. Krause Seattle
A. Undoubtedly, the plants and their continual watering do indeed contribute to much of the undesirable condensation on the windows and sills. The cold outside air is condensing the warm, moist inside air on the windows.
But plants need water, so if your wife stopped watering them it would only provoke other problems -- the demise of the plants and possible grumps from milady.
Reducing the internal moisture and humidity is the key to the reduction of moisture on the glass.
Dehumidifiers will help, as will exhaust fans, as required, in the kitchen, laundry room, and baths.
Before the cold winds of next fall, buy a kit made by Plaskolite, Inc., PO Box 1497, Columbus, Ohio 43216, or equal. Install the sheets over the windows as per instructions. The sheets will help control the condensation.
Crack open a few windows for cross ventilation where and when practical.
Properly placed jars of silicon gel will absorb 40 percent of their weight in moisture. You can buy silicon gel at an arts and crafts store or from Plantabs Corporation, 6 Foxtail Road, Timonium, MD. 21093.