How useful is silica gel for protecting SLR cameras against condensation from changes in temperature?


I am planning to travel to places like Switzerland (Mt. Titlis) which has temperatures going down to -15 C.
I have the Nikon D3100 SLR camera.
I am not sure about the performance of the camera in such conditions (and the precautions to take).
I am planning to put 2 small pouches of silica gel in the camera case/bag.

How useful is the silica gel in protecting the camera for any kind of condensation issues that may arise due to change of temperatures?

What kind of damp do we have?


We have a damp problem in a 1920s semi-detached house we moved into 8 weeks ago. We are not sure if it’s a condensation problem, or penetration from the outside, or even rising damp on the ground floor. I have taken pictures of the affected areas:

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The full set can be found here:

https://plus.google.com/photos/101677415577594240947/albums/6009137859251170033?authkey=CLWchYXqidbADg

The windows are all PVC which looks completely sealed – there don’t appear to be any trickle vents. We do notice occasional condensation on the windows in the morning. We need to get the windows replaced with wooden-framed windows again (in accordance with local building preservation-area regulations – originally, this house had wooden-framed windows). Would doing this help? Is there anything we should look out for? Can we get trickle vents on wooden frames?

The walls do not have a cavity. I think there is just two layers of brick, with an external render. The external walls are often quite cold to the touch.

We tried to clean the affected areas with Auro Mould Eliminator a few weeks ago, but it’s either been ineffective or it’s just the stains that remain. We are going to repaint anyway, but before that, we want to take some preventative measures so that the problem doesn’t come back and are looking for advice.

We have been suggested to get the external render of the house looked at in case there are cracks that water is coming in through and get it patched up. Searching around online, people advise getting dehumidifiers to help with condensation. Are there any other measures we can take?

How do I prevent condensation on my balcony windows?


On the street, temperatures at night are about -5 °С and about 8 °C during the day. In the apartment it is about 25 °C. So, there is condensation on the windows and I don’t want to wipe the windows every time.

How do I prevent condensation on the balcony windows?

Do Silent Condensate Pumps for Air Conditioners exist?


I need to install a Condensate Pump in a new A/C in a bedroom, and there is no choice but to pump the condensate up to a drain on the roof.

The A/C technicians have told me about different types of condensate pumps, but they all seem to make an audible sound on regular basis when the pumping action kicks in, and even though the pumps would be on the outside of the wall of the bedroom, they will be right next to a window that will be next to a bed, so my fear is that the regular sound of the pump will be just loud enough to drive me insane as I wait for the next pumping round to kick in, and the next, and the next…

So I was wondering if there are any silent condensate pumps on the market that are also reliable and that will last for years without requiring maintenance.

Any ideas?

Should I insulate the exterior foundation wall above grade or insulate the interior basement wall?


An existing basement wall is not insulated on either side. Humidity inside is causing significant sweating on the cold wall in the winter months. Outside, the top 4 feet of wall are exposed above the ground. I am less interested in insulating for energy savings and more interested in avoiding the condensation problem as the basement space is actually a garage. Will I solve the condensation problem by insulating only the outside wall to a depth of about 2 feet below grade. If not, then what is the best way to insulate the inside with a proper vapour barrier to isolate the humid air from the cold wall?

How to protect lens from mist formation while shooting in places like beaches?


Usually when photographing cool breezy areas like beaches in the evening, I have experienced mist formation inside the lens. Once this mist formed, it stays there for at least an hour even after keeping the camera inside the bag.

How to protect the lens from these kind of mist formation? Is this really harmful for the lens?

Also what are the safe ways to get rid of the formed mist quickly?

Why am I having an attic ventilation problem this year when I didn't last year?


This winter in the attic I noticed ice on the roofing nails. Obviously warm moist air condensed and then froze on the cold nails. When the weather broke and warmed up a bit, I was back up in the attic and noticed black mold on certain areas of the lower attic ceiling going toward the eaves.

Some interesting facts:

  • I have been in the house two years and did not notice this happening last year.
  • This is only occurring on one side of the attic ceiling, the other side is completely fine (no rusted nails poking through, no mold)
  • I recently put down some more plywood so I can have more area for storage, and before I did that I added some more insulation to the attic floor (rolls). I wonder if that has anything to do with it?
  • It was also a colder drier winter this year so we had humidifiers in use more, so that may also have something to do with it.

I am just curious why it is happening this year and not last year, and why on only one side of attic ceiling (roof).

Important Information:

  • For ventilation of the attic we have only two gable vents (one on each side of the house), about 1.5ft x 2ft rectangle each. These do not have any fans.
  • There are no soffit vents or ridge or roof vents; just the 2 gable vents.
  • Looking at the lower part of where the attic roof slopes down and meets the wall I notice there is a board that blocks the attic area from the soffit area/eave. So if I was to put in soffit vents from outside, I believe I would have to also drill holes from inside attic through this board so the outside air could actually pass into attic and not be trapped in this blocked off area.
  • The attic space is about 600sq ft.
  • The only insulation is in the attic floor and on there walls, there is no insulation on the attic ceiling.
  • Bathroom fans are vented to outside the home (not into the attic or soffit)
  • I live in Massachusetts where winters get cold and summers are hot and humid.

My questions:

  1. What should I do?
  2. Why was the gable venting system in place good enough last year but not this year?
  3. Why only one side of attic affected?

I recently beefed up the insulation and seal on the pull-down attic entrance as this could be an area where warm moist air was entering into the attic (the entrance is on same side as the attic problem area). Will that fix problem, or do you recommend installing more ventillation anyways?

Will a fan on the gable vents do the trick, or do I need to install soffit vents anyway?

Will soffits with the gables work, or will ridge or roof venting also be required?

Thermodynamics: Are pressure and temperature enough to calculate enthalpy?


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From the chart above, it looks like it is possible to calculate enthalpy from just pressure and temperature. After a few hours of Googling my question, I’m not able to find anything helpful.

My company is interested in finding the effectiveness of an air conditioning system by measuring the change in enthalpy from one side to the other. As a software person, I need a formula that I can use to calculate the enthalpy. I know this formula would need to include different properties of the gas, can you elaborate on what those constants are? Thank you very much.

What to do with a cold corner?


I live in an apartment on the 4th floor. My bedroom has the misfortune of being in the very corner of the building – it has two outer walls. On top of that, the corner between these two walls is facing north (where the sun don’t shine) and there are no obstacles for the cold winds coming from that direction. The only insulation that the building has is about 30cm of concrete.

As a result, the corner tends to be substantially cooler than the rest of the walls and lots of condensation gathers on the wallpaper. Since I cannot do anything to the outside of the building, is there anything I can do on the inside? Some material that I can place beneath the wallpapers? (I have enough spare wallpaper to fix the corner, but not the entire wall)

Can remodeling work around a window cause moisture / condensation problems?


I had flashing repair work done around one of three windows in my bedroom last summer. When it started getting cold, I noticed moisture / condensation on one of my windows. I thought it would go away in a few days; it did not. There is continuous moisture on the main window where the work was done. I’ve been in my home 10 years and have never experienced this problem. And, there is no moisture on the other two windows in my bedroom or on the three windows in my adjoining bathroom. I am wondering if the flashing work could have caused this problem.

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