How to stop condensation in the home
Condensation is something that happens in all homes when the weather gets colder. It’s caused when moisture in the air hits a cold surface, like a window or wall, where it turns into water droplets.
There is always some moisture in the air – you may notice it in your breath on a cold day, or when the mirror mists over when you have a shower or bath. In the home, most of the moisture in the air comes from people and pets breathing, washing and drying clothes indoors, cooking, and using the bath or shower.
These days our homes tend to be well insulated, have double glazed windows and are fitted with good quality doors. These are great for stopping draughts and keeping the warmth inside our home, but it also means that moist air can’t escape and that’s the reason why we get condensation on our windows and walls.
If you don’t do anything to reduce condensation in your home it can eventually lead to mould on your walls. Condensation and the mould it causes are not issues that we can come in and fix, but fortunately you can stop these problems from happening by making just a few small changes to the way you do things in your home.
Here are the ways you can stop condensation from becoming a problem in your home:
- Use a lid to cover pans when you are cooking – this stops steam from rising out of the pan and going into the air.
- Close the door when you are cooking or using the bath or shower - this stops steam from escaping into other rooms and causing condensation.
- Dry clothes outside where possible – this stops the moisture from damp clothes building up in your home. If you can’t dry outside then use a tumble dryer to remove moisture from your clothes.
- If you do need to dry clothes inside keep the room door closed to stop moisture getting into the rest of the house, open a window so moisture can escape and don’t dry clothes on radiators as this creates even more condensation.
- Cover fish tanks – this stops the water from evaporating into the air.
- Open a window and use the extractor fan when you are cooking or bathing. An extractor fan is cheap to run, so you can leave it on for a while after bathing to remove any moisture remaining in the air. If you have any problems with your extractor fan please report it by calling us on 01302 862862 (option 1) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Open your windows for a short while at least two or three times each day – this will give moisture that has built up in the air a chance to escape.
- Make sure you do not block any air vents in your home - these are needed to keep the air in your home moving which reduces the moisture level.
- Keep a temperature of between 18-21ºC throughout the day when the weather is cold - this is more effective and costs less than having bursts of high heat.
- Don’t block your radiators or heaters with furniture when they are turned on as this will reduce how well the central heating operates.
- If you have rooms that aren’t being used, when the weather is cold you should leave the thermostatic radiators valves on low instead of turning them off – this will help stop condensation in those rooms.
- If you get condensation on your windows or walls you should wipe it off straight away or it can lead to problems like mould.
- If mould does start to appear you can use a fungicidal wash to clean the affected area, just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the bottle.
- You could also get a hygrometer – these cost around £10 and are used to measure the temperature and humidity levels. This can help you to manage the condensation in your home by letting you see just how much moisture your household is producing.
- If you have followed all of the advice above but are still finding that your home is getting condensation issues you might consider buying a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers help to prevent condensation by drawing moisture out of the air.