Combating condensation

What is Condensation?

Even if you cannot see it, there is always some moisture in the air. If the air gets cold it cannot hold all the moisture and some appears as tiny droplets of water. This is condensation.

You notice it when you see your breath on a cold day or when the mirror mists over when you have a bath.

Condensation is more likely to occur in cold weather. It is obvious on surfaces such as windows but actually can occur on all cold surfaces. Signs to look for are mould growth in corners of room, behind furniture or places where there is likely to be little air movement.

What should I do?

  • When cooking, cover pans and do not allow pans and kettles to boil away any longer than is necessary.
  • Keep kitchen and bathroom doors shut particularly when cooking, washing or bathing to prevent the moisture from spreading through the house, at the same time it is important to ventilate these rooms by opening a window or using an extractor fan if fitted.
  • Bottled gas and paraffin heaters produce more than a pint of water for every pint of fuel they burn. If you use this type of heating allow extra ventilation for the moisture to escape.
  • Whenever possible dry clothes outdoors. Drying clothes indoors, especially on radiators, can increase condensation. Try to dry them in the bathroom with the door closed and window open.
  • If you have a tumble dryer ensure it is ventilated to the outside.
  • Ventilate cupboards and wardrobes. Avoid overfilling them
    as this stops air circulating.
  • Leave space between the back of the wardrobe and the
    wall.
  • If necessary, cut breather holes in the back of the wardrobe.

In cold weather the best way to keep rooms warm enough to avoid
condensation is to keep low background heating on all day. This may prove more economical than heating up a house from cold in the evening.

Although you may not want to open your windows in the cold weather, it is very important that you provide some ventilation to each room. Even though you may be heating the room you must remove the moist air.

If you cannot afford to spend more on fuel because of high quarterly bills, ask your fuel supplier or your local gas or electricity board about their budget schemes ie fuel saving stamps which help to spread the
cost.

Further information is available here