No matter what type of building you live in, whether it be a period property or a new-build home, you may experience an issue with energy-efficient windows and condensation. While it may appear to be a minor problem, if you don’t deal with it quickly it could cause long-lasting problems that can be costly to fix including mould and dampness. Here, we take a closer look at how to prevent window condensation in your home.
Condensation on your windows happens if warm air meets a cold surface, or if the humidity level in your home is higher than it is outside. Issues with humidity in your home often happen during the winter months if you’re using your central heating, but other activities such as drying clothing, showering and cooking also release some warm moisture into your home’s environment and when this air meets a cool surface it rapidly cools down, releasing the water that then becomes drops of liquid on the surface.
If you don’t deal with condensation issues rapidly it could cause black mould growth on your ceilings, windows and walls. Black mould isn’t only unattractive but it can also cause health problems like skin rashes, bronchitis and sinus issues. Therefore, dealing with it quickly is imperative.
Firstly, you need to control how much condensation is in your property. By using a squeegee you can clean any water drops from your glass shower divider, mirrors and windows whenever they appear. Using a soft towel is the best course of action if you need to clean condensation from the walls or other surfaces of your home. Getting your home dry is the first step, but then you’ll need to find ways of stopping condensation from coming back.
If you buy a dehumidifier, you can reduce the humidity inside your home. A dehumidifier works by pulling the moist air through the fan to remove excess moisture and keep your surfaces and window frames dry. Place dehumidifiers in the rooms and spaces where condensation occurs most such as the bathroom and kitchen.
There are some simple actions you can take for free to tackle your condensation problem. When you cook food, keep the lids on the pans and use an extractor or ceiling fan to prevent excess steam from getting released into the room. If you have no extractor fan, keep the windows open when you cook, take a shower or use your tumble dryer. Each time you use the bathroom or kitchen, keep the door firmly shut. While this sounds like a bad idea for ventilation, in fact keeping the doors closed will be better for your property since humid air won’t be able to travel into the other rooms.
As much as possible, try to evenly heat your home so condensation won’t form on any cold surfaces to start with. Keep the thermostats at an identical temperature in each room. If there are rooms in your house you rarely use, always ensure the doors are closed. Try opening the windows in such rooms every day for a few hours so no damp or condensation forms.
It’s certainly better to prevent condensation from building up in your home than to try to cure the problem after it’s risen. You can only really avoid condensation on a long-term basis by wisely investing in insulation and ventilation.
Ventilation is vital when it comes to preventing condensation but since it’s uncomfortable to keep all your windows open during the cold winter months, it’s well worth installing extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom. You should then keep these running whenever you shower, shave, bathe, cook, wash up or use the tumble dryer. If you find your room remains steamy even after finishing, keep the fan running for a little while longer while keeping the door closed.
Improving your home’s insulation is also vital. Your walls need to be kept above the dew point (or temperature where moisture in the air becomes water droplets). Therefore, if you have no double glazing installed in your home already, it’s time to consider upgrading. A double glazed window will remain warmer than a single-glazed one and won’t experience anywhere near so much condensation. You may even want to consider investing in triple glazing which is even more effective.
Although condensation is unpleasant and problematic, it can be resolved and, more importantly, prevented in the first place. Simply follow the top tips on how to prevent window condensation and you’ll find that your home remains moisture-free and comfortable to live in.
Read our previous post - « How To Increase Light In Your Home