23rd February 2016

FAQ: What is condensation and how do I prevent it?

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Posted by: Carly

Condensation is water that collects as droplets on a cold surface when humid air is in contact with it, much like when you remove a canned drink from the fridge, you may notice that it has droplets of water on the outside. The temperature on the surface of the can is reduced as air passes over it. As the air gets cooler, its relative humidity rises and the water vapour turns to moisture. The air passing over the can is unable to hold onto the moisture which ends up as droplets running down the side of the can’s cold surface.

Condensation can often be seen on windows in the home when the temperature inside the property drops, particularly at night when the heating is switched off. The air reaches the point where it can no longer hold onto the moisture that we create in our homes (from daily showers, baths, boiling the kettle, cooking and even breathing!) and it migrates to the coldest surfaces.

The best way to prevent condensation is to:

  • Avoid drying clothes indoors or over radiators if possible
  • Try to keep the temperature inside your home reasonably constant
  • Ensure tumble dryers are properly vented
  • Ensure any extractor fans are switched on and well maintained

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