How to stop condensation – tips that work!
Before you can stop condensation you need to understand what condensation is and how condensation is formed.
Condensation occurs because the moisture in warm air can no longer be held as vapour and returns into its liquid form when it comes into contact with either cooler air, or more importantly, a cooler surface.
To stop condensation from occurring it is important to stop or reduce the contributing factors that cause condensation. This can be done by reducing moisture production, increasing ventilation, improving insulation and by using specialist equipment.
Reducing moisture production to reduce condensation
Without moisture, condensation cannot form. It’s not possible to stop moisture production altogether, but there are a number of very simple tips you can use to reduce the level of water vapour and therefore condensation:
- Dry washing outside
- Cover saucepans when cooking
- Vent your tumble dryer outside
- Avoid using paraffin or flueless bottled gas heaters
Increasing ventilation to remove moisture reduces condensation
The day to day lifestyle of a person produces moisture through a number of simple, common household tasks such as cooking, showering, and of course - breathing.
Its impossible to stop these tasks producing moisture. Consquently, it is important that the the impact of these activities are reduced through ventilation. It is possible to remove this moisture by:
- Opening a window when someone is in
- Increase ventilation in the kitchen and bathroom particularly whilst showering or cooking
- Shut the bathroom/kitchen doors when cooking/bathing
- Ventilate cupboards and wardrobes and do not block vents in chimneys
- Opening the window vents often found in UPVC windows
Improving insulation and draught proofing reduces condensation
Remember moisture is the source for condensation but it only forms when the air is cooled. If you live in a poorly insulated property you will experience a greater level of condensation than most due to your cool walls. There are a number of things that you can do to improve the energy efficiency of the property which are:
- Check that your loft is properly insulated
- Draught proof windows and external doors
- Consider double glazing preferably UPVC
- Consider cavity insulation if not done
Heating your home more to reduce condensation
Making sure that your property is properly heated is very important and is an effective way to reduce condensation. If your property is not sufficiently heated you will find that condensation is created at a much faster rate than if it were adequately heated. Just think of those winter days when its very cold outside and you can see your breath as you breath in and out. This is water vapour that condenses almost immediately as your warm breath hits the cold air.
- Keep low background heat on all day (if possible)
Things not to do to reduce condensation
Doing the things below will not help reduce condensation; they will have the opposite effect and make your condensation problem worse. Do not do the following to reduce condensation.
- Turn your radiators or storage heaters off
- Turn off or isolate extractor fans
- Dry your washing on radiators
- Put too many clothes in your wardrobes/cupboards
- Use washing up liquid to wipe down mould
- Paint over mould. It must be properly cleaned and painted over with special mould resistant paint.
Use of equipment to reduce condensation
Many people experience problems with condensation. Thankfully, there are a couple of great solutions to help reduce the occurance of this problem.
- Dehumidifier – this portable appliance reduces the level of humidity in the air. The dehumidifier works by drawing in air and passing it over a cold metal coil which cools the air causing the water vapour to condense to water and collect in a container.
- Extractor fans – installing extractor fans in areas of the home that create lots of moisture such as the bathroom and kitchen. When cooking and bathing use an extractor fan to expel unwanted moist air created by steam.