What is condensation?

When warm moist air produced by ordinary household activities such as cooking and bathing hits a cold surface, e.g. an outside wall or a window, condensation occurs. Unless the moist air can escape to the outside through an open window, air vent or extractor fan, it will always stay in your home moving around until it finds a cold spot where it can condense into condensation.

Condensation can lead to mould which can contribute to problems of asthma and other respiratory diseases.

How can you control it?
Condensation can be controlled by making sure that the moisture in your home is balanced out by using ventilation. Getting this balance right can be tricky, depending on your type of heating, levels of insulation in your home, and the amount of ventilation you already have. This page should give you some tips on how to control condensation in your home.

Install insulation
  • Condensation occurs on cold spots, so if you can warm up the cold spots you will help to control condensation.
  • Insulating your loft, external walls, and draught proofing doors and windows will reduce the cold spots and make your house cheaper to heat.
  • Find out if you are eligible for a grant or discount towards cavity wall insulation or loft insulation by calling Warm & Well in Redcar & Cleveland on 01642 771289.
Try and avoid cold areas in your home
  • It is better to heat the whole home to a lower temperature rather than one room to a very high temperature. When you get condensation and mould forming, it is often not in the room where you are making the moisture, e.g. the kitchen, but in a room you dont often use like the spare bedroom. This may be because this room is not usually heated. Try heating all the rooms regularly.
  • Make sure you are using the heating system and controls efficiently as this will save you money and enable you to afford to heat more of your home.
Reduce moisture
Reducing moisture in the home will cut down the amount of condensation. If you use a tumble dryer make sure it is vented to the outside.
  • Dont dry clothes indoors if possible. If you have to, open the window and shut the door of the room where the clothes are drying as this will let the moisture from the wet clothes go outside rather than circulating in your home.
  • Avoid using portable gas and paraffin heaters. These fuels give off a lot of moisture when they burn so open a window in the room where the heater is if you have to use one. A window should be kept open for safety reasons too. They are also expensive to run - they cost about 64p per hour to use, compared to a mains gas fire which costs 27p per hour.
  • Keep the kitchen and bathroom doors shut to stop moisture moving around your home.
  • Cover boiling pans with pan lids - this will save on your fuel bills as well as reducing moisture.
Ventilate your home
Ventilating your home adequately, by opening windows a little, using extractor fans or vents provided, will allow moisture to escape to the outside.
  • Open the windows on one notch for half an hour after bathing to get rid of the moisture. Remember to shut them afterwards.
  • Use an extractor fan in the bathroom if you have one when you have a bath or shower.
  • Use the extractor fan or open the window on one notch in the kitchen when cooking.
  • If you have trickle vents above the windows, keep them open all the time.
  • Don't block up any air vents.

How much moisture do you create in your home?

Pints 1 PINT Washing clothes produces 1 pint of moisture.

Pints 2 PINTS Having a bath creates 2 pints of moisture.

Pints 3 PINTS Cooking by gas for 3 hours produces 3 pints of moisture.

Pints 3 PINTS Using a paraffin or bottled gas heater produces 3 pints of moisture if used for 5 hours.

Pints 10 PINTS Drying clothes produces 10 pints of moisture (6lbs of spun washing in an un-vented tumble dryer).

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