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Busting condensation

One of the biggest problems in the winter is condensation. Days are shorter, it gets colder outside and the first droplets of condensation appear on window seals.

Condensation happens when warm moist air comes into contact with cold surfaces. If left unattended condensation is a health hazard and can damage your property, so taking the right steps is essential to fight it back.

Problem No 1 – Less ventilation

When it gets cold we naturally open less windows and moist air is trapped for longer. Moisture is not circulating and eventually deposits itself in windows, dark corners or poorly insulated walls. Another problem is excessive production of water vapour, such in kitchens and bathrooms or when wet clothes are left to dry inside the house.

The Solution

Prevention is always better than cure! If drying your laundry outside is not an option, take it to the bathroom or other place where a window can be opened to let moist air out. Avoid drying clothes on radiators and keep lids on pans when cooking. Close doors when cooking or taking a shower to stop moist air travelling into other rooms and, if possible, open a window for 20 minutes afterwards to let some of the steam out. Finally, avoid placing to much furniture over a cold wall as it prevents air from circulating.

Having several moisture traps around the house can be very effective, particularly in enclosed places such us cupboards and wardrobes. These now come in several sizes, formats and aromas. Electric dehumidifiers can extract an even higher amount of water in the air, using an assisted fan that pulls in air. Click here to see some of the products we offer in this range.

Finally, you could consider adding some structural ventilation to the fabric of your house, which can take the form of airbricks, window trickle vents or mechanical fans. These direct moist air outside the property and can proof very efficient to run.

Problem No 2 – Poor insulation

This is a particular problem with older properties that are poorly insulated or don’t have double-glazed windows. Walls and windows get colder quicker and can hardly retain the internal heat, resulting in condensation.

The Solution

As before, ventilation can make a huge difference. However, for a longer-term solution you should consider upgrading the insulation in your home, which will allow for a more consistent temperature inside the house and avoid cold pockets. Certain households are eligible for energy saving improvements or additional insulation. Contact your energy supplier or the Energy Saving Advice Service. If you don’t already have double-glazing, consider the upgrade. Double glazed windows stay warm much longer.

Useful links

- Government guidelines on energy saving grants

- How to deal with mould

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