With summer getting underway you probably don’t see condensation on your windows each morning, but just because the problem isn’t there right now, that doesn’t mean it’s gone for good, and unless you do something about it now, when the weather starts to cool again in autumn, you will wake up to pools of water on your windowsills that can, over time, contribute to damp patches and mould growth in your home.
Moisture is released into the air through many of our day-to-day activities around the home. Washing and cooking are some of the main contributors to domestic humidity, but even breathing releases some water vapour into the air – in fact, our breathing while we sleep is one of the main reasons why bedroom windows are often left covered in condensation in the morning.
The amount of water vapour that can be held in the air is dependent on the temperature. The warmer the air is, the more moisture it can hold. When that warm, humid air comes into contact with a cold surface, it can no longer carry as much moisture, so the water starts to condense.
On materials like glass or tiles, the water is trapped on the surface, which is why it is so easy to spot, but condensation actually forms on any cool surface including furniture, and it is here where it can cause more of a problem, soaking through the surface and creating damp patches inside the material where mould can start to grow and ultimately release spores that can affect allergies and some respiratory conditions.
There will always be some level of moisture in the air of your home, and wherever the air comes into contact with a change in temperature, such as an outside wall or window, condensation can form, but there are some steps you can take to reduce humidity levels and ultimately lower the risk of condensation. Closing your bathroom door when in the shower or bath, using pan lids when cooking, and avoiding drying clothes indoors are all ways to reduce the amount of moisture in the air, but ultimately, the only way to permanently remove condensation is by improving your ventilation.
Simple extractor fans in bathrooms and kitchens are extremely useful in tackling the amount of moisture in those rooms, however they do not run all the time, and do not affect the airflow in other areas of your home.
Ventilation helps to reduce condensation in your home in a number of ways. The direct effect of a kitchen or bathroom extractor fan on the humidity level in a single room is obvious – the moist air is removed to the outside of the building. Whole house ventilation works in a slightly different way. Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) systems draw fresh air in from outside and pass it through a filter to remove particulate matter and allergens like pollen before releasing it throughout your home.
This fresh air gently forces the moist air back out and reduces the moisture content meaning that condensation will form at a much lower temperature. In addition to changing the level at which condensation will form, the movement of air means that it spends less time in contact with cool surfaces which gives the condensation less of an opportunity to form.
This is particularly useful in rooms with otherwise poor airflow where mould and damp are more likely to become a problem.
If you are waking up to condensation in the morning, and are worried the risk of damp and mould, then speak to one of our local specialists. They can visit your home to carry out a free home survey that will identify the sources of condensation and provide advice about the best way of dealing with the problem of condensation effectively. Simply enter your postcode below to find your local ventilation specialist.
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