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Why cooking can lead to condensation and what can be done

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Why cooking can lead to a build-up of condensation and what can be done

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

May 25, 2021

Kitchens are one of the biggest sources of condensation in the home, with multiple different activities contributing to the release of moisture that can build up in the air and result in water droplets forming on windows and soaking into surfaces to form damp patches.

Cooking, whether on the hob or in the oven is the main source of moisture in the air, but it is not the only one.  In this post, we look at some of the different causes, and what you can do to address them and minimise the amount of condensation you create.

Boiling food and using kettles

It seems obvious that boiling water is a major contributor to kitchen humidity.  A pan simmering on the hob is consistently releasing steam into the air, and a kettle heats water quickly and can allow lots of steam to escape when opened.

The simplest action you can take is to ensure that you keep a lid on pans that are on the stove.  This prevents as much steam from escaping, and also has the benefit of reducing the amount of heat loss from the pan, which means that you require less energy to maintain a cooking temperature which can help reduce your bills.  Similarly, using the kettle to boil water and adding it to the pan will also help reduce steam.  In a kettle, the water boils more quickly and is contained, so less steam escapes.

Using your dishwasher

Dishwashers can release a lot less steam into the air than washing your dishes in the sink, but you can undo all of your hard work if you open the door while the interior is still warm.

Dishwashers use water at nearly boiling temperatures to clean dishes but are sealed to prevent heat and water loss during the washing process.  If you don’t allow the dishwasher to cool down properly before opening the door, you will often release a big cloud of steam into the air, which can spread through your home.  Allowing the dishwasher to cool down properly allows the steam to condense and drain with the rest of the water.

Using your extractor fans

Ensuring that you run the extractor fan over your hob during the cooking process and for about 30 minutes after you have finished cooking helps to dissipate some of he humidity that builds up in kitchens.

If you have a separate kitchen extractor fan mounted on the wall, this should also be running at the same time.  Some modern fans include a moisture sensor which adjusts the power depending on how much moisture is in the air.  An extractor fan is also good for removing any cooking smells from the room and keeping the air nice and fresh.

Keep the kitchen door closed when cooking

Most kitchen surfaces are non-porous, and condensation will stay on them rather than soaking in and causing damp, however the rest of your home is not the same. Closing the kitchen door when cooking helps to contain the moist air where it can do less damage and is recommended.

Find out more

If you are finding condensation in your home and are worried about the potential damage that damp can cause, or the risks to your health from mould, please contact us to speak to a local ventilation specialist.

Our experts can visit your home and assess what action is required in order to prevent condensation and remove damp for good.


Need help with condensation, mould or damp problems?

One of our local experts will contact you to learn more about your problems, offer free expert advice and make recommendations for a permanent solution.

During the free survey we will

  • check Assess any condensation, damp or mould problems in your property
  • check Take readings of the relative humidity levels
  • check Identify any underlying problems and make recommendations for a permanent solution

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