How to reduce the amount of Moisture in your home
Elevated levels of humidity in your home will result in condensation which can lead to bigger problems with damp and mould that can damage the fabric of your home and lead to health issues including allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Taking steps to reduce the amount of moisture that is present in the air of your home will help to prevent condensation and damp from becoming a problem.
Where does the moisture in air come from?
Some moisture is always present in the air, but many of our household activities release steam and water vapour into the air which can cause the air to become saturated. When saturated air comes into contact with cooler surfaces, the moisture in the air forms as condensation on the surface.
Cooking and bathing are two of the activities which release the most moisture into the air.
According to data from the ISSE (Institute of Specialist Surveyors and Engineers), household activities can release the following amounts of moisture into the air each day:
- Cooking with electricity: 2 000 grams per day
- Cooking with gas cooker: 3,000 grams per day
Laundry and Cleaning
- Dishwashing: 400 grams per day
- Washing clothes: 500 grams per day
- Drying clothes indoors: 1,500 grams per day
- 15-minute shower 600 grams
In addition to the moisture released by our day-to-day activities, every breath we take releases some water vapour into the air. This varies depending on our activity level but can range from about 40 grams per hour when sleeping up to 90 grams per hour when we are active.
Not all of the moisture in the air becomes condensation, however without good ventilation in your home, a substantial amount of this moisture will contribute to condensation problems.
Reducing the amount of moisture in your home
There are a number of steps you can take to reduce the amount of moisture that can cause condensation in your home.
When boiling food on the stove, use a lid on the pan to prevent moisture escaping – this also helps to reduce cooking times and can help to save energy. Keeping the kitchen door closed is also recommended as this prevents moist air from escaping into the rest of your home where it will condense.
You should also use your hob extractor fan when cooking as this will remove steam that forms above the stove. It is a good idea to keep this running for about 30 minutes after you finish cooking.
Modern kitchens should also include a separate extractor fan. Some models will include a sensor that detects high levels of humidity and increase their power levels to extract air more quickly.
When possible, dry clothes outdoors rather than on radiators, and if you use a tumble drier, ensure that it vents outdoors to prevent moisture building up in your home.
If you are bathing or taking a shower, you should run your extractor fan as soon as you start to run the bath or shower and close the door to prevent the steam from escaping. As with a kitchen extractor fan, you should leave the fan running for around 30 minutes after you have finished bathing and avoid leaving bathwater in the tub.
Whole house ventilation systems such as positive input ventilation (PIV) which run 24 hours a day and gently pump fresh air through your home are the most effective way of stopping the build-up of moisture in the air from breathing as they circulate air around the house and preventing humidity levels getting too high.
Find out more
If you are having problems with condensation in your home or are finding damp patches and mould on ceilings or walls, you should contact our local ventilation specialists today to request a free home survey. They will be able to assess how much moisture is present in the air in your home and provide advice about the best solution to prevent damp and mould for good.