High levels of moisture in the air around your home can cause condensation which in the longer term can lead to damp and mould growth that can damage the fabric of your home while also being harmful to the health of residents.
Condensation forms when humid air comes into contact with cold surfaces. The change in temperature reduces the amount of moisture that the air can hold, and this is then deposited on the cool surface. On non-permeable materials like glass, condensation will simply stay on the surface and can be wiped away easily, however if the condensation forms on porous materials such as wood or some paints, it will soak in, saturating the material below the surface and causing damp which in turn allows the growth of mould.
There are many different sources of humidity in any home. These all contribute to condensation in some way.
The kitchen is the heart of many homes and is a major source of condensation.
Many of the activities in a kitchen release steam into the air:
You can take steps to reduce the effect of these activities on the rest of your home. Using pan lids when cooking on the stove and ensuring that the extractor fan above your hob is switched on throughout the cooking process will help to reduce the effect of cooking.
You should also close the kitchen door when you are cooking or using the washing machine to prevent steam escaping into the rest of your home.
To really tackle humidity in a kitchen, you might consider investing in a modern extractor fan which will draw air out of the whole room rather than just from above the hob. EnviroVent’s Cyclone 7 fan responds automatically to the level of humidity in the kitchen which helps to reduce moisture levels quickly when required while remaining energy efficient.
It is easy to see why a bathroom would be a major source of condensation in the home. Taking a bath or shower releases a large amount of steam into the air, and if you are a person who enjoys a long soak at the end of a hard day, a hot bath can release steam for some time.
Steam is not only released during a bath or shower, however. If you have a towel rail in the bathroom where you leave towels to dry when not in use, the water that they contain will gradually be turned into steam and escape into the air too.
As with the kitchen, it is important to try and contain steam in the bathroom as much as possible. Ensure that you close the door when bathing or taking a shower.
Most bathrooms have an extractor fan which is usually connected to the light switch, so it only runs when the light is on. An automatic extractor fan which responds to moisture levels is more effective as it will also work during the day if you forget to switch on the light.
If you have ever woken up on a cold morning to see beads of moisture on your bedroom window, you will know that the bedroom can be a major source of condensation. Our breathing while we sleep contains significant amounts of moisture, and during the colder nights, this will turn into condensation. A sleeping person can exhale more than a litre of water vapour while they sleep which can soak into all surfaces.
During the summer, sleeping with the windows open can be an option for some people, however if you live close to a busy road or suffer from hay fever, it is not always possible. Similarly, a conventional extractor fan is not well suited to a bedroom as even the quietest models will have some noise. A whole home ventilation solution such as a Positive Input Ventilation System (PIV) is a better answer to condensation.
PIV features a central air pump which draws filtered fresh air into the home from outside before releasing it throughout the building where it will displace the moist air. PIV systems can be used year-round and are highly efficient. They ensure good air flow in all rooms of the property so that condensation is prevented.
If you have a problem with condensation in your home and want to reduce the health risks of damp developing, please contact us today to arrange a free home survey where our local ventilation specialist can assess your home and recommend the best solution for your needs.
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.
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