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Reducing condensation in your home

There’s nothing quite as beautiful as the arrival of autumn and the sight of the leaves on the trees going through their kaleidoscope of colours. Ironically, the cold weather that arrives when summer departs can prevent you enjoying the world outside your window due to condensation. As a form of damp, it steams up your windows – but the good news is that in many cases it is easy to remedy.

Condensation forms when moisture in the air comes into contact with cooler air or a colder surface. It’s harmless in the short term but over a long period, it can cause mould and dampness on walls and ceilings. While that may sound alarming, there are a number of ways you can keep it at bay…
 

Eliminate moisture
If you already have condensation, swiftly removing it will not only help dry out the air but also prevent any build-up of black mould around your walls, windows and even ceilings. As well as looking unpleasant, in large quantities black mould can lead to respiratory problems and allergies,* which is why a good window-cleaning routine is important. Regularly clear away condensation by using a squeegee or simply wipe away condensation using a soft towel or tissues. 


Improve airflow
One of the most effective ways to prevent condensation is by ensuring adequate ventilation and, if it’s not too cold, the simplest way is to keep a window slightly ajar when you’re at home. This is especially important in rooms with higher moisture levels, such as the kitchen and bathroom – try to always ventilate a bathroom after bathing or showering. If possible, also keep these doors closed to prevent moisture entering other rooms. Also remember that vents or extractor fans in walls or windows are there for a reason, so don’t forget to use them. If the problem is in your conservatory, roof lights can provide extra ventilation.


Keep your home dry
We all leave the odd saucepan boiling from time to time but this is a surefire way to add unwanted dampness to the air, so keep a lid on it – even better, always use an extractor fan if you have one. Another major culprit when it comes to moisture-making is the laundry we hang on our radiators to dry – wet clothes hold a surprising amount of water and unless your room is well ventilated, you’re just encouraging damp walls and windows. So make the most of any opportunities to hang your washing outdoors. If your home is prone to dampness, a dehumidifier may help.


Go back to basics
A modern, well-insulated home will have fewer problems with condensation than an older-style property but, whichever you live in, good wall and loft insulation are important to help keep your home warm and dry.  

Often the very place where condensation is most apparent is where the biggest problem lies – the windows. Double- or triple-glazed windows stay warmer than single panes, so they will keep condensation at bay, with the added benefit of reducing heat loss and making your home more energy efficient.

If you have old or defective windows that are causing problems such as condensation, it might just be time to consider an upgrade and enjoy the benefits of the latest in window technology.
 

* http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/Can-damp-and-mould-affect-my-health.aspx?CategoryID=87

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