How to Reduce Condensation in your Home
Condensation forms when warm air collides with non-porous, cold surfaces. So, if you wake up in the morning in winter and your windows are covered in water droplets, your room is warm, and the outside temperature overnight makes your windows cold.
Condensation itself won't cause any significant issues. However, problems start to arise when this moisture can't get away.
Damp patches can form if the water pools on windowsills or sealant around windows. This can create black mould, damaging your health and home's foundations. Think chipping paint or, at worst, rotting wood.
The main thing to remember is condensation is expected. It doesn't mean windows need replacing or you're doing anything wrong. But you must sort out the issue, which could mean daily attention.
While condensation can be caused by weather conditions, excess humidity can be manmade, too. Think about:
- Using pan lids when cooking
- Closing kitchen doors when cooking, boiling the kettle or washing dishes
- Closing bathroom doors when showering
- Opening windows when cooking and showering
- Making use of extractor fans and cooker hoods
- Trying to dry clothes indoors effectively
- Ensuring your tumble dryer is well-ventilated
How to Get Rid of Condensation in the Home
- Use an electric dehumidifier.
A dehumidifier will draw moisture out of the air before it settles on surfaces such as your windows. It won't remove all moisture from the air, though—too dry an atmosphere can damage the home, too.
So, this is the ideal solution. It removes excess humidity and moisture without going overboard.
- Use a window vacuum.
Lightweight and battery-powered, a window vacuum can suck moisture from a surface such as a window. It is quick and will ensure the moisture droplets don't land on the windowsill as the outside starts to warm up slightly.
SPEEDY TOP TIP: Window vacuums are specifically designed to deal with moisture. Do not use a regular vacuum to do this job.
They're also commonly used when cleaning windows or after showering to clean the shower door if you're concerned about whether you'd use it all year round. You can also mop up spills with them if the kids have dropped a drink or the dog's bowl has been knocked over.
- Use a squeegee and towel.
Sucking up the water is the best option. The next best is to use a squeegee to get moisture off windows.
Lay a towel on the windowsill to catch water, and use a squeegee to draw the water downwards. Then, dry the window and window frames with kitchen paper or a microfibre cloth.
These options will need to be done daily, but they are fine as long as your home doesn't see any other effects of damp.
- Improve ventilation.
The last thing you want to do is open your window when it is cold outside. Unfortunately, allowing air to circulate and improve air quality would be best.
You may have modern windows that you can leave partially open and lock overnight, as long as you don't feel too cold.
If not, opening wide for an hour or so when you wake up will help you get some fresh air in the home. Things will feel less stuffy, and the moisture can escape.
SPEEDY TOP TIP: Airflow can also be improved by moving furniture away from walls and putting furniture such as wardrobes against internal walls only.
- Opt for a refillable moisture absorber.
These are available to buy in B&Q. They can last up to a few months, and when full, you replace the bag of moisture-capturing beads rather than throw the whole thing in the bin. You'll pay more, but it will be more eco-friendly and cheaper in the long run.
They won't be as good as a dehumidifier but will be okay for smaller amounts of moisture.
- Keep temperatures consistent.
Do you have the central heating off most of the day and then crank it up at night? Not only is this potentially worse for your bills (as the heating has to work harder to heat a cold home), but it can also create more condensation.
So, keep your home's temperature consistent. This will heat the surfaces of your home and assist in reducing condensation. Leave it ticking away in the background at a steady temperature so there are no sudden drops.
If you're worried about gas prices and it is cheaper to use electricity in your home, hire a portable heater from Speedy, which can be turned on to keep the room temperature consistent.
- Keep windows clean.
A cleaner window is less likely to provide a surface for moisture and other particles to cling to. Try cleaning your windows weekly, using a dedicated window spray (or making an eco-friendly window cleaner).
- Try cat litter.
In the same way that cat litter is designed to absorb cat urine, it can absorb moisture from the air. It won't be as effective as a dedicated dehumidifier, but it can help.
Just place it in an old sock or bag, tie it up and let it do the job. Replace this monthly, as it will smell once thoroughly damp. It's not a miracle cure for excess moisture, but it should reduce it slightly.
- Use absorbent window seals.
You can buy seals that fit around your window and are dedicated to absorbing any moisture that falls. Note that these are different from the seals designed to keep cold air out.
They'll be thicker and designed to hold the moisture before needing to be replaced. This won't affect their stickiness.
If condensation is a big issue…
Call the professionals if damp seems to be affecting your walls or if you can't keep on top of the black mould forming in your home. You must tackle the issue before it causes damage, which may mean altering brickwork or loft insulation.
READY FOR MORE DIY TIPS?
If you use a dehumidifier, look at our blog on how to use a dehumidifier, which gives you some handy tips on how to keep humidity low in your home in the best way possible.
If you need to hire additional portable heating to keep your home warmer over winter, we also have a guide on which option to choose.
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