Tips on how to reduce condensation in the home

Double-glazing cannot cause condensation, whether you have aluminium, wooden or UPVC double glazed sealed units. In fact, the opposite is true, as double glazing acts as a heat barrier and providing an inner pane, which is considerably warmer than the outer pane, condensation is reduced.

Modern buildings are designed to eliminate draughts and do not have the natural ventilation that some older houses have with their chimneys and ill-fitting doors and windows. Houses have been completely sealed by the installation of cavity wall insulation; loft insulation, double-glazing, and draught proofing throughout are likely to become moisture traps. In such cases, condensation is a ventilation problem. Provided the rooms are heated normally, the solution will probably be found providing controlled ventilation.

In the case of older ‘unsealed’ buildings, the dominant factor is likely to be the indoor temperature, and additional heat, or the introduction of localised heat near the windows, will probably provide the answer.

To help reduce the condensation in your home stop water vapour from your bathroom finding its way into the rest of the house, particularly during and after bathing. After bath or shower, close the door and open a window for a few minutes. Position a radiator, or heated towel — rail, under the window.

In bedrooms, if possible extend the central heating programme to compensate for the night-time drop in external temperature and the increase in water vapour caused by the occupants breathing. Also bedroom windows should be opened during the day to allow at least one complete air change.

In living rooms and bedrooms allow the room’s warmth to reach the windows. Position heaters under the windows, and use fittings that hold the curtains at least 15 cm to 20 cm away from the glass to allow free movement of warm air. Open your living room windows for at least a few minutes each day to permit air changes. Where open fires are not provided, or existing flues are blocked off, see that wall vents are fitted and kept clear. When a gas fire has been installed in an open fire aperture, the back plate should have vent holes below the fire, unless this is provided for in the fire design. Where possible, avoid glazed or non-absorbent wall coatings as these can promote condensation on walls.

In your kitchen and/or laundry close internal doors and keep a window open. Alternatively install extractor fans or cooker hoods, ventilated to the outside air. Want to know more about the causes of condensation? Then find out the facts about condensation


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