Advice on condensation in the home
Condensation happens where warm, moist air comes into contact with a cold surface. This can happen anywhere in the home.
Condensation is caused by:
- Too much moisture in the air (humidity)
- Too little heat
- Too little ventilation.
Too much condensation causes mould.
Common Areas for Condensation
Warmer, moist air is naturally drawn to the coldest part of a room.
Your windows may not be the coldest spot in the room, especially if they are double glazed. Condensation can appear on walls, floors and ceilings even if your windows are not steamed up.
Condensation is usually found:
- In cold corners of rooms.
- In wardrobes and cupboards.
- Behind furniture against an outside wall.
- On cold surfaces such as mirrors, single-glazed windows and metal-framed windows.
- In kitchens and bathrooms (where moist air is more common).
- On walls of unheated rooms.
Keeping your home heated to a low level will help reduce condensation, by minimising the cold surfaces in your home. Home insulation can also help with this, as well as reducing your fuel bills.
The average family can produce up to 20 litres of water per day, just from everyday activities.
There are things that you can do to reduce moisture in your home:
- When cooking, cover pans with lids, keep the kitchen door closed and make sure a window is open or the extractor fan is on.
- Make sure your tumble dryer is vented to the outside.
- If you have to dry clothes indoors, put them in the bathroom with the door closed and the window open or fan on, or put them on a clothes dryer in another room with the room door closed and the windows open.
- When bathing, run cold water into the bath before the hot water to minimise steam production.
It is important to allow plenty of fresh air into your home to avoid the indoor air becoming stale and humid, leading to unhealthy conditions.
To maximise ventilation in your home:
- Always keep a small window ajar or a vent open when someone is in the room - it is best to keep vents open all the time.
- After a bath or shower, open the bathroom window for a while until the steam has cleared or use the extractor fan.
- When cooking, close the kitchen door and open a window or use the extractor fan.
- Do not switch off or tamper with any ventilation equipment provided in your home.
If you already have a small amount of mould in your home, you will have to use a fungicidal cleaner.
You can also manage or avoid mould by:
- Wiping down the inside of windows if they become wet with condensation.
- Not placing beds, wardrobes or other large furniture against outside walls.
- Not overfilling wardrobes and cupboards, as this stops the air circulating.
- Redecorating bathrooms and kitchens using a specialised paint.
- Not using ordinary paint or wallpaper on walls or ceilings that have been decorated using fungicidal paint.
- Reporting to us any repairs to extractor fans and heating systems.