Top Tips on How To Prevent Condensation On Windows

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Top Tips on How To Prevent Condensation On Windows

Condensation in our homes is a common problem many of us encounter, especially during the colder months. Besides being a nuisance, it can lead to more serious issues like mould growth, damaged wallpaper and furniture. Understanding the causes and knowing how to prevent it can save us from unnecessary headaches, costs and possible health issues. In this article, we'll explore more about condensation, some top tips on how to combat this unwelcome guest in our living spaces and much more.

What causes condensation in your home?

an image of a window with condensation and mould

It is primarily caused by excessive moisture in the air. This can occur due to a number of reasons like poor ventilation, lack of heating, drying clothes indoors, or simply due to the use of certain household appliances.

When warm, humid air comes into contact with a cooler surface such as a window or a wall, it cools down rapidly and releases its moisture, leading to condensation. This is why we often notice condensation on windows on cold mornings.

What makes condensation a concern in your home?

an image of a person, a man using his inhaler due to the air quality

Condensation poses a significant concern in homes due to the potential damage and health risks it can cause. Over time, moisture accumulating on surfaces can lead to deterioration of your home’s infrastructure, spoiling wallpapers, and damaging wooden furniture and fixtures. More seriously, if left untreated, it can lead to the growth of mould and mildew, which pose considerable health risks like intensify asthma symptoms and trigger allergic reactions. Furthermore, the damp and humid conditions caused by condensation can also attract pests, adding to the list of potential problems.

At what humidity level do mould and mildew start to grow?

Mould and mildew thrive in specific environmental conditions. They typically form when the relative humidity exceeds 60% and the temperature ranges from 25°C to 30°C. While they can tolerate lower humidity levels, their growth is most rapid in high humidity. Therefore, it is important to maintain indoor humidity below 60%, ideally between 30% and 50%.

What to do if condensation occurs?

an image of a person wiping down the condensation off a window

If you notice condensation forming in your home, it's essential to act fast. The most simple and immediate action you can take is to wipe the condensation off the surfaces. Use a dry, absorbent cloth to remove the moisture from windows, walls, or other affected areas. Regularly clearing the condensation not only prevents the build-up of moisture but also reduces the likelihood of mould and mildew growth.

If condensation occurs multiple times, follow our tips on how to prevent it:

Do not dry your clothes inside (unless you have a dehumidifier)

an image of a person, a man using his inhaler due to the air quality

Drying clothes indoors may seem like a convenient solution especially during cold weather. However, this practice can significantly increase the humidity levels inside your home. Drying clothes release moisture into the air, which can contribute to condensation if not properly managed. If you must dry your clothes indoors, consider using a dehumidifier.

A dehumidifier draws excess moisture from the air, helping to maintain a balanced humidity level in your home. Furthermore, some dehumidifiers come with a dedicated laundry setting, specifically designed to help dry clothes more quickly and efficiently.

To read more about drying laundry with a dehumidifier, click here. If you're interested about dehumidifiers and how they work, check out our dehumidifier buying guide or top 10 home dehumidifiers to see our top picks!

Get yourself an extractor fan

an image of a person wiping down the condensation off a window

If condensation is a recurring issue, consider investing in an extractor fan. These devices are specifically designed to remove moisture and odours, improving the air quality in these high-humidity areas.

When for example cooking, switch on the kitchen extractor fan to draw out the steam and prevent it from settling on cooler surfaces. Remember to leave it running for a few minutes after you've finished to ensure all the excess moisture has been removed. It's a relatively small investment that can significantly improve your indoor air quality and help prevent condensation-related issues.

Not sure which extractor fan to choose? Check out our Top 10 Kitchen Extractor Fans

If you're planning to install an extractor fan, remember that it involves electrical work which can be tricky and dangerous if not done correctly. It's advisable to hire a professional electrician to ensure the proper installation and safety of your home.

Maintain a consistent temperature

an image of a person, a man using his inhaler due to the air quality

When there is a significant difference in temperature between the inside and outside of your home, moisture is more likely to condense on surfaces. To avoid this, it's important to maintain a consistent temperature in your home.

A programmable thermostat can help you regulate the temperature automatically, ensuring a balanced humidity level and reducing the chances of condensation. During colder weather, it's also advisable to keep your home at a slightly warmer temperature to prevent the air inside from reaching its dew point.

What is the dew point?
The dew point is the temperature at which air becomes saturated with water vapor. When the air cools to its dew point, moisture condenses into water droplets on colder surfaces like windows or walls.

If you have tried these tips and condensation still occurs, you might have to consider one of the following:

Open your blinds and curtains

an image of a person wiping down the condensation off a window

Blinds and curtains play a crucial role in managing condensation in your home. Keeping them closed can trap moisture released by windows. Opening your blinds and curtains during the day allow natural light and heat to enter, reducing the temperature difference between the window and the room. This also enables airflow, which helps in dispersing moisture and reducing humidity levels. During colder months or at night, you may close them to insulate your home, but ensure to open them again in the morning!

Take quicker showers

Long, hot showers may be relaxing but they significantly increase the humidity levels in your bathroom, which can lead to condensation. By reducing your shower time, you can cut down on the amount of moisture lingering in the air. If you notice the mirrors steaming up or the windows getting foggy, it's a clear sign that it's time to get out of the shower.

Remember to use a bathroom extractor fan and/or a dehumidifier during and after showering to help remove the excess moisture from the air. This simple practice can help manage the humidity levels in your bathroom and keep condensation at bay.

Circulate the air

an image of a man sitting on a couch while reading a book next to an air conditioning unit

Stagnant air can contribute to higher humidity levels, increasing the chances of condensation. To avoid this, it's essential to create airflow in your home. Open windows and doors regularly to let fresh air in and circulate throughout the house. This allows humid air to escape and prevents it from settling on surfaces like windows or walls. You can also use fans to help circulate air in specific rooms.

Upgrade home insulation

an image of a person, a man using his inhaler due to the air quality

If you live in an older home, it's possible that there is a lack of proper insulation. Poorly insulated walls and windows can create a significant temperature difference between the inside and outside of your home. One of the most affordable choices is to install weather strips on your windows and doors, or you can alternatively purchase window insulation kits. On the other hand, if you are willing to invest a bit more, you may consider upgrading your extractor fans and replacing your windows for better results.

Upgrade Single Glazed Windows to Double Glazed

an image of a man sitting on a couch while reading a book next to an air conditioning unit

The type of windows in your home can really make a big difference. Condensation is more likely to occur on single glazed windows as they have just one sheet of glass. Double glazed windows have two sheets of glass with an air gap in the middle. This gap acts as a thermal barrier against the cold air outside. Because of this, the temperature difference between the outside and the inside isn't as big and so the air in your room doesn't reach the dew point.

Tackling condensation in the home is a manageable task that requires a combination of effective strategies. By ensuring proper air circulation, keeping a steady indoor temperature, and investing in useful tools such as extractor fans and dehumidifiers, the issue of indoor humidity can be significantly reduced. Upgrades like improving home insulation and switching to double glazed windows also contribute to a more balanced and healthier indoor environment. It's all about creating a living space that's comfortable, dry, and condensation-free.