How to stop condensation in your home

Are you tired of battling to stop condensation? There are certain jobs that generate moisture vapour in your home. Your daily activities such as cooking, showering, drying clothes indoors and steam ironing can all contribute to it forming.

Fortunately, managing this excess water vapour and ensuring adequate ventilation can often be done by yourself at home. In this knowledge article, our experts reveal how to stop condensation, manage humidity levels and maintain a comfortable living environment.

For more information about condensation, you can also read our guide on the causes of condensation.

What causes condensation?

Quick tips for reducing condensation

First, here are some quick practical measures for consideration to reduce indoor humidity levels and prevent condensation from forming:

Taking baths and showers

  • This is the main cause of condensation
  • Keep door closed while bathing or showering to stop humid air circulating throughout the home
  • Open your window or switch on an extractor fan that vents externally
  • When leaving, close the door again
  • Keep ventilation running or a window open for five minutes after

Boiling water in the kitchen

  • As with the bathroom, keep internal doors closed while cooking on the hob to prevent humid air from escaping into your home
  • Open a window or switch on an extractor fan, or ‘cooker hood’, that vents externally
  • Use an extractor fan that vents externally so it’s not recycling the existing air
  • When leaving, close the door again

Dry clothes indoors

  • Close the door to stop humid air from circulating
  • Open a window or window vents to allow for air exchange
  • This will allow dry air into the room to reduce the humidity levels

Ironing

  • You can release water vapour by ironing damp clothes or by steam ironing, which requires the same approach as drying clothes
  • Close the door when ironing in a room
  • Open a window or window vents to let the dry air into the room for short periods of time – you don’t need to leave windows open all day

Extractor fans for ventilation

As discussed, sufficient ventilation that allows moist air to escape and fresh air to enter your home is fundamental to preventing condensation. And while we have briefly discussed extractor fans in our ‘quick tips’, we believe that they deserve a section of their own.

Extractor fans are instrumental in reducing the level of moisture in a room quickly – especially in the bathroom and kitchen. When you’re having a bath, shower or cooking on the hob, extractor fans work by pulling the moist air in and venting it externally through a duct in the wall. Reducing condensation is key to preventing the potential for ongoing damp and mould growth.

Bathroom extractor fans

In Part F of the UK’s Building Regulations, it’s a legal requirement for all bathrooms to be ventilated by either a window or extractor fan. However, people often don’t like having a cold breeze from an open window the second they step out of the bath or shower, especially in the winter, which is why not everyone is keen to open their windows.

Our experts often recommend having an extractor fan installed for condensation prevention. After a shower or bath, it’s then just a case of leaving the extractor fan on for five minutes to efficiently ventilate the room. Remember to keep the door closed while water vapour is being created, until it has been reduced by the air exchange.

A better option than extractor fans are humidity fans, or humidistat extractor fans, that automatically turn on when a certain level of humidity is detected in the air. Once the humidity level drops, the fan will automatically switch off. This is an effective solution for managing the humidity in your bathroom without having to even think about it.

Kitchen cooker hoods

Similar to bathrooms, kitchens are prone to increased condensation levels during washing up or boiling liquids on the hob or kettle, for example. Cooker hoods that vent externally, rather than the versions that recycle air and remove smoke particles, can assist in managing humidity levels by reducing the amount of moisture circulated inside during cooking.

Cooker hoods are essential for removing moisture and preventing condensation during cooking. Externally vented cooker hoods expel the moist air outside and help to maintain a healthier indoor environment. While their installation can be more complex due to routing ductwork to the outside, it is the only efficient method to stop a build-up of condensation. If you have a unit that recycles the air in your home, often marketed as a ‘recirculation hood’, it’s time to change to an externally vented version.

Whether it’s replacing an ineffective kitchen extractor fan or repairing a broken one, the investment will significantly improve air quality and prevent condensation from accumulating in your kitchen. Some modern versions are even equipped with intelligent humidity sensors, which increase their speed when boiling water and reduce their speed once humidity levels have returned to normal.

As with a bathroom extractor fan, it is recommended to leave the extractor fan on for five minutes after cooking to help air exchange for the whole room. Remember to always switch it on while cooking, making hot drinks and washing up.

Tip: Our electricians are experienced in installing kitchen and bathroom extractor fans.

Energy loss

Insulation can help reduce condensation by creating an air gap between the interior of a property and outside. Double glazing, for instance, can reduce condensation by creating an air gap between two glass panes, which limits the transfer of heat from the interior to the exterior of the window. If a cold wall cools air, the air can’t hold onto the water vapour it’s holding, so it condenses. This also applies to cavity wall insulation. A warmer internal wall means that water vapour condenses on it at a lower rate than a cooler wall.

Truthfully, insulation is a long-term and more expensive solution to effectively manage condensation than the steps we’ve covered so far. If you lower humidity, but still suffer from condensation, it points to poor insulation. So, tackle air exchange and reduce the amount of air vapour in your home before committing heavily to introducing new insulation.

Stop condensation in your home

We hope this guide has helped you learn about how to stop condensation in your home. Our team of experts can help to improve your ventilation – simply get in touch to inform us of your unique requirements.

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