Breaking the mould
During the winter months, it's more likely that you'll notice condensation in your home. Most homes will be affected by condensation at some point, which can lead to black mould over time. Condensation is usually found in the corners of rooms, on north-facing walls and around windows. It is also found in areas with very little air circulation such as behind wardrobes and beds - especially if they are pushed up against external walls. The amount of condensation depends on three factors:
- How much water vapour is produced
- How cold or warm your home is
- How much ventilation there is in your home
All three of these factors will need to be addressed to reduce the problem.
- Dry clothes outdoors. If you can’t do this use a clothes airer in the bathroom with the door closed. Leave a window slightly open or use an extractor fan.
- Vent tumble driers to the outside or buy a condensing type.
- Cover pans when cooking and do not leave kettles boiling.
- Do not use paraffin or liquid petroleum (bottled) gas heaters - they produce large amounts of water vapour and are very expensive to run.
- Wipe your windows and window sills every day to remove condensation. This is especially important in the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen - just opening the window is not enough.
Heating your home
In cold weather, the best way to keep rooms warm and free from condensation is to keep low background heat on all day when you are at home. A timer and good heating controls on your radiators and thermostats will manage your heating as well as your energy bills.
It is important to ventilate the rooms in your home - you can do this without making it too draughty or cold by opening a window slightly or using the trickle vent that can often be found on new UPVC windows. This allows warm, moist air to escape and lets in cool, dry air.
- Open kitchen and bathroom windows when bathing or cooking to prevent moisture in the air from spreading to other parts of the house. Keep the door closed for a short time afterwards.
- Open bedroom windows for up to one hour first thing in the morning and throw back the bedding to air the bed.
- Keep window sills free of clutter so you can easily open windows.
- Leave space between the back of furniture and the wall.
- Ventilate and avoid overfilling cupboards, wardrobes.
- Do not block chimneys and flues – fit with an air vent and make sure you meet the ventilation requirements for any gas appliances in a room.