Is condensation a problem in your home?

Condensation is a problem in most dwellings and is usually caused by the behaviour of the people who live in them. Therefore, better understanding of the causes of condensation could eradicate the problem from your home.

Condensation can be explained as a simple relationship between hot and cold air and is formed when water vapour saturates the air. There are many different factors, but when looking at the role of design and how homes are built, most houses focus on keeping heat in and drafts out. This in turn keeps vapour from escaping meaning condensation becomes an issue.

In the modern era, new homes are built to be energy efficient. This suits not only homeowners but is also supported by government initiative to reduce Britain’s carbon footprint. New homes are being developed with insulation in mind, both to keep heat in and help reduce energy bills. This, along with draft proofing windows and doors, and reducing ventilation, has led to a range of condensation problems.

Older homes present their own condensation problems. In older homes the presence of condensation plays a much greater role due to less ventilation; cold spots due to a lack of insulation; and single glazing.

Everyday behaviour also plays a significant role towards the contribution to condensation. We can see this with the amount of vapour we produce from washing and heating our homes. However, human behaviour isn’t just linked to household activities, working patterns and the number of people living in households also plays a significant role. As more people are working within the household it means our homes are not being heated continuously throughout the day.

When looking at eradicating condensation the key thing is to find the right balance between insulation, heating and ventilation in each room. Taking a pragmatic approach, and doing simple things like opening a window when having a shower, it is possible to control it in most homes.

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