Act now to beat the problems of condensation

First published in ShuttleXtra

The drop in temperatures over the few weeks will bring the drops of water on the inside of windows and the annual problem of condensation in the home.

Many live with the problem, but Stourbridge energy expert Colin Priest says there are ways that householders can help prevent it.

Colin, of Quarry Bank who works for Noreus Ltd, said it is caused when moist air cools and comes into contact with a colder surface, such as windows and walls. If left untreated it can lead to long-term difficulties such as mould, particularly in bedrooms if they are not above a warm sitting room or if they are in a flat or a bungalow.

He said that many people do not realise that breathing and perspiration, having a bath or shower and cooking all add in total many pints of water to the air in their home which when cooled turns into condensation. This is not helped by modern homes and windows which are more energy efficient and trap humid air in the rooms.

Simple tips he suggested include:

 Don’t put washing on radiators to dry but use a tumble drier ensuring the air is sent outside.

 Put lids on pans when cooking and don’t leave a kettle boiling.

 Use dehumidifiers and open a window slightly if using a room for a long time to let the warm wet air out and replace it with outside cooler air  Use extractor fans and keep the kitchen door closed when cooking and the bathroom door shut when having a bath or shower. Also open a window when you have finished.

 Don’t push furniture too close to a wall as it doesn’t allow the air to circulate.

 Use lightweight curtains in bedrooms, not heavy ones, as they trap moist air against the window and will cool overnight forming much water on the glass in the morning.

 Keep a low background heating on all day rather than having the boiler on in the early morning and evening as a steady air temperature stops condensation.

One long-term plan Ron suggests is insulating the loft and walls as this will help increase air temperature and so lower the chances of condensation without increasing fuel costs. An added bonus is that it also saves money in the long term.

He suggests spray foaming the loft with a system such as the Icynene Insulation System which comes with a lifetime warranty (www.icynene.com). Colin said: “This system is Canadian and has been tested in far worse wintry conditions than we have in the UK and it has been shown to reduce condensation.”

This non-toxic 100 per cent, water blown, soft spray insulation system forms an air-tight seal in the attic and reduces heating bills by up to 50 per cent as it literally stops heat going up through the roof. As Cymene is installed between the rafters it also allows you to keep your loft floor for storage.

With an average UK heating bill of £1,200 householders can save up to £600 a year, every year.

To find out more about energy saving, contact Colin on 0845 474 6641.

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