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Condensation in the UK
As the winter settles into full swing, more and more households are complaining about the presence of condensation on their windows. In fact, at the start of December 2022, it was reported that 1 in 5 households in the UK experienced issues with condensation.
There are several frequently stated tips for reducing the amount of condensation present on your windows, most of which involve keeping the temperature of your home warm, or opening the windows for effective ventilation.
But with the ongoing cost of living crisis, and some of the coldest weather Britain has experienced in years, this may just not be feasible for a large percentage of the population.
In 2021, it was estimated that 30% of heating costs were a result of heat escaping via your windows. Coupled with the 6.5% energy bill increase in October 2022, it is not surprising that most households aren’t willing to keep windows open and consistently have the heating on.
So what can we do to reduce the amount of condensation on double glazed windows which isn’t going to break the bank?
What is condensation?
When it comes to double glazing, there are three different types of condensation; exterior, interior and internal.
Exterior condensation refers to condensation which appears on the outside of the window. Despite popular belief, this type of condensation is positive and is an indicator that your double glazed windows are performing as they should.
When the droplets form on the outside of the window, it is a clear indication that the warm air from your home is remaining on the inside of your home, whilst cooler air is being kept out.
Why do you get condensation on the inside of double glazed windows
Unfortunately, unlike exterior condensation, interior and internal condensation are not so favourable.
Interior condensation occurs when the warm air of your home meets the cool surface of your window. It indicates that the air within your home is high in humidity and if untreated, it can lead to black mould which can be detrimental to your health.
Internal condensation is by far the most serious of the three and is caused as a result of the seal between your glass panes being broken. Unfortunately, this means your windows are underperforming. It is not easily fixed and therefore, is likely to require you to install new windows.
As a result, the rest of this article will be focused on interior condensation.
How to stop interior condensation on double glazed windows
As discussed, the most effective way to reduce condensation on the interior of your double glazed windows is to increase ventilation and keep the temperature of your home as consistent as possible.
It is worth noting, that this doesn’t require your heating to be on full all of the time, but just to be present in the background. However, with so many struggling to meet their monthly bills as it is, let’s consider some more cost effective solutions.
Here are 4 easy to follow, practically free, tips…
Dry clothes outside
As clothes dry the water droplets in them vaporise and increase the humidity of the air in your home. By drying them outside, you are reducing the humidity of the air in your household which can contribute to condensation.
With the Great British weather being the way it is, it is understandable that this isn’t always feasible. Therefore, in such instances, it is recommended that clothing is dried in a ventilated room such as a bathroom with an extractor fan.
Always avoid drying clothes over the radiator as this simply speeds up the vaporisation process and leads to increased volumes of condensation.
Use pan lids when cooking
Using pan lids when cooking can be a great way of reducing the amount of humidity present within your home.
When boiling any form of liquid, a certain amount evaporates into the air, contributing to the overall humidity of your home, therefore, increasing the likelihood of condensation.
By using pan lids when cooking, as liquid evaporates it hits the pan lid and immediately condenses. This causes the liquid to stay within your cooking and not contribute to the humidity of your home.
Using pan lids is also a great way for saving on your energy bills as liquids warm quicker and therefore, less energy is required for cooking.
Review the location of fish tanks and plants
Plants are great for improving the air quality of your home and fish are a very common house pet across the UK. However, the placement of both of these could be contributing towards the condensation on your double glazing.
Both give off water vapour which, if met with the right surface such as a window, will condense. When placed next to a window, sunlight can increase the speed at which water vapour is given off, meaning that it is accelerating the speed at which condensation can be produced.
In such instances, it is recommended that, where possible, plants are kept outdoors during the winter months, or away from the window where possible. With regards to fish tanks, again these should be kept away from windows and ideally close to a well ventilated room, such as a kitchen with an extractor fan.
Keep bathroom and kitchen doors closed
It will come at no surprise that the kitchen and bathroom are the two rooms in the house most likely to contribute towards condensation on your double glazing.
Keeping the door closed on these rooms whilst in use can significantly help reduce the amount of condensation present on your double glazing windows.
Most kitchens and bathrooms have adequate ventilation to make them fit for purpose, therefore, using these facilities, such as an extractor fan, can help ensure that any humidity produced is not circulated elsewhere in the house.
For households which do not have adequate ventilation, it is recommended to buy a dehumidifier for these rooms. The dehumidifier will not be required to be in constant use, and by closing the door, can ensure that it is only filtering the air from that one particular room.
There are many energy efficient dehumidifiers available on the market.
Say goodbye to condensation
Whilst the presence of condensation on your double glazing can be a nuisance, if untreated it can become very detrimental to the health of both your windows and household occupants.
But the good news is, there are some simple, cheap steps you can take to help reduce the damage at hand. So use these tips and start making your home a condensation free zone!