Modern features such as double glazed units and loft insulation are important to keep our homes warm, but they can also cause problems with associated poor air circulation. Where there is inadequate ventilation, condensation and stale air can result.
With the relatively high cost of heating, we don’t want to keep our windows open particularly when it’s cold outside. So we need to minimise the problem as much as possible.
When cooking, cover pans and avoid leaving kettles on the boil.
When washing clothes, wherever possible, it is better to dry your clothes outside. If this is not possible, put them in the bathroom with the door closed and the bathroom fan on (if fitted), and leave the window open. If you have a tumble dryer, run the vent pipe outside (unless it is a self-condensing type). You can adjust the vent pipe to run outside, with a simple DIY kit.
It is important to make sure your home is properly ventilated. There will always be some moisture present in the home and you should have some form of ventilation available – often by air bricks (which must never be covered).
When using the bathroom or kitchen, keep the door closed whenever possible. This will help to contain the moist or stale air in that room.
Where furniture such as cupboards are against the wall, try to keep a small distance between the back of the cupboard and the wall, particularly if the wall is generally cold, and some form of ventilation in any cupboards is a good idea, to keep the air circulating.
Whilst it is a good to draught-proof your home, it is important to remember not to block airways that will prevent air circulating.
Don’t block fixed ventilators such as air bricks or chimneys complete.
Don’t draught proof rooms where there is a problem with condensation or mould.
Don’t draught proof the kitchen or bathroom.
It is cold air that causes the problems associated with condensation. Wherever possible, particularly in cold weather, you should try to keep your home warm with some form of background heating, even if you are not in the home. This applies particular to bedrooms and especially in flats and bungalows.