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- Condensation Control: Treating Household Condensation
How to Control Condensation
Condensation is responsible for excess moisture, dampness and mould around the home. To control condensation, we recommend installing a ventilation system such as a Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) system, or by installing a Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) system. An MVHR system is the best way to ensure correct levels of humidity and good indoor air quality.
We recommended installing a ventilation system over other options of condensation control, as condensation will be permanently kept to a minimum. It is important to not just treat the problem of condensation, but to also take measures to keep it under control.
What is Condensation?
Condensation is the process of water vapour in the air turning into a liquid as a result of warm air hitting a cooler surface. You will have noticed condensation occurring on a cold glass of water on a hot summer day.
Condensation is one of the most common forms of dampness in residential buildings, it is caused mostly from warm or moist air from washing, bathing and cooking. Condensation can happen throughout any time of the day but is most likely to occur at night and becomes more of a problem when the weather outside is colder.
Warm and moist air travels to the coldest areas in your home, not just the areas causing the condensation. This can be on areas such as windows, corners of bedrooms and behind furniture. Damp patches can appear on plaster walls in odd places, particularly on outside walls often appearing and disappearing on a regular basis.
Bathrooms are normally the main source of moisture build up within the home. This is due to hot water and steam from showers and baths. When a window is opened, the moisture will naturally go to the coldest area in the property and condensates there.
An average home can produce up to 12 litres of water a day, if this moisture is not extracted out, this becomes problematic as the build-up of moisture a cause of mould and damp. Condensation, mould and damp can have negative effects on your health, and also on the material of the building itself.
Signs of Condensation
The most common sign of condensation is water running down windows or walls, a musty smell, or when mould, mildew or fungi are visible on windows, corners of bedrooms or behind furniture.
If there is damp in properties that have been constructed within the last 40 years, it is more than likely to have developed as a result of condensation due to warm and moist air formed from cooking, washing, bathing as well as breathing on cooler days.
In winter, condensation can become increased making it even harder to control as the outdoor temperature is considerably lower than temperature indoors and when moisture is involved, this is sure to be a cause of condensation.
How to Prevent Condensation
To control condensation, you must control humidity. Condensation can be controlled by improving your heating and insulation or by installing a dehumidifier to help improve levels of condensation. Please bear in mind that these improvements are not a permanent solution as they do not treat the source of the problem.
There are many things you can do to help improve condensation around the home.
We recommend these following steps to help combat condensation in your home:
- Avoid drying clothes over radiators or in un-ventilated rooms. If possible, dry clothes outside.
- Vent outside of tumble dryers, ensure that they are properly ventilated and empty the condensate regularly
- If trickle vents are installed, keep them open
- Avoid the use of portable LPG gas heaters
- Keep bathroom and kitchen doors closed when bathing or cooking
- Leave a gap between your furniture and walls
- If there is any black mould on paint, wood or timber make sure this is removed
- Using a ventilation system to remove the moist stale air.
Ventilation Systems for Condensation Control
Above are some good measures to prevent moisture in your home. Some condensation prevention is only temporary and are not a fix for future condensation problems. We recommended installing a ventilation system for the best condensation control. We suggest installing a Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) or Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) system for a more permanent and long-term solution.
To prevent condensation in the home it is important to have a continuous supply of fresh air. Having good ventilation in a kitchen when washing and drying clothes or cooking is essential along with a source of ventilation in your bathrooms and toilets to remove moisture after taking a shower or bath.
Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) Systems
PIV systems are an effective method of curing and preventing condensation and dampness in the home. These systems are the most popular condensation solution for existing properties as they are an easy and simple solution to install. Installing a PIV system is one our top recommendations for controlling condensation in your home.
A loft mounted PIV draws fresh air and heat that exists in lofts, filters it and pushes it into the dwelling via a ceiling mounted diffuser simultaneously circulating existing heated air that has risen to ceiling height. All stale air in the property is forced out through natural forms of ventilation such as doors and windows or a condensation control fan.
Our range of top-quality PIV units are energy efficient units that control condensation by gently providing air to your home from a central position in the stairwell or storeroom.
Our range of PIV units including the Vent-Axia Pozidry Pro, and the Vent Axia Pozidry Compact, both of these units are available with or without a heater option. Pozidry units are the perfect solution for hard to cure mould and condensation in existing properties.
The PoziDry Pro PIV unit works to improves indoor air quality and quickly eradicates conditions that lead to mould growth, reducing the risk of health issues in the home. The unit is unobtrusive with near silent running and has low operating costs.
Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) Systems
MVHR Systems are the best solution to preventing condensation problems in the home. Whether installed during renovation or in a new build, an MVHR is the best system to install to ensure humidity comfort. A MVHR system works by extracting any damp, moist, stale air from kitchens, bathrooms, utilities, WC’s and en suites. These areas are prone to a build-up of moisture which can lead to condensation and mould.
An MVHR system also supplies fresh filtered air into the habitable rooms in your home. An MVHR system will also recover up to 95% of heat that is normally lost, meaning that the supply air is warmed from the heat that is usually lost.