What is Condensation:
Condensation is the formation of liquid drops from water vapor. It is the process which creates clouds, and so is necessary for rain and snow formation as well. It can be seen on things like cold glasses of liquid in a heated environment, inside of windows, toilet’s water stores, inside of external walls and ceilings. In your house this can come from such sources as stoves, kettles, boiling of water, washing machine’s, dryers, showers, baths sinks, drying of clothes indoors.
What can the effects be:
Effects of condensation can vary from small ‘cloudy’ marks on windows in the morning, to the extreme were mold can form on walls and surfaces. It can ultimately cause illness in people that are sensitive to asthma and the like. It can ‘rot’ timber products and cause paint to peel from walls in some cases. It has been known to drip off window glass onto carpets and cause damage also.
Why Does it Occur:
We all need moisture in the air for healthy living, but when ventilation is low during winter months and the air is circulated but not purged the air will become saturated (this is also enhanced by living technique and cooking practices) and condensation has a high chance of forming. Condensation can occur on any surface that is below the “dew point” of the air with which it is in contact. The “dew point” is the temperature at which condensation will occur for a given humidity level, normally 10 degree’s difference in temperature between two surfaces, IE outside is 0deg. and inside is 10deg.
Why it is only a problem in colder months:
In most houses in winter, the inner surfaces of the windows are the coolest surfaces in the home. Condensation will typically appear there before it appears on other surfaces. Condensation is less likely to occur on interior walls, because they are typically warmer than “dew point.” Occasionally, however, condensation may occur on cold spots such as nail heads, in corners of outside walls where insulation is reduced, or in confined spaces where the circulation of warm room air is restricted. This is mainly due to a couple of reasons in the winter, the air in the house is not circulated or purged because it is often too cold outside, during winter alot of family’s use clothes dryers inside because clothes do not dry outside. The dew point in winter is alot more common also, so the chance for condensation to occur is a lot more likely.
How can I help:
* Purge your house once a day. This will help alot, but may not be practical due to the temperature.
* Check your appliances for ducting. Ducting fans in your bathroom and laundry to the roof space is not enough, this just puts all that moisture in the roof area, these fans need to ventilated outside.
* Wait for your dishwasher to cool before opening the door, all the steam caused by a dishwasher will not help your condensation problems.
* Try and dry clothes outside if you have a heat pump. If you have a wood fire, try and only dry clothes when the heater is turned up (keeping a safe distance away of course).
* If you own a heat pump that you use as your main source of heating you may want to invest in a dehumidifier, they are the best way to counter-act condensation.
Wiki Condensation Link – Here
De-Humidifier Link – Here
How a De-Humidifier Works: