Advice for homeowners


Condensation Advice


Condensation is a common issue that many of us encounter in our homes from time to time. During the winter, you might notice certain rooms with dry conditions while others experience condensation on the windows. We're here to provide you with some valuable tips to help you effectively combat your condensation problem.


The Problem


The way modern life has evolved means the way we heat and maintain the warmth in our homes has evolved significantly. Gone are the days of traditional open fires and high ceilings.


As of recently, we rely on sophisticated heating systems, have effective loft insulation, lower ceilings, and plush fitted carpets, all contributing to the coziness of our homes. However, these changes also make our living spaces more susceptible to condensation, and you might be wondering why. The answer is straightforward: the water vapor generated through our everyday activities has limited avenues for escape.


So, how can you minimize condensation and the potential harm it can inflict on your paintwork, curtains, and wall coverings, all while preserving the modern comforts we enjoy today?


The Factors


There are 3 main factors governing condensation in our homes, these are:


- Water vapour content

- Inside room temperature

- Outside temperature


Water vapor is a natural side effect of day to day household activities such as washing dishes, cooking, and taking showers. However, its impact can be somewhat managed through the use of extractor fans and proper ventilation.


Controlling the temperature within a room becomes achievable by replacing single-glazed windows with double glazing. This upgrade maintains a higher surface temperature on the interior side of the glass, allowing it to accommodate more water vapor without condensing.


Additionally, it helps to retain more heat within your home, which means upgrading your windows even assists in reducing your heating expenses.


How to Reduce Condensation in Your Home


There are a number of ways to help reduce condensation for each area in which condensation is appearing. Some of these tips you may do yourself, or some may require a professional window installer.


What to do When Condensation Forms on the Room Side Surface of the Glass: 


- Facilitate natural airflow, ideally through a window opening or a ventilation unit.

- Install and maintain wall vents, especially if you lack an open fire or existing chimney.

- Open windows in each room to promote air circulation within your living space.

- When using gas or oil heaters, ensure adequate room ventilation.

- If feasible, channel cooker hoods to expel air outside.

- Seal internal doors against drafts and keep them closed when not in use.

- When condensation appears on the outer glass's cavity side:

- Ensure the seals are as airtight as possible.

- Drill breather holes through the primary frame to connect the cavity air to the drier exterior air surrounding your home.


When Condensation Forms in the Cavity When the Sun Shines:


You'll more than likely prefer to enlist the services of a FENSA Approved Installer for this task.


- Remove the secondary glass pane.

- Dispose of and eliminate any desiccant.

- Drill holes to establish a connection between the cavity and the drier outside air.

- Thoroughly dry the frame area.

- Seal any holes or cracks with a suitable compound or wood filler.

- Completely seal all wooden surfaces within the cavity using a proprietary wood sealer.

- Reinstall the secondary pane, taking care to ensure the seal and all joints are as airtight as possible.


In Conclusion: 


Condensation primarily stems from ventilation issues. While double glazing can mitigate condensation by serving as a heat insulator, the root cause often lies in insufficient air circulation. Modern day living and efficient heat retention means our homes tend to accumulate moisture in various places, meaning the most effective remedy to battle condensation is controlled ventilation.


If you feel you don't have sufficient ventilation in your home, please find a FENSA Approved Installer in your area. 

What to check before appointing an installer

Check that you use a FENSA Approved Installer but also check the following:

  • Ask family and friends who have used installers about their satisfaction and whether they got a FENSA certificate.
  • Check the installer's references by talking to their previous customers.
  • Get at least three quotes and check you are being quoted like for like.
  • Cheapest is not always best and good contractors are always in demand.
  • Get quotes, timeframes and the fact that you will get a FENSA certificate all in writing. A proper written contract with an agreed completion date will help prevent confusion later on
  • Check the warranty on the installer's work and ensure they have enough insurance to cover their warranty. Domestic glazing installers that are registered with a competent person scheme like FENSA are legally obliged to provide warranty insurance to cover your installation should the company cease to trade within the life of the warranty.
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