Advice for homeowners

Harry

Meet your
FENSA Advisor

This is Harry.

You might recognise him from our TV ad.

Harry works for a FENSA Approved installation company. He's on a mission to help professionalise installers and protect homeowners across the UK, so he started this advice column.

Heating on! Winter is here...

Its strange how we all have markers in our year  in this case, we feel that Fireworks night marks the arrival of Winter. Yes, the time of Gunpowder, Treason and Plot is behind us, and the next marker in 2011 is that of Christmas. So winter is upon us, and the heating is back on.

 

Heating side effect

 

In the summer months we dont use our heating, but once winter is here, we find the heating is on in the morning and the evening, perhaps even during the daytime? One of the side effects of having your heating on is condensation on your windows.

 

The problem is the way in which we heat our homes, no longer do we have open fire places and lofty ceilings, rather we have radiators dotted around the house, we have loft insulation and lower ceilings, and we even have nice fitted carpets. All of which mean water vapour cannot escape, so instead it forms on colder surfaces, and thats on our windows in the form of condensation.

 

Condensation on some windows but not others

 

You may find some of your rooms have no condensation in them, while others have water streaming down the inside of your windows. This is due to air circulation and ventilation of rooms. You will find that your dry rooms dont have so much water vapour being generated in them, or they have greater ventilation.

 

Condensation on the outside of your windows

 

While we all have experienced some form of condensation, its worth remembering that you can get condensation on the outside of your windows too, and just like condensation within your home, this can form on some windows and not others, even if they are right next to one and other. This doesnt mean anything is wrong with your windows or that they have been fitted in-correctly. Condensation on the outside of your windows is a natural thing and can be ignored.

 

Condensation factors and how to address them

 

There are three factors that can affect condensation: water vapour content, inside room temperature and outside temperature. We have posted a blog on this not too long ago, and its well worth reading if you are suffering with condensation.

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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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