Condensation is one of the most common problems affecting New Zealand homes. It can cause moisture build-up, damp wall patches and streaming windows. When left untreated, condensation can lead to structural damage and mould growth, which can lead to serious health issues. We’ve outlined why condensation occurs, the benefits of reducing condensation and moisture in your home, and a few tactics for combatting moisture build-up.
Condensation occurs when there’s a lack of adequate ventilation, which then increases humidity levels. The parts of your house that are in direct contact with the cold outside air are cooler than the air inside. The temperature difference between the warm, moist air inside can cause continuous condensation to occur on cold surfaces. All that wetness will attract mould growth and cause moisture stains.
Heat recovery systems allow the house to be fully ventilated without wasting precious heat you’re already paying for. A drier house is much easier to heat and offers control over winter condensation.
There are a few short term solutions that will help reduce condensation levels in your property:
#1. Dry clothes outside
Make sure your washing machine and dryer are vented properly. From just one load of laundry, two litres of water are emitted into the air. Dry your clothing outdoors to prevent excess moisture build-up. If you’re unable to dry your clothes outdoors, keep them in a bathroom with the door closed and windows open.
#2. Use an extractor fan when cooking
Cover your pans with a lid to reduce moisture when boiling water or cooking. Extractor hoods and fans are designed to reduce moisture created when cooking. Don’t turn off your extractor fan as soon as you finish cooking as the moisture can still be in the air even when you have finished, instead leave it on afterwards for 10-15 minutes to help to clear the humid air.
If you don’t have an extractor fan, make sure that you wipe down any cold surfaces when you have been cooking or taking a shower to remove any moisture that may have settled on the surface. This excess moisture in the air sits on the surface and will quickly turn to mould if left untreated.
If your kitchen has a door, keep it closed to prevent moisture in the air from seeping into colder rooms.
#3. Don’t overfill your closet or wardrobe
Lack of ventilation and air moisture trapped in warm overfilled cupboards can become a breeding ground for mould since air can’t circulate. If you notice a musty smell or damp feeling, your drawers are likely too full.
#4. Adequate insulation
Double glazing, loft insulation and draft proofing will help to reduce the amount of heat that is lost from a property. Installing insulation will help to keep the temperature of the surfaces inside your property at a higher level.
If, after trying these strategies, you still find yourself constantly wiping condensation off your windows, it’s time to think about ventilation. It’s a permanent solution to condensation and improving air quality. HPAC will tailor a ventilation system to your home, so call us now for a free no obligation quote for all your heating and ventilation needs.
You can also check out our guide to making your home more energy efficient, which covers ventilation, water heating, and more.