Reducing condensation in your home at Christmas

When you think of Christmas you probably think of good food, spending time with family and friends; it’s the perfect time to get together. However, the mix of cold weather, extra people and cooking can add to unwanted condensation in your home.  

Condensation on windows and walls may not seem like a big problem initially, but it can quickly cause more problems for you and your home. Condensation is caused by steam or water vapour coming into contact with cold surfaces such as walls, ceilings and windows, and if allowed to persist, can result in mould forming on interior surfaces and even on furnishings.  

If you live in a brand new home, some condensation can be the result of evaporation of moisture from building materials, but changes to your routine over the Christmas period can also increase levels of moisture in the home.  NHBC, the UK’s leading warranty provider for new homes, is offering all home owners some tips to help reduce condensation this Christmastime: 

In the Kitchen

Cooking a big Christmas dinner with all the trimmings?

Moisture in the kitchen is formed by boiling kettles and steam coming from hot food or hot water. Make sure to turn on your extractor fan, open windows and doors and leave the lids on your saucepans, reducing the steam that forms when cooking and allowing the excess steam to escape.

In living areas

Keep your home warm this winter while ensuring sufficient ventilation.

Living areas will become warmer than usual with all the extra people you are entertaining. When the warmth from indoors meets the colder external walls and windows, condensation will start to form. Turn the thermostat down a few degrees and have windows slightly open to allow air to circulate.

In the bathroom

Friends and family staying during the festive period?

The two major factors in reducing condensation are air flow and heat. If you’ve planned to have friends and family staying over during the festive period, ask your guests to turn on the extractor fan on while they shower, or leave a window open. By allowing the warm, damp air to escape, it reduces the amount of moisture in the air, reducing the risk of condensation.

Doing the laundry

Improving ventilation while drying clothes.

Try to avoid drying clothes indoors, especially on radiators, but if you do need to, hang the clothes in one room which is heated and ventilated with the door shut. If you have a tumble dryer, make sure the venting duct leads outside – unless it is a self-condensing dryer.

NHBC's Guide to your new home

Further advice and guidance on how to avoid condensation and prevent its effects, including mould growth, can be found in NHBC’s Guide to your new home, which is available as a free download.