Reducing condensation at home this Christmas

10 December 2018

When you think of Christmas you probably think of good food, 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 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 means you will have lots of pots and pans bubbling away.  Turn your extractor fan on and leave the lids on your saucepans.  Keep your kitchen door closed to stop steam escaping into other rooms and open a small window.

In living areas

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

If you have friends and relatives staying over the festive period the bath and shower will be in use more often.  If you have an extractor fan in the bathroom, ask your guests to turn it on while they shower, or leave a window open to allow steam to escape.  Keep the bathroom door shut at all times to stop excess moisture circulating throughout the house. 

Doing the laundry

You’ll want to keep on top of your laundry so your party outfit and Christmas jumper is always ready to wear.  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.

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.