Top tips on reducing condensation room by room

Reduce condensation by removing excess moisture through ventilation. This can be done without making draughts or causing rooms to become cold.

cross section of two storey house

Is your home a moisture trap?

Modern buildings are designed to eliminate draughts and do not have the natural ventilation that some older houses have with their chimneys and ill-fitting windows and doors.

As a result, houses that have been completely sealed by the installation of cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, double or triple glazing, and draught proofing can often become moisture traps.

In such cases, condensation can generally be seen as a ventilation problem. Provided the rooms are heated adequately, a solution will probably be found in the provision of effective ventilation.

By opening windows or ventilating your home it may appear that you are losing some heat. What you are actually doing is allowing warm moisture-laden air to escape and permitting cool dry air to enter your home. Dry cool air is cheaper to heat than warm moist air.

Room-specific tips for reducing condensation

Bathrooms

  • Stop water vapour finding its way into the rest of the house, particularly during and after bathing.
  • After a bath or shower, close the door and open a window for a few minutes. Position the radiator, or heated towel rail, under the window.
  • Consider installing an extractor fan.

Bedrooms

  • Ensure curtains are at least 15cm to 20cm away from window glass to allow free movement of warm air.
  • Where open fires are not provided, or existing flues are blocked off, see that wall vents are fitted and kept clear.
  • If possible extend the central heating programme to compensate for the night-time drop in external temperature, and the increase in water vapour caused by the occupants’ breathing.
  • Bedroom windows should be opened during the day to allow at least one complete air change.

Kitchens and laundries

  • Close internal doors and keep a window open. Alternatively, install extractor fans or cooker hoods ventilated to the outside air.

Living rooms

  • Allow the room’s warmth to reach the windows. Position heaters under the windows and place curtains at least 15cm to 20cm away from the glass to allow free movement of warm air.
  • Open windows for at least a few minutes each day to permit air changes.
  • Where open fires are not provided, or existing flues are blocked off, see that wall vents are fitted and kept clear. When a gas fire has been installed in an open fire aperture, the back plate should have vent holes below the fire, unless provided for in the design.
  • Where possible, avoid glazed or non-absorbent wall coating, as this can promote condensation on walls.

Conservatories

  • Consider crossflow ventilation with the use of vents in walls and roofs especially if the conservatory is south facing.
For more advice and information about reducing condensation in your home, get in touch with a local GGF Member company.

Related topics

What is condensation and why does it occur on windows?
Window condensation – where the water vapour comes from
How double or triple glazing helps reduce window condensation
Where condensation can form on a window and how to reduce it
A guide to home ventilation