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How to reduce condensation on Windows 

With Autumn upon, as the weather begins to get colder, condensation can form on the inside of windows in our homes. If left untreated, this unsightly moisture creates ideal conditions for mould to flourish, which can create damp smells, damage fabrics and decorations, and even cause respiratory illnesses.

Window condensation is a chore to mop up each morning, however it can be greatly reduced and even completely prevented. To win this battle, it’s essential to first understand why it’s happening.

How condensation forms

There are three factors that determine whether condensation forms on your windows: the level of moisture in the air, the air temperature of the room and the surface temperature of the windows.

The more moisture there is in the air, the more likely it is that condensation will form. Much of this moisture is difficult to avoid though, as it comes from day-to-day activities such as drying clothes indoors, boiling vegetables, turning on the kettle, bathing, showering, and even breathing.

The warmer a room is, the more moisture the air can hold, and the colder windows are, the greater the difference will be to be between the air temperature and this surface temperature. A greater difference increases the chance of condensation forming.

When windows are colder, less moisture is required for condensation to happen, which is why we see less condensation in warmer weather when windows aren’t as cold.

The condensation cycle

The development of moisture in the air plus changes in temperature causes a natural cycle in our homes. We put moisture into the air from normal daily activities and when the temperature drops overnight, the moist air makes contact with the windows and condenses.

We might wake up to water dripping down the windows. Then as the day continues, moisture builds up again with those same daily activities.

To help break this cycle, we need to look at where the moisture is being created and how this can be prevented. Actions like putting lids on saucepans when cooking, doing an extra spin cycle when using the washing machine to avoid excessively damp clothes drying, and using an extractor fan in the bathroom when showering can help a lot. However, producing moisture is impossible for us to avoid entirely.

Solving the problem of condensation

Opening a window is a simple act that can help remove condensation, but this is only a temporary fix and has added repercussions. The new air coming in from outside could be colder, requiring your heating system to work harder which will increase heating bills. Additionally, outside air may not be as clean and could bring in allergens and pollutants.

You also need to consider how safe it is to leave a window open, and whether the air coming in is actually dryer than the air going out. Average relative humidity (RH) in the UK is often high enough throughout the year to create mould in your home (above 68% RH), and is certainly high enough to cause condensation. Though heating the air as it comes in could solve this, it is not very cost effective.

The best solution to remove moisture and therefore reduce condensation at home is a dehumidifier. It is a simple but effective machine that removes the excess moisture from the air and turns it into water that collects in a small tank inside the appliance. This means there will not be enough moisture in the air for condensation to form on the windows.

Dehumidifiers will provide you with further benefits, too. Reducing the moisture level in a room will mean the air is quicker to warm up, helping you save on your heating costs.

Most dehumidifiers are cost effective to run and are significantly cheaper to operate than a tumble dryer.

This means a dehumidifier can also help you save money by drying clothes naturally, all while keeping moisture levels lower at home and combatting condensation*.

Condensation window

Established in 1991 Meaco is a leading air purification specialist with products including award-winning dehumidifiers, cooling fans, air purifiers, portable air conditioners and humidifiers. Meaco is a winner of multiple Which? Best Buy and Good Housekeeping Institute Tried and Tested Awards, and has achieved the Quiet Mark status for a number of products.

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