As soon as summer ends and the temperature starts to drop, windows across the UK take on a layer of fog.
Like a lot of winter things – cold mornings, icy pavements and higher gas bills – it’s a bit of a pain which we tend to regard as an inevitable part of post-September life in the UK.
As well as being kind of unattractive, allowing moisture to build up in your home can contribute to the growth of harmful black mould.
Fortunately, there is plenty you can do to combat condensation.
What causes condensation?
Windows become foggy when moisture in warm air meets with a surface cold enough to turn it back into liquid.
During the winter, the temperature inside your home is usually at its warmest, while the temperature outside has plunged.
Window panes are therefore liable to become pretty cold, especially if they’re only single-glazed.
This big difference in temperature is the reason that windows become especially foggy in the winter.
How do I get rid of condensation?
To get rid of the moisture that’s already accumulated, there is a simple home-made cleaning solution you can use.
Just combine two cups of water with two cups of white vinegar and a few drops of washing up liquid, ideally in a spray bottle.
Apply the solution directly to the window and then use a cleaning rag (making sure the surface isn’t too rough so that you won’t scratch the glass) and wipe the window down. Leave it to air-dry afterwards.
As well as taking care of the condensation, this solution will also work as an all-purpose window cleaner.
However, if your windows are double-glazed, there is a chance that the condensation has actually formed in the space in between the two glass panes.
Unfortunately, if this is the case, the only solution is to call a window professional to repair or replace it.
How do I prevent condensation?
If you don’t want to spend half the year scrubbing your windows, there are a few things you can do to prevent condensation from building up in the first place.
Ideally, purchase a humidifier or a moisture eliminator to draw the excess moisture from the air.
Try not to leave wet clothes out to dry inside your home – the water from them will add to the moisture in the air.
Similarly, if you are using a tumble dryer, make sure it has an external vent leading outside of your home.
When cooking on the oven-top, keep the lids on your pots and pans to lock the steam in.
If you have fans in your bathroom or kitchen, make sure to use them. You should also leave them running for 15 minutes or so after you’re done showering or cooking.
At times when it is warm enough to do so (if they’re are any!) open some of the windows in your home to let warm, moist air out.
Use blinds, curtains or drapes to keep your windows from becoming quite so cold.
And try moving your plants away from the window during the winter – they can actually contribute a significant amount of moisture to the air.