Tenants Handbook

VENTILATING YOUR HOME

What Is Important In order to prevent or cure condensation problems the following four precautions are very important. 1. Minimise moisture production within the dwelling and confine it as far as possible to specific areas, e.g. kitchen, bathroom, scullery. 2. Prevent very moist air spreading to other rooms from the kitchen, bathroom or scullery or from where clothes are dried. 3. Provide some ventilation to all rooms so that moist air can escape. 4. Provide some level of heating. Minimise Moisture Production A. Dry clothes externally when possible. B. If using a clothes dryer, provide venting to the outside. C. Limit the use of moveable gas or paraffin heaters as these types of heaters release large amounts of water vapour into the air and greatly increase the risk of condensation. D. Reduce cooking steam as far as possible, e.g., keep lids on saucepans, do not leave kettles, etc., boiling for long periods. Prevent spread of Moist Air A. Good ventilation of kitchen is essential when cooking or when washing clothes. If you have an extractor fan in your kitchen, use it when cooking, washing clothes and particularly when the windows mist up. B. If you do not have an extractor fan, open the kitchen windows and keep the doors between the kitchen and the rest of the house closed as much as possible. C. After taking a bath, keep the bathroom window open and the bathroom door shut until the bathroom dries off. D. Do not use unventilated cupboards for drying clothes. E. If you do dry clothes in the bathroom or kitchen run the extractor fan if you have one. Do not leave the door open or the moist air will spread to other parts of the house. F. If you have to use a moveable gas or paraffin heater make sure the room that the heater is in is well ventilated and sealed off from the rest of the house.

Provide some ventilation The easiest method of reducing the moisture content of room air is to provide some ventilation. Ventilation removes the stale moist air and replaces it with fresh air which contains less moisture. A. In older houses a lot of ventilation occurs through fireplaces and draughty windows. However, in many modern houses and flats sufficient ventilation does not occur unless a window or a ventilator is open for a reasonable time each day and for nearly all the time the room is in use. Too much ventilation in cold weather is uncomfortable and wastes heat. All that is needed is a slightly open window or ventilator. Where you have a choice,open the top part of the window about 10mm (1/2”). If more than two people sleep in a bedroom the window should be opened wider, particularly during the night. B. If condensation occurs in a room where you have a heater connected to the chimney you should have the installation checked as the chimney may have become blocked. Provide some heating A. Try to make sure that all rooms are at least partially heated. Condensation most often occurs in unheated bedrooms. If you leave a room unheated you should keep the window open slightly and the door shut. B. Heating helps to prevent condensation by warming the room surfaces. It takes a long time for the cold room surface to warm up so it is better to provide a small amount of heating for long periods than to provide a lot of heat for a short period. Houses and flats left unoccupied and unheated during the day get very cold so, whenever possible, try to provide a small amount of heating all the time. C. In houses, the rooms above a heated living room benefit from the heat rising through the floor. In bungalows and some flats this does not happen. Some rooms are especially cold because they have large areas of outside walls. Such rooms are most likely to have condensation. Some heating is therefore necessary in these rooms. Condensation is likely if the rooms are not kept above 10°c. When living rooms are in use they should be heated to 20°c, if possible.

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