I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about about damp and condensation. It’s at this time of year that I start scratching my head and wondering how a home that is so well-insulated, well-ventilated and well-heated ends up full of condensation and resulting dampness during the winter months. For most of the winter you’d be forgiven for thinking that my bedroom windows are fitted with frosted glass, but they’re not – it’s just the condensation. It’s not the most exciting topic to write about, but I simply don’t understand it and I’m hoping that someone will have the answer as to how I can keep my home warm but not damp. I’m no scientist, but condensation is caused by warm air meeting a cold surface, is that right? So a window that has been chilled from the frost outside will cause damp air to condense on it right? Yet, my living room is the warmest in the house but the windows hardly ever mist up. What’s up with that?
My pet peeve is being cold indoors in the winter. I love everything about being cold outside – chilly fingers, runny nose, snowball fights and all – but indoors should be warm so that I can bring myself back up to a normal temperature when I come in from the cold. This insistence that indoors will always be warm was born from a serious lack of heating in an old farmhouse we used to live in. There was no double glazing, no insulation to speak of, and a tiny fireplace (which we all know makes the air around it even colder at times) so we’ve endured a couple of freezing cold winters over the years while we were poor students – so much so that a glass of water on the bedside table froze during the night – and I won’t ever go back to living like that.
My home is now mega-insulated, double-glazed, with heaters that I know how to use, yet still I find myself having to open the windows in the morning to get rid of the dampness – and all my warm air floods out with it. You know how stingy I am, and I hate paying to warm up my air, only to have to release it back into the wild to clear the damp. I’m not using gas heaters which are notorious for emitting moisture – we only have night storage heaters – so we should have nice ‘dry’ hot air in the home. The living room is in the middle of the house so it stays warm and cosy with hardly a sniff of condensation on the windows. But why does the bathroom and bedroom – with the same heating provision – fog up but the living room doesn’t? Is it just that those rooms are damp and the living room isn’t? Without fail the bedroom window is always dripping with moisture every morning – so do we really breathe that heavily when we’re sleeping? The eagle-eyed of you may have noticed the squeegee that lives on my windowsill ready to clear the wetness – and this is something I have to do every morning.
I need answers, because I can’t carry on heating air then letting it go to clear the dampness of a room – it’s a waste of money and I’m supposed to be thrifty! What can I do to sort out the condensation/dampness in my home? Please don’t tell me to get a dehumidifier – I find it hard enough to sleep in a room with a lamp plugged in without having a dehumidifying unit buzzing away all night. Not to mention the electricity! Is there a cheap or easy way to fix this problem? I hate being cold, but I hate having a damp house – argh! Okay, rant over, I’m going to boil the kettle and run myself a hot bath… oh, wait…