why do we get condensation on the windows

Open the bathroom window or use the extractor fan when showering. Keep the bathroom door closed at all times, to prevent water vapour from showers circulating around the flat. Use a cooker hood (venting directly to the outside) when cooking every litre of gas burned produces five litres of water vapour. Finally, every home would benefit from use of a dehumidifier. Use it on the low, economy setting all the time, but turn it up when a higher moisture load is introduced into the house such as showering, cooking, or bringing damp washing into living areas. Ebac is a popular British-made brand with a good record, and they are offering a 20 per cent discount to Telegraph readers. Call 0845 634 1392 and quote the promotion code ASKJEFF. Incidentally, following my answer about external condensation on window glass, reader David Broome has suggested the use of a water-repellent coating such as Rain-X rain repellent, which is sold in motoring stores for use on car windows. I have no experience of this product myself, and would welcome readers experiences. Q. Further to your recent column on combi boilers, is it true that, at some time in the future, all replacement boilers will have to be combi boilers by law? Having taken in your views on the subject this is a rather alarming prospect. MS, by email
A. No, this is not true. All new and replacement boilers have to be condensing models, which are slightly more efficient because they extract some waste heat from the flue gasses (although any efficiency gains are probably cancelled-out by the short life expectancy of these boilers). However, there is no need for a new condensing boiler to be installed as part of a pressurised combi system, and there are no plans for this to become a requirement in the future. Condensing boilers work just as efficiently in a traditional indirect-pressure system, with a hot-water cylinder and cold-water storage cistern.

For some reason, many readers confuse the two words, combi and condensing, and that confusion is exploited by unscrupulous heating engineers and firms in order to sell combi boiler systems, which are much easier for them to install, and therefore more profitable. Q. Further to your recent discussions and solutions concerning heating and hot water, I have a further question. Two of my friends have had Megaflo systems installed. What is this and how does it compare with the combi and the traditional heating systems? SA, London A. Megaflo is one brand name for an unvented mains-pressure hot water cylinder. It works in much the same way as a conventional hot-water cylinder, being heated by the boiler, or by an electric immersion heater. The difference is that there is no cold-water cistern to provide indirect pressure to it. Instead you are dependent on the mains pressure, and if this is poor it can lead to the same problems experienced by owners of combi boiler systems namely poor water flow to upper storeys, and interference with the flow when two or more outlets in the house are being used at the same time. Unvented systems are generally not advisable unless you have good mains pressure (at least 1. 5 bar) entering the property via a 22mm supply pipe. The cylinder also requires a yearly test and maintenance by a service engineer. If your house has an existing hot-water system fed by a cold-water cistern, then I cannot see any advantage in removing this and replacing it with an unvented pressurised system. If the main aim is to get a powerful shower, then an electric shower pump is a cheaper and easier option. Send your questions to Jeff at Property, The Daily Telegraph, 111 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0DT, or email askjeff@telegraph. co. uk.

Also visit As the weather begins to change and temperatures begin to drop, we often receive questions from concerned clients about condensation on their newly installed windows. To answer the question right away: no, there is nothing wrong with your new windows or patio doors. In fact, it is quite common for your units to initially experience more condensation than the old windows. But it is still a good idea to try and understand WHY this is happening in your home. Why does condensation occur on windows? Condensation happens when moisture present in the warm air changes into a liquid on contact with colder surfaces such as a glass pane. Essentially it is a byproduct of warm air meeting cold air. At any given temperature, the air can only hold a certain amount of moisture as vapour. The temperature at which moisture becomes saturated is called the dew point. It is also important to remember that warm air can hold much more moisture than cooler air. For example, air at +20`C can hold nine times as much moisture as air atP-10`C. As the air in your home cools down, the saturation increases causing moisture to condense. In theory, condensation in your home can be reduced by decreasing inside temperature, or decreasing humidity. In practice however, several factors contribute to the humidity levels in your home:Pthe window itself, how it was installed, interior window accessories (curtains, blinds), and even the arrangement of heat sources in your home. Energy efficient unitsPare less likely to have condensation form on the glazing. But when you install new frames the humidity in your home is likely to rise during colder months. This is because your windows don t allow warm moist air to escape the house and be replaced by less humid outdoor air.

The tradeoff is that increased humidity created by your new unitsPwill improve the comfort in your home. PBut a house with aPhumidity level of more than 40 percent, with the outside temperature of -20`C may cause condensation even on an energy efficient window. How to recognize bad condensation? There is actually one type of condensation that is bad. This is condensation that appears on the inside of the insulated glass unit in your window. Run a finger or cloth on the window glass pane. If you can wipe the condensation away, this is the acceptable kind of condensation. If you try to wipe it off, and the condensation doesn t go away, it is probably on the inside of the sealed unit. Why is this bad? The answer lies partially in the terminology. Insulated glass units, or as they are sometimes called sealed units actually contain an inert gas fill. The gas helps further reduce heat loss from your home through the windows. In order for the glass unit to function efficiently it is imperative that these units are sealed and do not leak gas or allow air in. Condensation on the inside of the sealed unit is a sure sign of the unit s failure. Because moisture is accumulating on the inner side of the pane, this most likely means that air is seeping somewhere into the unit, while losing gas at the same time. Part of the problem here is that the sealed unit failure may not be physically visible and the window may still look like it functions fine. Canadian window manufacturers often increase condensation resistance of windows by using several techniques. P, and insulating spacers reduce heat conduction, further helping prevent condensation. Remember it takes some time for the building structure to get used to the new atmosphere after full frame replacement, but in time condensation should be a non-issue.

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