Conservatories are wonderful spaces to spend time relaxing, especially during the spring and summer months. However, during the winter months they tend to be used by many people less frequently. It is during this period that some conservatories tend to suffer from condensation. In this article we look we at what you can do to minimise or get rid of condensation in your conservatory.
What is condensation?
In scientific terms condensation is simply the conversion of matter from a gas phase into a liquid phase. Normally it is seen when air turns to water vapour. This tends to happen when warmer air becomes cold quickly, such as in the early morning when we witness the formation of dew on our lawns or, as with inside a house, it hits a cold surface such as a window pane.
A common place for condensation to take place in the home is on glass surfaces. This is because glass becomes much colder than other surfaces in the home. In short the warmer air inside the house meets the cold air outside and turns into tiny droplets of water. Clearly, conservatories have a lot of glass in their construction which makes them especially prone to condensation.
One of the main causes that tend to make this happen is a lack of air flow through the conservatory. Because conservatories tend to be used less during the winter months, and the doors will often be closed for long periods of time, air inside the conservatory will remain static. This means that the moisture in the air of the conservatory remains trapped causing condensation on the windows. If this is not addressed then eventually the condensation can result in mould growth, something clearly most people want to avoid.
How to prevent condensation in your conservatory
Fortunately there are several small steps that require very little effort to help reduce condensation. For instance, whilst you are cooking why not have a window open slightly. This will remove a lot of the airborne moisture in the home and reduce the chances of condensation occurring.
Plants are also often a cause of condensation. So if you have plants in your conservatory then why not move them into the main part of the house during the winter months? You will be surprised at how much this can reduce the condensation levels.
By the same token, avoid using your conservatory to dry laundry as, again, this will produce a lot of airborne moisture.
These simple steps can all significantly reduce condensation levels. However, they may not remove the problem entirely. More effective methods of reducing condensation are to keep the conservatory at a reasonably warm temperature for long periods of time as well as keeping the space as well ventilated as possible. This will help to prevent the air turning into moisture and settling on the glass.
Whilst having a heater installed in your conservatory will definitely help. However, this is not usually an ideal solution as running a heater may be expensive, especially if the conservatory is not being used whilst the heater is on. Perhaps a better solution to a heater is to install a dehumidifier. This will absorb a lot of the moisture in the air before it has a chance to settle on the windows and the roof.
It is also important that your conservatory is fitted with appropriate trickle vents as these will extract the water vapour without compromising the heat in the conservatory. You might also want to think about leaving the door of your conservatory open for periods of time as this will greatly improve the air circulation and flow.
Finally, if you are now thinking of having your conservatory refurbished then it is well worth thinking about having the windows and the roof condensation proofed. Many conservatory companies these days specialise in fitting materials that are far less prone to suffer condensation so it is worth asking around for advice. Having your conservatory condensation proofed also means that it will remain as warm as the rest of your house and therefore you can continue to use it throughout the cold winter months.