If you’ve ever woken up in a tent on a crisp autumn morning to water dripping on your face, then you’re already aware of the amount of moisture we emit over the course of a single sleep. While our homes tend to be much larger and are far more complex than a small ten, the idea of condensation remains the same – it presents itself during periods of high humidity.
Unlike a tent, our homes are a place where we do much more than sleep and many of these activities such as cooking, drying clothes, showering, and evaporation from our skin add moisture into our homes. On average, a family of four generates between 10-15 litres of water vapour daily. That warm and humid air forms into water droplets and becomes condensation when it touches a smooth cold surface such as the inside of a tent, windows and skylights, mirrors, and tiles.
While our homes have become more air-tight over the years – which is fantastic for our energy bills and the planet – this makes the importance of incorporating daily and regular ventilation cycles in our home far more critical for a healthy indoor air climate. That's where The VELUX Fresh-Air Skylight comes in.
Now you may be wondering how a skylight can help reduce condensation and humidity when traditional façade windows can provide ventilation. The warm air that holds the most moisture rises - meaning the top levels of our homes are the most vulnerable to experiencing condensation. What makes a skylight unique is that it sits at the top of your home, and with fresh air solar or electric skylights you can open them with the press of a button, making it easier to ventilate the moisture out of your house. In addition, skylights combined with façade windows can create what we call the stack effect, which pushes the air upwards allowing, drier outdoor air to enter the home.
In addition to having proper ventilation in the homes, there are other factors to consider when it comes to condensation:
- Air Circulation: For homes with longer tunnels leading to the skylight, consider additional ventilation such as a fan in the skylight shaft.
- Blinds: Blinds in our skylights and roof windows are an excellent option for reducing the heat gain and to control the sun coming in. In the winter, they can prevent air circulation from reaching the glass. We recommend leaving the blinds open about ¼ in the colder months to allow air to circulate to the glass.
- Insulation and Air Barrier: Ensure that the air barrier in the home is maintained throughout. Having strong and effective insulation around the skylight and throughout the entire home helps keep the warm air in and the cold air out.
- Heating: Maintain a stable and even interior temperature throughout the home.
The best defence against reducing the chances and occurrences of condensation in your home and on your skylights is to ventilate your home consistently, and regularly. We recommend that you do this about 4 times a day for 5-10 minutes whenever the weather allows. With ongoing commitments pulling our lives in every direction, it can be difficult to add one more thing to the task list, but there's a easy solution for that. VELUX Active is a tool that allows you to operate your skylight with your smartphone and has features that automate the process, turning your skylight into a Smart Skylight. The Indoor Climate Sensor monitors and measures CO2, moisture, and temperature in the room and ventilates as needed automatically to keep you and your family in a more optimal indoor home environment leaving one less thing to worry about!