Does Central Heating Help Damp? And when is it not helpful?

To a lot of people, the solution to damp might seem as simple as cranking the central heating up to dry it out. It isn’t really as simple as that, but central heating can help some types of damp.

If you’re wondering does central heating help damp, the answer depends on what type of damp you have. It won’t prevent every type but using your central heating in the right way could help you with some forms.

This article will discuss what you need to know about central heating and damp. Along with which types it helps, and how you can help prevent damp by heating your home in the right way.

does central heating help damp

Central heating does help damp, but it depends on which type of damp you have. Using your central heating properly is important for cutting down on condensation damp. This is a common form of damp with estimates saying up to 33% of homes have had issues with condensation.

Condensation is mainly affected by moisture in the air, airflow, and temperature. Your central heating is pretty important for that. Central heating can also help you dry out after repairs to damp. Although, there is some misinformation out there about how that works.

The important thing to remember is, It won’t help with all types of damp. You need to diagnose the cause of your damp first.

Will Central Heating Prevent Damp?

It’s important to note that central heating won’t prevent damp by itself. Central heating can help you avoid specific types of damp. But it isn’t enough to just keep your house warm and assume that no moisture can get in! Drying out damp isn’t that simple.

Central heating is great for getting a better airflow and dealing with hot moist air that can become condensation. But heating can also be a cause of condensation damp if it is used incorrectly.

For example, cranking the heating up in winter after a long hot bath might make the house a bit nicer. However, it will lead to moist hot air becoming trapped. This warm moist air will then settle on cold surfaces causing condensation damp. In this situation you would actually be better opening a window and allowing the warm moist air to escape.

What Types of Damp Does Central Heating help?

The main type of damp that central heating helps is condensation. Condensation is the type of damp you will often find in rooms that don’t get used much. As well as damp behind furniture where air circulation is poor.

It happens when moist air becomes trapped in your house. This then hits colder surfaces like walls and becomes condensation, which soaks in and can cause mould to form. This is caused by poor ventilation and air circulation.

Central heating can help with this if used in combination with proper ventilation and airflow. However, you do need to make sure your damp problems are definitely related to condensation.

Types of Damp Heating Will Not Fix

Most types of damp aren’t going to be affected by turning the heating on. Below are some of the types of damp that central heating will not fix:

  • Penetrating Damp – Penetrating damp is moisture drawn from outside through a wall. This is caused by problems with your wall and weatherproofing, and the temperature inside of the house won’t affect it. You’ll have to treat this in other ways.
  • Rising Damp – This type is similar to penetrating but the moisture is being drawn upwards rather than through the wall. Rising damp also won’t be helped by central heating since the air inside your house isn’t to blame.
  • Plumbing and Roof Leaks – Leaks with your plumbing, roof, or even chimney can cause damp by excessive water finding its way inside. Central heating isn’t going to help here since it doesn’t do anything to stop rain getting in.

Ways Central Heating Can Help Damp

Central heating can be good for preventing condensation, but it depends on your specific circumstances. Most of this has to do with air ventilation and flow. The heat in your house affects this and can make quite a difference. These are some ways you can use central heating to help:

  • Change Temperatures Gradually – More moist air will build up from rapid temperature changes. Avoid turning the heat up really high or turning it off suddenly. Dramatic temperature changes can make condensation worse. Turn your heating up or off gradually instead.
  • Heat Every Room – Heating every room can help you cut down on damp. Having one room cold and the rest warm will lead to cold spots. These are much more vulnerable to condensation and damp than other rooms. Heat every room in your house rather than just the ones that you’re using.
  • Ventilation – Having central heating running in the winter can cause condensation if there is poor ventilation. While most people will close their windows when the heating is on, it isn’t always for the best. Despite paying to heat a room, it’s still important to let any moist air out and create good airflow, so windows need to be opened periodically. Try to let cool air in and moist air out, even when you’re using your heating. 

Central heating can help you to generate decent airflow. It is dependent on other things to stop condensation though. You can try to put less moisture into your air by changing habits or ventilation. You can also draught-proof and insulate your home, or use a dehumidifier.

Drying Damp After Repairs

Central heating can help you prevent condensation. But what about when you’ve had a more serious damp problem? Can central heating help you dry wet areas after you’ve repaired the source of the damp?

Obviously, the first step for fixing damp is to deal with the root cause of the problem. Once this is done though, you might end up with damp patches that still need drying out. If the damp patches are small, then running a fan at them is usually enough to blow them dry without applying direct heat. If you have a larger section of damp, it might require a bit more.

Warm air carries more moisture in it than cold air. This can sometimes make it harder to dry out a damp spot with the central heating on. This might sound counter-productive, but central heating should not be put up high to dry out damp.

Instead, try to keep your house at a good stable temperature rather than having it too hot or too cold. Along with that, you can open windows to increase ventilation and use a dehumidifier to dry out damp. While central heating can be helpful, having too much hot air may cause you more problems than it solves.

Conclusion

Central heating can help damp, but only specific forms. It can be useful for condensation damp but not so much for other types.

There are ways to use your central heating to help deal with condensation damp. Using your central heating in these ways can go a long way to taking care of condensation. However, it has to be matched with proper airflow to make the most out of it. So central heating does help damp, but it isn’t a miracle cure and will really only help in combination with other strategies to target condensation in your home.