Condensation in your car can be really frustrating, especially if you are in a rush and simply don’t have the time to wait for your car windows. It can also be a sign that there is too much moisture in your car, which leads to things like mould and mildew growing in your car. But how can you fix this moisture issue, and what causes it in the first place?
What is Condensation?
Condensation is a funny thing, and it forms when there is a temperature and moisture gradient between the outside and the interior of your car. Breaking it down, if the air outside is cooler than that of your car interior, water will hit the car windows and turn into little droplets of moisture.
The higher the humidity levels within your car, the more droplets you will see on the windows. So, if it looks a little foggy when you hop into the car in the morning, that means you have a lot of condensation. The good news is that it can be pretty easy to fix.
The Causes of Condensation
The question is, what causes the humidity levels to rise in the first place? Well, there are actually a number of different reasons why your car might be moister than usual:
- Wet clothing is the most common cause
- Leaks within the body of the car
- Spillages in the car that have not been cleaned
- Poor circulation inside the car
- Breathing. I know, weird, but also true
It’s good to know what might be causing the condensation,and in most cases they are minor tasks that can be easily remedied and will have a major impact.
Why Do You Need Get Rid of Condensation?
Condensation is a form of damp, and it can accumulate and worsen over time if it is left to its own devices. This is why ventilation is so important, it removes the damp and helps air to circulate through your vehicle. But why is condensation a bad thing?
The issue is that as this damp increases over time and is left alone, it can cause mould and mildew to form inside. This can be impossible to remove from the seats and carpets, but one of the major issues is the impact it has on your health.
This is especially true if you are allergic to mould or have asthma because the spores float in the air and are inhaled when we breathe.
The spores make their way to our lungs, and this can cause allergic reactions or asthma attacks that can be quite severe. Even if you don’t have any conditions, a healthy person who is exposed to black mould for long enough can develop respiratory illnesses.
If you leave your car in a garage for storage and don’t drive it very often, it is really easy for this to happen because the moisture situation is forgotten. However, it is also the easiest way for mould and mildew to be encouraged, so stay on top of your treatments
Are New Cars or Old Cars More Susceptible to Condensation?
If you are driving a new car, you probably notice very little condensation when you get into the car each morning. This is because newer cars tend to have a better sealing system to make them more watertight and keep as much air as possible out of the vehicle.
As these new cars are better insulated, they tend to stay warmer on the inside when they are parked. This does mean that you may experience condensation on the outside of the car because of the contrasting interior and outside temperatures. So, new cars are great for avoiding internal condensation, but not as good as keeping the external form away.
How can you Reduce Condensation in Your Car?
Condensation will collect the air inside the cabin, causing the moisture levels to increase. Unless there is ventilation that allows the air to escape to the outside, the condensation inside the car will become worse and more concentrated. So, you need to do something about it.
You can use the air conditioning system inside your car to remove this moisture from the air, and it is one of the most efficient ways to do this when you are trying to see out of your windscreen in the morning. This is because the system uses an evaporator to take the air from the car and drain the moisture out.
Another interesting way to keep the condensation levels down is to ensure the inside of the windows is clean. It’s a simple method, but it does actually decrease the likeliness of condensation forming on your windows, and even if it does the clean glass makes it a lot easier to clean off.
Of course, you can also use a dehumidifier for your car as this is one of the best ways to keep on top of the humidity levels. You can pick up a 12v one that plugs into the car and will remove moisture at a fast rate and with great efficiency, or you can get a passive model that can chill in the glovebox and slowly absorb moisture over time; it depends on how bad the damp is.
It is the best choice for reducing condensation inside, and this is especially true if you have decided you want to store your car in a garage. They keep mould and mildew away, as well as removing damp and unpleasant odours from the area.
Not only that, but the passive ones that sit and absorb moisture can usually be reused by popping them into the microwave for a few seconds.
However, you should also remember that the moisture will never be completely gone. It is important to have a better balance in your humidity levels because we do need some water in the air.
The point of a dehumidifier or any other method of removing moisture is to get rid of the excess so that you can avoid potentially harmful things like mould.
Condensation inside the car can be a massive pain, but it is also treatable. If you follow the steps and advice above, you will be able to create a better and less humid environment in your car that will be more comfortable for everyone.
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.