AS the weather turns colder and winter draws near, households are once again fearing the return of mould in their homes.
You might have noticed condensation starting to appear on your windows, which can lead to damp.
If left untreated, the sitting water can encourage black mould to form, which can be harmful for your health.
The NHS warns that inhaling or touching mould spores could trigger allergic reactions or even cause more serious health issues, such as bronchitis and asthma attacks.
Keeping a warm home through the winter months is the best way to prevent mould from growing.
But with energy bills remaining stubbornly high, most families don't want to keep the heating on for long periods of time.
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Luckily, the temperature you need to keep your home at to avoid damp isn't as high as you might think.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends you try to keep your home at 18 degrees or above if possible.
However, experts say you can get away with keeping it several degrees lower than this to ward off damp, particularly when you're out of the house or overnight.
James Longley, managing director at Utility Bidder, said: "Studies have suggested that the ideal temperature to heat your home is between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius during the colder months.
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"However, when it comes to preventing damp, it's important to try and keep the temperature of your property around at least 14 to 15 degrees.
"This will maintain a warm enough environment to help prevent areas of dampness or mould from surfacing."
Rooms that tend to be colder or more wet, such as the bathroom, should be kept slightly warmer than this.
If you do spot any condensation around your doors or windows, make sure to wipe it down sooner rather than later.
A dehumidifier can also help to remove damp as it forms, which can be helpful if you're out of the house for long periods of time.
You can get a pack of 10 disposable dehumidifiers for £13 on Amazon and each should last for several weeks.
Experts also recommend regularly checking dark areas such as under the sink or around window and door frames, as mould thrives in dark, damp locations.
If you find any mould forming, try wiping it off with a mould remover spray, or white vinegar works as a DIY alternative.
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Be sure to use gloves and a mask to protect yourself from inhaling or touching any harmful mould.
While it may seem counterproductive to open the windows in winter, keeping rooms ventilated helps to stop mould spores from spreading.
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