An average home produces several litres of water vapour per day, this vapour drifts around the property until it meets a cold surface and turns back to liquid water – unless of course there is adequate ventilation to allow the vapour to escape. Condensation is generated in a manner of different ways…
When preparing meals, a lot of water vapour is released into the air either through boiling water or from it evaporating directly out of the food that is getting cooked. Extractor fans can help pull water out of the kitchen but are sometimes ignored or not used correctly to outside but above cookers is often used incorrectly leading to an excessive amount of moisture in the air.
Washing and Drying Clothes
To avoid condensation caused when drying clothes, clothes are best dried outdoors or via a tumble drier vented directly outside. Clothing evaporates water when drying. Ideally you should never dry clothes on radiator or heaters. You can usually feel the water vapour in the air in a room that clothes are drying in. This vapour is just waiting to find a cold surface to touch and turn back into water.
Bathing / Showering
Hot water generates steam (water vapour) this can quickly condense on the walls and windows, providing an ideal environment for mould growth. Mould growth caused by condensation is a common problem. If bathrooms are not ventilated after use condensation can quickly become a problem.
Breathing / Exhaling
We exhale water vapour constantly throughout the day, this can be seen when you breath close to a window and you can see it steam up. This is particularly evident in bedrooms. Just 1 person overnight can generate a lot of water vapour which can condensate on the windows if the room isn’t ventilated properly.
Ventilation is chronically overlooked – good ventilation can stop condensation forming, reducing black mould growth. It can also improve the general air quality in your home.
Why ventilate your home?
- Prevent condensation from forming.
- Help reduce overall humidity.
- Improve indoor air quality.
- Stop patches of black mould forming.
Ventilation is now a key part of our Home Improvement Plan when looking at upgrading your property, especially when you are retrofitting insulation. This is so important it has been written into the guidance for all houses receiving energy efficient upgrades via PAS 2035. This document sets out the ‘rules’ as to what is required to be done when installing upgrades such as insulation to existing properties.
Ventilation can take many forms, and some are more suitable or effective than others, they can be broken up into different types and systems:
- System 1 / IEV – Intermittent Extract Fans with Background Ventilators
- SRHRV – Single Room Heat Recovery Ventilators
- System 2 / PSV – Passive Stack Ventilation
- PIV – Positive Input Ventilation
- System 3 / MEV – Continuous Mechanical Extract Ventilators
- System 4 / MVHR – Mechanical Supply and Extract Ventilation with Heat Recovery.
We believe installing a whole of house system made up of the following types of ventilators, depending on the circumstances and what you need to achieve:
IEV – EXTRACTION FANS
IEV’s are your basic ventilation fan, these can be set for continuous or intermittent operation and should be used to help prevent condensation in your home by installing with a Positive Input Ventilator (PIV), as required in your kitchen and bathroom. Most modern properties have an extract fan but by todays standard they do fall short for whole house ventilation. IEV’s are quiet running, come in compact designs are energy efficient with low energy usage meaning a low running cost.