Here in Yorkshire, we are well into the ‘condensation season’. That period from around late September to March, where the majority of clients asking for ‘damp’ inspections are really plagued by mould growth, caused by condensation.
Of course, excessive condensation is a growing problem, especially now that the government has decided that heat loss is more damaging to us, than the consequences of breathing and re-breathing stale and humid air. Which is something we never evolved to do. Anyway, I digress.
One growing weapon against condensation problems is the Positive Input Ventilator (PIV). PIV’s work on the basis of drawing in air from outside a property, filtering it and introducing the air into the house. This has the effect of diluting the moist air inside the property and encouraging the house to ‘bleed’ this moist air, via gaps under doors, air vents and such.
In practice, I can vouch for the success of the approach, particularly in ‘problem’ properties, which haven’t responded to normal measures; fans in the bathroom/kitchen, advice to tenants about drying clothes and such. Examples include student lets, where half a dozen girls, sharing a terrace house, seem to make as much dew, as a hectare of Amazonian rainforest. It’s all that hair washing malarkey….. I’ve used these units in Leeds, York, sheffield and Wakefield and they’ve always worked.
However, anecdotal evidence is one thing – data is another.
So, next week we are scheduled to install a PIV in a bungalow in York, North Yorkshire. I’ve previously surveyed the house. I diagnosed condensation/mould growth, caused by excessive humidity, through poor ventilation and an unusual house layout, which compounds the problem. I gave advice at the time, but the landlord of the bungalow is impatient to see results; this winter. So on Tuesday we install the PIV. It is a basic model, going in the loft, with the ducted vent in the central lobby ceiling.
Keen to see data on how things change, I’ve installed two data loggers at the York address today. Hopefully we’ll have data: for a few days before the PIV installation; a week or so after installation and then; with the tenants cooperation, further data, which will monitor the effects of extra simple measures to increase the effectiveness of the system. I’ll be using a Psychrometric chart to calculate the vapour pressures inside and outside the house, for the whole experimental period and will publish the results here. There’ll be video footage and images of the data too, for those who are interested.
I’ll be back to the house in a week or so to collect the data and blog the results.
let’s see what happens….
PS – part 2 is ready here