As the energy crisis continues and households face rising bills, many vulnerable social housing residents are unable to afford adequate heating. Over the years, social housing landlords have worked hard to improve the energy efficiency of their housing stock through measures such as insulation and double glazing in order to keep in the warmth, however, without effective ventilation houses are prone to condensation which can lead to mould. This problem is only made worse in homes without sufficient heating. Condensation and mould specialists Airtech Solutions are therefore advising social housing landlords on how to help residents tackle condensation and mould.
Energy efficient homes with insulation and double or triple glazed windows can trap water vapour inside the property and without adequate ventilation the moisture isn’t removed, increasing the risk of condensation. Lack of heating adds to the problem as warm air holds more moisture than cold air. Social housing landlords who are trying to help their residents and improve the thermal comfort of people’s homes now, need to comply with the amended Part F of the Building Regulations which means if energy efficiency measures are added then sufficient ventilation must be installed too.
“Properties that have insufficient heating are more likely to suffer with condensation as a cold property has more cold surfaces for excess vapour to condense into water. Fuel poverty has made this problem worse with an estimated 7 million houses now in fuel poverty in England”, said Natasha King, RMI Product Manager at Airtech Solutions. “To comply with Part F, landlords need to ensure sufficient ventilation is added when installing energy efficiency measures. We can help landlords meet their duty of care with the right solution for each property.”
Condensation and mould can wreak havoc on both housing stock and residents’ respiratory heath. These twin blights lead to poor indoor air quality (IAQ) which can have health consequences for households. It is therefore vital for landlords to deal with it to help protect vulnerable residents and comply with the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act.
Airtech can help landlords meets their duty of care by offering comprehensive property surveys to identify condensation, damp and mould problems and recommendations to solve the issues; mould removal treatment and redecoration, and a full ventilation installation service for both responsive and planned maintenance. The treatment and mould removal are backed by a unique three-year guarantee that the mould will not return.
Boasting patented market-leading ventilation technology that improves resident comfort and efficiency, Airtech can offer landlords the correct solution for individual properties. This includes the Air+ Loft Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) and Air+ Wall PIV units which pushes out stale, humid air and replace it with filtered and warmed air from outside. This has the added benefit of helping keep any warmth in the home rather than extracting it to the outside, plus the Air+ Loft PIV is made from recycled plastic helping social housing landlords meet their environmental targets.
Other options include environment sensing bathroom and kitchen fans, such as the SensaFan range including the SA25 SELV, the SA60 SELV and the SA64. Furthermore, Airtech’s unique control and datalogging ventilation products, the DataFan range including the DA25, DA60 and DA64, which record details of a home’s environment, such as humidity and temperature levels to allow the landlord or contractor to track and analyse the correlation of these variables together on one graph. This will allow a landlord to clearly track the effects changing lifestyle habits have on a home environment. It will also demonstrate how reducing relative humidity through adequate heating and ventilation can maintain a healthy home. Airtech’s sophisticated datalogging allows landlords to interrogate saved IAQ data thus giving peace of mind.
Hand-in-hand with the datalogging, Airtech’s specialist control platform monitors the data as it is collected and modulates the fan accordingly to react automatically and proportionally to rising humidity levels, offering quick and effective humidity control. This ensures the resident keeps the optimum environment in the home to avoid condensation forming, thus helping maintain good IAQ.
With winter set to prove challenging for social housing residents due to the energy crisis, landlords should consider now how to improve the thermal comfort of their housing stock, as well as improving ventilation, to help tackle condensation and mould.
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