Black mould growth on walls is unsightly and unhealthy, both for the fabric of the building and for those living in the property. It indicates a damp problem caused through high humidity levels and inadequate heating and ventilation. Left unchecked it leads to increased energy usage, structural damage, costly repairs and possible claims for compensation due to the ill health of tenants.

Ventilation is only part of the solution and heat, or the lack of it, is an important consideration in alleviating these problems. An innovative heated panel, used in conjunction with ventilation, dramatically helps reduce the growth of mould on excessively cold walls in social housing, and provides a solution to these problems. Developed by Airtech Environmental Systems the Energysaver Thermamatic heated panel is most effective when used in conjunction with automatic humidity controlled ventilation systems.

The panels are wafer thin and incorporate a unique conductive paint. They produce radiant heat that warms both the wall and the air immediately in front of the panel to effectively combat damp and reduce mould growth. Operating on low wattage, the panels can be fixed to the wall precisely where needed and operate automatically through a thermostat that can be set to suit local conditions. They are particularly effective where ‘cold bridging’ is problem.

Installation is quick, simple and very safe as all panels are connected via a RCD and the maximum operating surface temperature is 40°C. The CE approved panels operate on 230V AC and are available in two sizes: 100W measuring 500 x 600mm and 200W at 1000 x 600mm. Running costs amount to less than 20p per week. No maintenance is required apart from an occasional test of the RCD.

Once fixed, the 3mm thick panels can be papered over or painted to render them unobtrusive and blend in with existing décor.

For optimum efficiency Thermamatic panels are best used where humidity control equipment, such as Airtech’s Energysaver Sensamatic or Datamatic systems, are installed as these devices extract moist air at source and control RH (relative humidity) throughout a property. The effectiveness of the panels can also be increased by installing passive and/or vapour vents which help to equalise pressure. Modern versions of these products offer draught free return airflow and incorporate internal insect and water deflection screens. They also have the advantage of zero running costs.

Thermamatic panels are based on Cybertherm technology that uses special conductive paints sandwiched between two layers of mica. This construction can be used in a number of ways including heating, heating control and the monitoring of the temperature of any item to which the panel is attached.