- Item: Home ventilation
- Want or Need: Need
- Saving: £2,150!
So, our house needs ventilation. The reason being, it was built in the 1930’s and has a cavity wall which has since been filled with rock wall insulation. This was commissioned by previous owners in an attempt to improve the thermal efficiency of the house. And it works! The building also has double glazing and 300 mm of loft insulation. It’s pretty air tight to say the least! For any older home, this is a problem.
Why? These houses weren’t built to be sealed up. There were designed to allow moisture generated within the home to dissipate through the walls and ceiling and into the atmosphere outside. As soon as you block the escape of all this moisture, it has no choice but to settle wherever there are cool spots around your home. This, normally, is the side(s) or corners of the house that get no direct sun light on them or are shaded and thus, are cooler. For example, if you have a south-facing home, the north side will be cooler. And as such, you’ll notice condensation and moisture more on the windows and walls of that side of the house. For example:
Now, a little condensation isn’t necessarily a problem. However, it’s estimated that an average household produces and releases more than 10 Litres of moisture into the air inside their homes every day! Just from everyday tasks like showering, drying your washing, washing your dishes, ironing, even breathing! This can become a big problem if your home does not have the ability to disperse this moisture out of the house. This is when you’ll find that you have persistent condensation in the cooler rooms of your house, when the rooms in which you find the condensation rarely get a chance to normalise the relative humidity by allowing the moisture to escape. This will eventually lead to the formation of mould. Around windows, on your walls and skirting boards. Anywhere that there is poor air circulation. Simply opening a window will help. But in the winter, this goes against all logic and the aim of having a warm home, right?!
This is where ventilation comes into use. More specifically, Positive-Input Ventilation (PIV). It works by introducing fresh, filtered air into the house from the loft space, or outside and pushing the old, contaminated, humid air out of the home. Basically it pushes fresh air in, which forces stale, wet air out. Thus, eliminating condensation and the resulting mould.
“Okay, but how is this a frugal win?”
Easy. I had no idea that this was the solution to the problems we were experiencing in our spare bedroom (north side of the house), until I done some googling and quickly discovered that some kind of ventilation could potentially be the solution! But what kind of ventilation? How many rooms need it? Where do I position it? And, most importantly, how much was it going to cost!? Well, to find out, I googled ‘Home ventilation solution’ and the first company that came up was ‘Envirovent’. I made a query through their online form to arrange a free survey. A lovely woman called the next day to discuss the situation. I explained that we had a house built in the 30’s which has been retrospectively insulated and sealed-shut with ‘energy saving’ measures, and that we were experiencing some issues with condensation and mould. She explained that the solution we needed was a positive input ventilation system which they could supply and install for the small fee of £2,800. I was interested. But my frugal brain kicked in. “Okay, I’ll have a chat with my wife and see what she thinks”. The response every sales persons dreads!
I spent the next few minutes searching online for the solution she described to me in great detail to see what else was available. I knew exactly what I was looking for now. Lo and behold, I came across Nuaire! They supply systems which perform exactly the same function as the system offered to me by Envirovent. The difference being that they are specifically for self-install and cost a fraction of the price. For the two PIV systems (one for upstairs and another for downstairs), it’s going to cost me a little over £700. I’ll share the amazon links to the two systems I have below. (In the interest of openness, yes, they are affiliate links. So, I will make about 3%. But I only recommend products that I have personally used that I know are worth the money and I’d appreciate you supporting me. If you need a self-install home ventilation solution, you won’t regret these).
Being a self-proclaimed handy man when it comes to DIY, with a mind wired for frugality, this was clearly the right choice for me! I was getting the same result for £2K less! Amazing!
I used the product in the top link in the loft space to ventilate the upstairs, and the one below that I put in the downstairs utility room/toilet, which is another cold-spot in the house that suffers from condensation and the occasional spot of mould.
I honestly can’t rate these highly enough. Our condensation problems: gone. Our mould issues that we’ve suffered with for nearly 4 years: gone! The only cost, other than the upfront purchasing price, is an increase in our electricity bills of less than £3 per quarter! Less than £1 per month for a mould and condensation-free home with less pollutants. Another no brainer!
I will say, unless you’re relatively confident with the basics of DIY, and by that I mean using a drill and a screwdriver, then you should get a handyman or local electrician to come and install this for you. Honestly though, if I can do this, I think anyone can.
If you’re getting value from these posts and want to support this blog, subscribe below to join the FSD notification squad to get new posts straight to your inbox! Thank you!