EECA Energywise states around 30 per cent of homes are damp and many houses in New Zealand have mould. Some other authorities suggest that figure is much higher in many parts of the country. It’s not just old homes or rental properties that suffer. Even new, well-insulated homes are often inadequately ventilated and soon develop moulds and mildew. Simply opening windows occasionally is inadequate.
Homes exposed to very high levels of moisture can be more expensive to heat, causing respiratory problems, mould and fungus. These sources of moisture are often hidden and can go undetected for a long time, causing damage to your home. (Source: NZ Herald)
EECA Energywise senior technical adviser Christian Hoerning says finding the source of dampness and fixing it is the best approach.
First, check if your home is showing signs of excess moisture and dampness then fix the problem directly. Check underneath your home - especially if you have a suspended timber frame - for dampness or water pooling under your house and fix any guttering, downpipe or plumbing problems. We would not recommend using unflued gas heaters as they release toxic gases which are not good for your health and a lot of moisture. If you are looking to dry out a room or a home, use a plug-in electric heater because it is safer and cheaper to run.
Symptoms to look out for are musty smells in rooms that are closed for any period of time, damp or mould under your house and stains or watermarks on ceilings or walls.
Consumer NZ writer Paul Smith said: "To reduce dampness, you can use extractor fans or open a window while showering. Using pot lids and a range hood when cooking, and drying clothes outside on a good day, or with a vented dryer - these small changes can save 8 litres or more entering your house each day,"
He went on to advise, “Remember that dampness, and the mould it causes, isn't just unhealthy, it costs more to heat damp air. We've found the best dehumidifiers extract up to 6 litres of moisture per day at 12C, but much less when it is colder. They'll help, but won't be a silver bullet for a damp home."
Here at Unovent® we have undertaken extensive testing and developed a unique, simple and affordable ventilation system with low ongoing running costs. If your home is insulated, adding this proven effective system will make your home a drier, warmer and healthier place.