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Modern houses are designed to be more energy efficient to save owners money on their bills, meaning that they typically have high-quality insulation within the walls and roof to prevent heat loss, as well as effective double glazed windows to prevent heat from escaping.

While these improvements in efficiency are great at saving us money, they also make newer homes more airtight - meaning that without effective ventilation, humidity and air pollution levels can rise quickly. This increases the risk of condensation and damp, which can quickly lead to mould.

Why does insulation cause condensation to increase?

Condensation forms when the air temperature in the home falls below the ‘dew point’, meaning that the air can no longer hold as much water vapour and it needs somewhere else to go. When this happens, usually when the air meets a cold surface such as a wall or window, the water vapour is deposited, creating condensation.

As a well-insulated, efficient home is able to retain its heat better, there typically will be smaller differences in temperature during the day and night. This means that there is less opportunity for air to come into contact with colder surfaces - which is good news!

However, there is one downside - the flow of air is significantly reduced in a well-insulated, airtight property. This can result in humidity levels rising even quicker, meaning that the dew point of the water can actually become higher - so condensation can form at a higher temperature.

SuperFOIL Insulation

Insulation and ventilation are perfect partners

The most effective way to prevent condensation and mould is by using controlled ventilation. Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) units work by drawing in fresh air from outside to displace the humid air from indoors, working with extractor fans to combat indoor air pollution.

Our Business Development Executive, Joe Murray, said:

“The downside of making your home more airtight is that you’ll retain more indoor air pollution and could generate more condensation. As a result, we’re seeing more and more people come to us for ventilation solutions after improving their insulation.

“By investing in an efficient ventilation system, you’ll be provided with a constant stream of fresh, clean air in your home while pollutants are filtered out.”If you’re suffering from increased condensation, or have recently invested in efficient insulation and are worried about the lack of ventilation, then get in touch with our team of experts today for a no-obligation consultation.

Insulation is a fantastic way to reduce heating bills and keep your home toasty warm - however, the more you insulate, the more you will need to ventilate!

Highly insulated properties are typically more airtight, and will therefore prevent water vapour and moisture from leaving a property. 

The more you insulate a moisture-rich house, the more condensation (and therefore damp and mould) will gather inside. This is because highly insulated properties are usually more airtight, preventing water vapour and moisture from leaving the property.

By pumping out the damp, humid air, ventilation will essentially de-humidify your home, whilst the insulation keeps you and your family warm and cosy. Rather than working against each other (which is definitely a myth), they go perfectly hand in hand. With both installed, your home will stay dry and energy efficient by ensuring a constant, comfortable temperature for your household or office environment.

superfoil insulation

MVHR is the perfect partner to insulation 

Mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) systems are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, particularly purchased to be paired with efficient insulation solutions - such as SuperFOIL Insulation.

Every home will come fitted with extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms as standard, which is your basic defence when it comes to ventilation (but unfortunately, just not enough with modern insulation). Whilst an extractor fan will use the fan to propel air from a room to the outside, MVHR systems will replace the extracted air instead - with fresh, filtered air from outside. 

This fresh air is also heated as a result of the systems’ heat recovery function - which means that MVHR will also help to contribute to retaining the warmth of your abode, working in partnership with your insulation.

Not only will an MVHR unit dramatically reduce dampness and condensation, it will also remove other allergens within the air - such as dust, pollen and germs, which also helps to reduce airborne illnesses and hay fever too. Your home is kept cleaner, fresher and more comfortable all year-round - not just in winter months.

Will MVHR be suitable for my property?

In simple terms, yes! MVHR units are suitable for all types of property - both residential and commercial premises. Depending on the size and type, the way that the system is set up may vary, but it can be done.

The unit itself is compact and easy to conceal, typically installed in the loft, on an exterior wall, or in the ceiling cavity - meaning that it is mainly out of sight. Our team of experts will advise you on the best location to suit your home or office, in order to best optimise the flow of fresh air throughout the building. 

It’s usually best if the inlet and outlet are fitted in separate rooms - for example, the air will be extracted from the kitchen or bathroom, while the inlet may be located in the bedroom or living area. 

In terms of noise - there is virtually none! Our units produce as little as 29 decibels of sound, which is quieter than a whisper, and just slightly louder than a ticking watch. Even the largest of domestic units will only produce 41 decibels, which is the same as a typical refrigerator. As the units are typically installed in the roof space or outside, you won’t hear anything in your living area itself. 

Can I install ventilation myself, or do I need an expert?

With some help and guidance from our knowledgeable team, most people with basic DIY skills can install an MVHR system without having to pay a professional. If you are however concerned and would rather someone else do it for you, then most plumbers, electricians or heating engineers are more than capable.

All of our devices come with a detailed instruction manual, with our MVHR experts just an email or phone call away if you need to ask any questions.

Interested in finding a ventilation unit to go alongside your effective insulation? Get in touch today!

Understanding condensation

Condensation occurs when warm, moist air comes into contact with a colder surface - forming due to temperature differences and high humidity levels. This process leads to the formation of water droplets on surfaces such as windows, mirrors, or walls.

When warm air meets a colder surface, it cools down rapidly, causing moisture in the air to condense into water droplets. Additionally, high humidity levels increase the likelihood of condensation as moisture-saturated air releases excess water vapour when it encounters a colder surface. 

Understanding why condensation occurs can help you manage and prevent it from forming in your living or working environment. 

Effects of condensation

Condensation can have several effects on your living or working space. Excessive condensation can lead to water damage - such as peeling paint, rotting wood, or mould growth. These issues can compromise the structural integrity of your space and affect indoor air quality.

Additionally, mould and mildew thrive in damp environments caused by condensation, which can pose health risks such as allergies and respiratory problems. 


Preventing condensation

To prevent condensation and its associated problems, consider the following solutions: 

1. Proper Ventilation

Ventilation is the single most impactful way to prevent condensation and its associated problems. Adequate ventilation in areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms is absolutely essential, but other rooms of the house should also have ventilation so that humid air and vapour can escape. 

Using extractor fans and open windows is a good first step, but whole-house ventilation systems are a simple and cost-effective way to solve your condensation problems in an instant.

 2. Insulation

Insulation can be a double-edged sword in dealing with condensation. Properly insulating your space will minimise temperature differences between the interior and exterior surfaces. This helps reduce the likelihood of condensation forming on cold surfaces. However, insulation can also prevent air and water vapour from escaping. The best solution is to improve insulation and ventilation, hand-in-hand. 

Looking for effective, efficient insulation? Check out our partner, SuperFOIL. 

SuperFOIL Insulation

To prevent heat from being lost through the ventilation and to improve the energy efficiency of your home, heat recovery ventilation systems (MVHR) will help to push the vapour out and keep the warmth in.

3. Control humidity

Dehumidifiers can help to maintain optimal humidity levels in specific areas but dehumidifiers are not as effective or as efficient as most types of ventilation. A dehumidifier can be used to complement the work of ventilation systems but they shouldn’t be thought of as a long-term solution.

As well as the steps above, you can also reduce condensation by monitoring indoor plants, drying clothes outdoors when possible, and ensuring you have good ventilation when doing activities that generate excess moisture, such as exercising or cooking.

By understanding the causes and effects of condensation and implementing preventive measures such as proper ventilation and humidity control, you can create a comfortable, condensation-free environment. 

Is your space suffering from condensation? Ventilation Megastore is here to assist you. Feel free to get in touch with our team for further guidance.

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