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Having a constant stream of fresh air is important in every household to help prevent illness, condensation, damp and mould.

While there are many options available to improve ventilation, the advantages of whole house ventilation using a mechanical heat recovery system is often the most effective choice…read on to find out why!

Why do we need ventilation?

Ventilation is the process of removing polluted, stale air from a room and supplying fresh, clean air from outside. This can be done by natural or mechanical ventilation, or a combination of the two.

In 2023, 3.8% of homes in England have some form of damp problem - equating to approximately 912,000 households. What’s more, the NHS estimates that it could save up to £38 million a year on treating patients with damp and mould-related illnesses, if issues were rectified.

Mould and damp is caused by condensation - when humid air comes into contact with cold surfaces to form water droplets. It typically occurs when temperatures drop overnight, resulting in us often waking up with water droplets on our windows (and sometimes walls and ceilings), mainly in winter months.

Good ventilation will help to reduce condensation by removing the moist air from your home before it has a chance to settle on a cool surface. As well as causing damage to your property which may be costly to repair, damp and mould can also have serious effects on your health - especially to individuals with underlying respiratory conditions, such as asthma.

Different types of ventilation

Depending on your home and budget, there are different solutions for increased ventilation that you can adopt, but they vary in their effectiveness.

Natural ventilation

Rather than using any sort of mechanical element to push air around, natural ventilation relies solely on gaps in the building fabric, combined with any trickle vents or air bricks that may have been installed.

Natural ventilation can also be supplemented by opening windows and doors, however this is often only done in the warmer weather.

This type of ventilation is the cheapest and simplest option, and because of this, there are quite a few drawbacks. 

Trickle vents don’t let much air flow unless it’s windy and they can produce a through-draught, whereas opening doors and windows to the outside can quickly make a home cold in winter. In the summer months, this method will likely let in lots of pollen and insects, and can also let in other pollutants from outside such as vehicle fumes.

opening window

Extractor fans

Extractor fans are one step up from natural ventilation, and have a simple mechanical element involved. In most houses, they’re typically located in rooms that generate more water vapour, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

They are effective in controlling moisture within the rooms that they are positioned in, however they also suck out the warm air that rises to the ceiling and they are relatively limited in the area they can cover. If you leave a door open after a bath or shower and water vapour escapes, it will travel around the house and can increase moisture levels in areas the extractor fan can’t reach.

While it’s essential to have extractor fans in your home, often these aren’t enough to completely reduce levels of moisture.

Mechanical ventilation heat recovery (whole house ventilation)

Mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) systems are modern, efficient units that provide ventilation to an entire house.

Unit home V2

MVHR systems will ensure that condensation (and therefore damp and mould that can follow) doesn’t become an issue in your home, by removing all moisture-laden air and replacing it with filtered, heated air from outside.

As well as removing moisture, MVHR will also remove any harmful irritants in the air such as germs and pollen, causing illness and hay fever. They are also energy efficient, using no more than extractor fans because the built-in heat exchanger recovers warmth from outgoing air to heat the fresh air coming into the building. This means that it’s highly efficient, and helps to reduce your heating bills.


Are you interested in reducing condensation and helping your family to stay fit and healthy? Get in touch with our team of experts today to find out more.

As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to provide high-quality, damp-free housing for your tenants, and to ensure that your property is kept in good repair. 

However, this can prove tricky because condensation can be a major contributor to mould and damp problems. If left unresolved, it can lead to severe (and very costly!) damage to housing.

What’s more, there are some upcoming changes to legislation with the introduction of Awaab’s Law, which means that landlords may soon have increased responsibilities to resolve damp and mould issues in a timely manner.

What can condensation lead to?

Condensation is when water vapour in the air forms droplets on a cold surface, such as walls and ceilings. It’s typically caused by common household activities such as cooking, bathing and washing, but even people breathing can contribute.

Unfortunately for landlords, it is the most common cause of mould in domestic properties. While condensation itself isn’t a big issue, if it’s not dealt with properly, it can result in damp patches developing which then encourages mould growth.

Damp patches can also cause damage to the fabric of a building, and create an environment where dust mites and mould can thrive - which can negatively affect the health of anyone living in the property.

condensation

Work with your tenants to reduce condensation

Even though, in most cases, it is the people living in the property who are causing the condensation, it is your responsibility as the landlord to deal with damp and mould problems as soon as possible. 

This is why it’s important to work with your tenants to prevent the amount of condensation that they produce. In turn, it should help to prevent these issues from developing, saving you time and money!

Here are a few recommendations you can make to your tenants:

By asking your tenants to regularly keep a look out for mould and damp patches, not only will this help to keep them safe and healthy, but it should also minimise repair costs if it’s caught early enough.

Even though these are simple steps, tenants may still not oblige so you may need to take matters into your own hands by improving ventilation throughout the property. This is especially advisable for high-value rental property, where a good ventilation system may be an expected commodity.

How much could mould and damp cost me?

If damp is not dealt with in a timely manner, a room may need to be replastered, as the water vapour can cause significant damage that cannot be patch-repaired. 

According to Rated People, plastering a single room could set you back anywhere between £500 to £1,500, depending on its size.

Toxic mould, however, needs to be removed professionally as it is hazardous to human health, and therefore can be similarly costly too. Checkatrade states that the average cost of removing mould from a whole house in 2023 was £1,200.

Prevention is better than a cure

It may be a common saying, but in this case it really is true - prevention is better than a cure when it comes to condensation. The most effective way to prevent condensation (and subsequently mould and damp) is to improve airflow.

Make sure that you have good quality, effective extractor fans installed in all areas of the home that generate considerable water vapour, such as kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms. Fans will remove a good amount of moisture in the air before it is able to spread into the rest of the home.

However, the most effective way to remove water vapour (and any other harmful pollutants) is whole house ventilation. A mechanical heat recovery ventilation (MVHR) system will circulate filtered air from outside into the property while removing moisture-laden air, preventing condensation from building up. 

The additional benefit of a MVHR system is that it provides fresh heated air, meaning that it will also help to keep the home warm in winter months. We often find that installing a whole house ventilation unit is considerably cheaper than repairing damage caused by mould and damp, and it also helps the property to feel fresher, healthier and all-round more pleasant to be in!


If you’re a landlord and interested in protecting your property with a ventilation system, get in touch with our team of experts today!

Sick building syndrome is a real health issue that affects office workers throughout the world.

Shared work environments with poor ventilation allow germs, dust, smoke and fumes to circulate, affecting the health of everyone present and spreading illnesses throughout a workforce.

If your organisation seems to have a high number of people falling ill or if people seem to be battling against constant bouts of coughs, colds or other contagious ailments, it could be time to upgrade your building’s ventilation.

someone coughing at work

How to improve natural ventilation

The best way to improve natural ventilation is to have windows and doors open throughout the day, however this can be tricky (and unpleasant!) in the colder, winter months when temperatures are low.

It might be tempting to block out every draught in winter, but you should try to keep trickle vents open so that a small amount of fresh air can replace the more polluted air in the building. Trickle vents are small so they don’t have a huge impact but if the wind is blowing outside and there are vents open on windows on either side of your office, they can help to create a gentle current of fresh air to slowly whisk away airborne germs.

In the summer or when the air is still outside, you’ll need to increase the airflow by opening windows but even this might not be enough on a really still day. You can help the air to flow more easily by cleverly positioning fans to direct the air from windows on one side of the office to the other, but this can make life miserable for anyone with hayfever because pollen may also be wafting through your office along with the fresh air.

As well as the problems of letting in pollen and letting out warmth, natural ventilation is also problematic in urban areas because the outside air may be polluted.

Mechanical ventilation should be considered too

Extractor fans are a must in kitchens and toilets, where smells can linger and moisture can build, but just like open windows, they also let out the heat from a room.

The most effective way to improve ventilation in the workplace is by investing in a mechanical heat recovery ventilation (MVHR) system for your office.

MVHR works by removing the old, polluted air from the building and replacing it with fresh air that gets filtered as it comes in. The best thing about MVHR is that it uses the warmth of the air that the system extracts to heat up the inbound air. Using no more power than an extractor fan, these systems help your workplace to have fresh, clean air while also staying warm and energy efficient.

All year round, it’s the perfect solution for any workplace.

Better ventilation can reduce sick days

By installing a mechanical ventilation system within your office environment, this will remove all nasty pollutants in the air and replace it with fresh, clean air for your employees to safely breathe in. This will help to prevent illnesses being passed on to team members, hopefully resulting in less sick days being taken - meaning that your business should be more productive, with everyone feeling happier and healthier.


Are you looking to invest in ventilation for your businesses’ office space? Get in touch with our team of experts today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Everyone is aware of outdoor air pollution and the harmful effects that it can have on humans, but the dangers from indoor air pollution can be equally as damaging - especially for households with children or older people.

High-quality indoor air is absolutely crucial to our health. As we spend a significant amount of time indoors in the UK (especially in winter!), it’s imperative that we don’t expose ourselves to harmful substances while doing so.

What exactly is indoor air pollution?

Indoor air pollution includes dust, dirt or gases that are within the air inside buildings, such as homes, offices or schools. In its simplest terms, it refers to any contamination of the air indoors. 

You’ll probably have noticed when your home feels stuffy, humid or dusty but you might not realise that there can be serious consequences if you allow pollutants to build unchecked.

Most indoor air pollutants are small enough in size to enter your lungs, and can make symptoms of a lung condition (such as asthma) significantly worse.

There are many different types of indoor air pollution, including:

Why is it dangerous?

Indoor air pollution is fast becoming a more significant issue, as homes are getting even more energy efficient.

To keep your home warmer in winter, you’ve probably reduced the number of draughts around windows and doors or have upgraded your insulation. While that makes your home more energy efficient, it will also make your home more airtight, meaning that the air inside can quickly become stagnant and pollution levels will undoubtedly rise as a result.

According to Asthma + Lung UK, poor indoor air quality has been linked to many different lung diseases such as asthma, lung cancer and COPD. It’s also been linked to an increased risk of strokes and heart disease.

Although those with a lung condition are more likely to be affected, anyone can be susceptible to side effects as a result of indoor air pollution. Children are also more at risk, as their lungs are still developing - their airways are smaller, so inflammation can cause them to narrow more easily than adults.

Symptoms of poor indoor air quality include irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, coughing and sneezing, and sinus congestion. The best way to tell if your home is causing your symptoms is to keep an eye on how you’re feeling after a few hours out of the house. If you’re feeling better, it’s likely to be your house doing the damage.

Breathing in dust inside

Here’s some examples of things in your home that produce air pollution

How can I reduce my indoor air pollution?

The best way to quickly and safely reduce levels of indoor air pollution is to invest in reliable, efficient ventilation.

Opening windows throughout the night and day is one solution, but it will also make your home cold, and small openings won’t do much on a still day. Extractor fans are also effective in removing warm, humid air, but let out heat. They also only remove the air from a home and don’t replace it.

Mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) units are the perfect solution - they ensure that your home has a constant stream of fresh, warm air, while removing polluted air from the property at the same time. Not only that, but they also use the extracted air to warm the air that the system draws into the house, protecting the energy efficiency of your central heating.

The system works by extracting moist, stale air from the home and replacing it with fresh air from outside via a duct network. These ducts bring in clean air from outdoors, passing via a heat exchanger to warm it up on its way in.

The clever central unit will automatically control and monitor the air quality within the home, making any adjustments necessary to ensure that there is a continuous stream of ventilated air at all times in your property. Not only will it remove the pollutants, it’ll also remove any infectious particles along with it - helping to reduce illnesses and air-related symptoms in one go.


Thinking of investing in MVHR? Get in touch with our team of experts today for no-obligation consultation - we’d love to hear from you!

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