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50 shades of green: Balance ventilation against insulation improvement

By Michelle Sharp

The overbearing environmental focus of our time has driven efficiency to the core, so much so that it really isn’t worth asking whether something like a product is low energy these days is it? It has become a hygiene factor – its low energy as standard, so it’s just standard full stop.  

I mean the rate at which we are going, we will end up with a washing machine with an AAAAAAAAAA+++++++ rating??

We have also seen the lightening growth of renewable technology applications and take up of government funded grants for individual home insulation improvements, the green deal – renewable heat incentive – it really is fifty shades of green with so many options, grants and ways to improve the efficiency of our homes and stop omitting so many carbon emissions.

Sealing up our homes with insulation makes them warm and cosy and more efficient and saves us money -  and there are many homes and occupants benefiting from this considering the 74% rise of insulation measures in the UK 2008-2012 but there is a however…

Too much insulation can lead to condensation!These home improvements trap in extra moisture than before and the natural pathways of escape start to be removed.   Without sufficient and effective ventilation, these extra layers of insulation mixed with lifestyle and in social housing homes that are not well heated, can lead to increased condensation and mould issues which can have adverse effects on the health of tenants and the building fabric.  Have you heard of Toxic Home Syndrome?

The basic fact is – if you insulate, you must ventilate and just saying a bathroom fan or kitchen fan is present isn't going to cut it anymore.  You need a ventilation strategy to help cure condensation.

If you insulate, you must ventilate!

So where was the ventilation audit or review as part of the insulation programme?  Do you really understand what makes ventilation effective or not?

I know what you are all thinking – ventilation is a means for heat escape – but there must be balance.  Everyone needs to breath, we spend up to 70% of our time indoors – do you want humidity problems in homes and your tenants to have poor indoor air quality?  Is ventilation even considered as part of the green improvements made to a home?

Insulation measures futureproof homes – why not thinking about ventilation in the same way? 

Future proof the internal environment against mould and condensation and humidity issues, but also for the changing circumstances of the home year after year – as tenants move in and the needs of the home change – a flexible and adaptive ventilation solution for all of your housing stock.

We will surely be met with the 51st shade of green very soon – a new initiative or guidance on improving efficiency, just make sure it doesn't turn into green with black spots (not sure it's on trend this year - or any year to say that!)

Remember - Insulation is just one of the many things happening in houses that can lead to high humidity levels, mould and condensation withouth effective ventilation.  Finding the cure to condensation isn't at the bottom or anti-condensation paint.

Our homes are adapting and ventilation needs to as well 


Download your Free Datasheet: Adapting Ventilation to house type will help cure condensation