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#115815 8-Apr-2013 10:15
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Hello,

As the cold is coming I was wondering if you had any ideas / advice or something I can do to reduce condensation / warm up the house?
Currently we:
  • Leak the windows
  • Use the vent in the kitchen/bathroom
  • Use heating in the bedroom and the air con in the living room
  • Wipe the windows every day
  • Leave doors open leading to the corridor

I still feel like sometimes its a loosing battle as this morning I wiped the condensation from the bedroom but 20 minutes later it was back because it was so cold and we would hate to get mildew / mold.

We were considering renting or buying a Humidifier and our Landlord mentioned putting in some insulation but just wondered if there's anything else. Last year I tried a tip I found, which was to put bubble wrap on the windows to keep them warmer but this just seemed to trap the condensation.

Is there anything we can do? Can we got to our Landlord about it or is it the homeowners responsibility? Thank you for the help,

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  #794867 8-Apr-2013 10:17
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I assume you are using the air con to heat... what temperature are you setting?

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  #794871 8-Apr-2013 10:33
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Reducing condensation and warming up the house are almost opposites, but you can balance them.

Condensation is moist air (produced by bathing, breathing, cooking, etc) hitting cold windows. You solve it by:
- Reducing moisture (extractor fans, DVS systems). These also remove heat unfortunately.
- Reducing the cold windows, basically double glazing or thick curtains that reach the floor and ceiling

I have an old DVS that someone put in before I bought the house, but I only have it on during the day, due to noise. I also don't find it sensible to push cold air into the house when it's cold outside. A heat recover ventilation system (that's a concept not a brand) can warm fresh air coming in from the heat in the air being removed. They'd be ideal. They still cool the air inside, but not near as much.

For a warm house you'll probably want, in about this order:
- Fix any gaps around windows or doors
- Ceiling insulation
- Heating - ideally a ducted heat pump, or multiple heat pumps in the house. The warm air just doesn't move around my house that well, so we have one in each living area and I'll probably put a ducted unit to supply the bedrooms some time. The main thing stopping me is three outdoor units is even uglier than two.
- A vapour barier under the floor, if your house is on piles. This stops moisture coming up from the ground.
- Double glazing (retrofit is fine and costs may $4-8K for a house lot), or thick curtains
- Wall and underfloor insulation. Under floor further prevents moisture coming up

Double glazing cost me about $4K for my living area and bedrooms and reduced condensation by 90%. You have to vent the house well during the day to get rid of the moisture of course.

There's been lots of conversations on geekzone about this, and there's heaps of resources online to help too.

 
 
 
 




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  #794877 8-Apr-2013 10:43
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ubergeeknz: I assume you are using the air con to heat... what temperature are you setting?


Haha yes to heat, usually 30 a night or 20 during the day

timmmay: Reducing condensation and warming up the house are almost opposites, but you can balance them.

Condensation is moist air (produced by bathing, breathing, cooking, etc) hitting cold windows. You solve it by:
- Reducing moisture (extractor fans, DVS systems). These also remove heat unfortunately.
- Reducing the cold windows, basically double glazing or thick curtains that reach the floor and ceiling

I have an old DVS that someone put in before I bought the house, but I only have it on during the day, due to noise. I also don't find it sensible to push cold air into the house when it's cold outside. A heat recover ventilation system (that's a concept not a brand) can warm fresh air coming in from the heat in the air being removed. They'd be ideal. They still cool the air inside, but not near as much.

For a warm house you'll probably want, in about this order:
- Fix any gaps around windows or doors
- Ceiling insulation
- Heating - ideally a ducted heat pump, or multiple heat pumps in the house. The warm air just doesn't move around my house that well, so we have one in each living area and I'll probably put a ducted unit to supply the bedrooms some time. The main thing stopping me is three outdoor units is even uglier than two.
- A vapour barier under the floor, if your house is on piles. This stops moisture coming up from the ground.
- Double glazing (retrofit is fine and costs may $4-8K for a house lot), or thick curtains
- Wall and underfloor insulation. Under floor further prevents moisture coming up

Double glazing cost me about $4K for my living area and bedrooms and reduced condensation by 90%. You have to vent the house well during the day to get rid of the moisture of course.

There's been lots of conversations on geekzone about this, and there's heaps of resources online to help too.


Thanks for the tips, the problem is we want the house warm but I figured warm air holds more moisture thus reducing the chance of condensation?

I would like to implement some of the solutions like double glazing but the problem is we rent and I don;t want to spend money on something that isn't mine :/

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  #794878 8-Apr-2013 10:46
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Yes, lots of talks over the years about condensation, heating, insulation. Search and read some of those.

It's getting cold here in WLG. Our ceiling insulation (pink bats) is at least ten cms thick but someone said is not enough. We have floor insulation (wool with tinfoil stapled to the bottom of house) since the house is around 50cm from the ground. Still, the house is cold.

We did put some draft control tapes around windows and doors. This helped more than anything else. Still the house is cold.

If we heat the house during the day and don't open any doors then we will have condensation, due to cooking, showers, breathing. We shower with the bathroom window open and vent always on, trying to minimise the amount of moisture but there will always be a little bit left behind.

The walls do not have insulation and the windows are single. Perhaps our next work here should be around those two things.

A damp atmosphere will cost more to heat than a dry one. We leave the doors to the deck open to ventilate the house but then any residual heat from the walls and floor are gone literally through the doors.

Hard to keep a balance between heating and drying the environment.

We do have an old DVS here and thought of installing the heated outlets. While not a solution it does heat the incoming air to around 15c which is a lot better than the lower temperature air in the ceiling, but when we asked DVS obviously said "sorry, can't retrofit on this one, need a new one, is gonna cost you this much" which is not what we want to hear. So we use the DVS during the day when it's warm and turn it off at night when it's colder but also probably the period we needed most of dry air.

We do have a heat transfer system from the lounge to the bedrooms and when I checked it's well built with insulated tubes. When the lunge is warm to 20c it can get the bedrooms up a couple of degrees. Not enough to heat but enough to take the chill.

Yes, a losing battle in our 1950s house.




 

 

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  #794885 8-Apr-2013 10:53
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If you renting then your best and cheapest option would be to move to a newer house.

Newer houses are far better insulated and you may even find one that has double glazing, dvs etc ...

Most of the older houses in Wellington have this problem. Its pointless spending money on trying to fix it if you renting. You will find that the money you waist on heating etc can be used towards a better rental.

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  #794888 8-Apr-2013 11:00
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I have a house build in the 1980s with underfloor insulation and I think batts in the ceiling (but unable to confirm) I'm thinking of getting someone to come check out whether my ceiling insulation needs replacing. I think it might be worth looking into double glazing or some cheaper alternative as it has started getting quite cold and had a fair bit of condensation on the windows in the morning the last few days. 




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All comments are my own opinion, and not that of my employer unless explicitly stated.


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  #794889 8-Apr-2013 11:00
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all you really need is good insulation, we have a 1960's house and we have one heat pump for the whole 4 bedroom house (set at 19) and have never had condensation on the windows or having to wipe window sills. We live in Rotorua so it does get cold but the house holds the warmth so well that we dont turn the heat pump on untill 7-8 pm during winter and run it 1-2 hours in the morning and the heat just doesn't escape , miserable in summer though .




Common sense is not as common as you think.


 
 
 
 


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  #794895 8-Apr-2013 11:05
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vexxxboy: all you really need is good insulation, we have a 1960's house and we have one heat pump for the whole 4 bedroom house (set at 19) and have never had condensation on the windows or having to wipe window sills. We live in Rotorua so it does get cold but the house holds the warmth so well that we dont turn the heat pump on untill 7-8 pm during winter and run it 1-2 hours in the morning and the heat just doesn't escape , miserable in summer though .


I have a flued gas heater in the lounge for my place. it heats up the living area well but not the end bedrooms. if I replaced it with a heatpump I think I'd have the same problem unless I put in an HRV or DVS or whatever. 




Solution Architect @Firstgas Group
All comments are my own opinion, and not that of my employer unless explicitly stated.


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  #794896 8-Apr-2013 11:08
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lokhor: I have a flued gas heater in the lounge for my place. it heats up the living area well but not the end bedrooms. if I replaced it with a heatpump I think I'd have the same problem unless I put in an HRV or DVS or whatever. 


You don't want to use the standard HRV or DVS for this as it pushes air into the area. What you want is a heat transfer that sucks air from one room and pumps into another.

Something like this or even this DVS one

Note HRV and DVS may have a similar system offering but you have to be sure you get what you want. They will try and push everything they have...







 

 

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  #794898 8-Apr-2013 11:09
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lokhor: 
I have a flued gas heater in the lounge for my place. it heats up the living area well but not the end bedrooms. if I replaced it with a heatpump I think I'd have the same problem unless I put in an HRV or DVS or whatever. 


A flued gas heater is about the same cost and efficiency to run as a heatpump, so you don't gain much in changing them over, 

If you need more hearing in the end bedrooms, look at seeing if you can get a heatpump installed in the Hall near the nedrooms

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  #794899 8-Apr-2013 11:12
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wellygary:
lokhor: 
I have a flued gas heater in the lounge for my place. it heats up the living area well but not the end bedrooms. if I replaced it with a heatpump I think I'd have the same problem unless I put in an HRV or DVS or whatever. 


A flued gas heater is about the same cost and efficiency to run as a heatpump, so you don't gain much in changing them over, 

If you need more hearing in the end bedrooms, look at seeing if you can get a heatpump installed in the Hall near the nedrooms


That is actually not a bad idea. Whats the average cost of a smallish heatpump including installation? I don't think I can get one before this winter, but perhaps save and get it before next. 




Solution Architect @Firstgas Group
All comments are my own opinion, and not that of my employer unless explicitly stated.


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  #794901 8-Apr-2013 11:16
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Heating even a new house to 30 degrees is massive. We heat to between 20 and 22 degrees when we're in the lounge, at night if it's super cold we leave it set on 16 to 18. We wear warmer clothes in winter inside than in summer.

The big brand DVS suppliers are expensive. I liked Clearnaire when I was looking for a heat recovery ventilation system a while back. Good systems, good prices. I'm not associated with them, and I didn't get one yet.

A DVS does put holes in the ceiling, which affects insulation even when it's off. You can get insulated ducting, which is often just double walled with a small air gap, or you can get proper insulated ducting some places. Proper insulation is better, of course. Heated outlets on a standard DVS are just basic heaters, expensive to run.

The best solution is probably a ducted ventilation system integrated with a heat pump. Mitsubishi Lossnay may do that, maybe. A good heating/ventilation company will be able to help.

10cm of insulation isn't enough. I have 5-10cm of loose fill wool, then some old leftover under floor insulation in places, then at least one 10cm layer of pink batts. In many places I have two layers of pink batts. Old a cold 6 degree night, when the house has been heated to 20 degrees for a few hours, it will be down to 18 degrees in the morning - that's pretty impressive for a 100 year old house.

Gas heaters create moisture as a byproduct of combustion - hydrocarbons burned with oxygen produces H2O and CO2. Even ducted/flued it's not great.

Heat transfer kits can backfire, cutting holes in the ceiling. Plus you need to make sure you use super insulated ducting, otherwise 22 degree air can drop to 18 degree air in the ceiling very easily. If the input's over a fire, which has 50+ degree air that can help a lot more.

Taking the modern fireplace out of my house made it a lot warmer overall. When the fire was on that room was super warm, but it was a hassle. Problem was the gap around the fireplace chimney, cold air just poured in through it. Now it's insulated, heat pump in that room, and it's much more livable.

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  #794902 8-Apr-2013 11:18
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lokhor:
wellygary:
lokhor: 
I have a flued gas heater in the lounge for my place. it heats up the living area well but not the end bedrooms. if I replaced it with a heatpump I think I'd have the same problem unless I put in an HRV or DVS or whatever. 


A flued gas heater is about the same cost and efficiency to run as a heatpump, so you don't gain much in changing them over, 

If you need more hearing in the end bedrooms, look at seeing if you can get a heatpump installed in the Hall near the nedrooms


That is actually not a bad idea. Whats the average cost of a smallish heatpump including installation? I don't think I can get one before this winter, but perhaps save and get it before next. 


As I said above, gas heaters produce water, making condensation worse.

A small heat pump may cost $3k installed. The bigger the heat pump the less it's on, and the more efficiently it can run.

Suggest you look at the fujitsu sleep pump, around $6K ducted to three bedrooms. I heard about it on the radio.

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  #794905 8-Apr-2013 11:22
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timmmay:
lokhor:
wellygary:
lokhor: 
I have a flued gas heater in the lounge for my place. it heats up the living area well but not the end bedrooms. if I replaced it with a heatpump I think I'd have the same problem unless I put in an HRV or DVS or whatever. 


A flued gas heater is about the same cost and efficiency to run as a heatpump, so you don't gain much in changing them over, 

If you need more hearing in the end bedrooms, look at seeing if you can get a heatpump installed in the Hall near the nedrooms


That is actually not a bad idea. Whats the average cost of a smallish heatpump including installation? I don't think I can get one before this winter, but perhaps save and get it before next. 


As I said above, gas heaters produce water, making condensation worse.

A small heat pump may cost $3k installed. The bigger the heat pump the less it's on, and the more efficiently it can run.

Suggest you look at the fujitsu sleep pump, around $6K ducted to three bedrooms. I heard about it on the radio.


I'll have a look into that. May start saving for a good heatpump ducted setup. I have requested some insulation providers to contact me through the EECA  Energywise website so hopefully can get someone to come check out my current state of insulation. Who do I talk to about leaking windows? are there alternatives to doing full double glazing?




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All comments are my own opinion, and not that of my employer unless explicitly stated.


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  #794906 8-Apr-2013 11:29
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Rubber tape from a hardware store helps prevent air coming in around windows and doors. Rubber works better than foam in my experience.

Another thing - most downlights are uninsulated, and cause massive massive heat loss. Heat retention wise they're basically holes in the ceiling. Ideally they need to be replaced with LED units with an IC rating, and have insulation over the top. A Consumer magazine investigation suggests even with "closed" units having four of them in the ceiling can increase heating requirements by 100% - ie 50% more heat loss than if you had insulated downlights or just no downlights.

Don't insulate over non-IC rated downlights, you could start a fire and void your insurance. Even those cone things which you can put over them may not be legal or safe.

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