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116 posts

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  #794910 8-Apr-2013 11:41

I am renting as well and we got a dehumidifier 3 years ago and had no more issues with mould/mildew the last 2 winters in our bedroom. So yes I can recommend one if you dont have the ability to renovate and insulate.

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  #794915 8-Apr-2013 11:46
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Dehumidifiers can be a good solution, though they can be a bit loud. They're treating the symptoms, not the cause. Plastic ground sheets under my house removed most of the need for a dehumidifier, along with better drainage around the property.

 
 
 
 


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  #794916 8-Apr-2013 11:48
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timmmay: 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.


http://www.consumer.org.nz/reports/recessed-downlights/downlights-downside




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


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  #794920 8-Apr-2013 11:50
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Four 125mm light Closed Abutted (CA) rated fittings mean you need 287% more heat to keep your house warm. That's insane.

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  #794925 8-Apr-2013 11:55
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we sort of went throught he same process with our current house, when i moved in it had a fireplace and heat pump in the lounge and no insulation anywhere. house was cold, hard to heat, lost heat quick and condensation everywhere. we mainly use the heat pump to heat as it is more convenient but would occasionally use the fireplace in the weekend
what we did was
- put pink batts in the roof, huge difference right away in ambient temperature
- put expol under floor insulation in bathroom and toilet, made the tiles a bit more bareably. hated installing it so havent done the rest of the house and think it might be cheaper to do it myself than going the grant route
- put strips around the wooden windows. helped stop some draughts but not as much a difference as other things
- installed a ventilation system from www.weiss.co.nz. after talking to the sparky reseller i was able to install the system myself after he installed a power point in the roof. ended up costing around $1900 for a 4 vent system. all the condensation dissapeared quickly after and the house takes less to heat.
We could have got add-ons for the system like a heat transfer kit, duct warmer or a fresh air kit. The heat transfer kit wouldnt have helped us much with the heat pump as you will loose a couple of degrees on the air between rooms. the sparky advised against the duct warmer as it isnt very efficient and is on constantly whent he temperature drops below 13C

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  #794936 8-Apr-2013 12:28
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freitasm: 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.


Our house is also 1950s. Do you have a vapour barrier on the bare ground to help stop rising damp? I should get around to doing one some day, as I know the ground under our house is really damp. I'd also like to insulate the external facing bedroom walls before this winter.




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  #794947 8-Apr-2013 12:32
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The ground is pretty dry. We have insulation done with a wool mat/foil barrier that "covers" the whole bottom of the house.




 

 

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  #794958 8-Apr-2013 12:55
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timmmay:

Four 125mm light Closed Abutted (CA) rated fittings mean you need 287% more heat to keep your house warm. That's insane.


So what do we do if we have downlights? I have no idea if mine are the really inefficient type but they use oversized bulbs (not the powersaving type) and I'm not even sure if I can replace with CFL 




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  #794959 8-Apr-2013 12:57
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Replacing with CFL wouldn't help your heating efficiency. The best easy option is to replace them with insulation cover rated LED fittings, which are $55 - $80 each. Another option is to fill in the holes and replace them with standard ceiling dome type lights, which is what I did, because a couple of years ago there were no IC rated LED downlights.

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  #794962 8-Apr-2013 13:07
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timmmay: Replacing with CFL wouldn't help your heating efficiency. The best easy option is to replace them with insulation cover rated LED fittings, which are $55 - $80 each. Another option is to fill in the holes and replace them with standard ceiling dome type lights, which is what I did, because a couple of years ago there were no IC rated LED downlights.


On the Consumer article on guy suggested this: 


Thankyou consumer for 'at last' bringing attention to the public of a major problem of heat loss through recessed lights. We are involved with insulating homes for 20 years. Sadly about 80% of lights fitted into older homes are of poor quality. As a company we have been covering lights with large 10 litre buckets inverted over the lights with the insulation abutted to the sides. The results are quite dramatic in some cases. The buckets barely get warm over extended periods. At a cost of $1.00 a very cheap solution to a major heat loss problem. Further to your testing, there is the dynamic of strong outside winds which lower the ceiling pressures forcing air at considerable force up through the downlights especially if a window or door is opened to the outside. This has been evidenced quite dramatically in Newlands, Wellington. In summer the reverse happens with heat being driven downwards into the living space. Phil


Not sure if that is safe or not though, perhaps a ceramic pot would be safer.. 




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  #794967 8-Apr-2013 13:21
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I suspect covering the lights is illegal, and unsafe. Plus while it will stop air movement it's not insulation, so while better than nothing it's not as good as it could be. Replacing the fittings is a lot more expensive, but would be more effective and give piece of mind you're not going to burn the house down and leave yourself without insurance coverage.

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  #794968 8-Apr-2013 13:22
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As someone rightly pointed out the cheapest and best option for you as a renter is to simply move to the newest and warmest house you can find.

Also please dont under estimate the health negatives a damp home can have.




 


The force is strong with this one!

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  #794972 8-Apr-2013 13:24
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Wondering how much something like these would be to get installed:
http://www.superlux.co.nz/products/?id=343&product=1272




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


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Master Geek


  #794975 8-Apr-2013 13:27
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stefankrz: we sort of went throught he same process with our current house, when i moved in it had a fireplace and heat pump in the lounge and no insulation anywhere. house was cold, hard to heat, lost heat quick and condensation everywhere. we mainly use the heat pump to heat as it is more convenient but would occasionally use the fireplace in the weekend
what we did was
- put pink batts in the roof, huge difference right away in ambient temperature
- put expol under floor insulation in bathroom and toilet, made the tiles a bit more bareably. hated installing it so havent done the rest of the house and think it might be cheaper to do it myself than going the grant route
- put strips around the wooden windows. helped stop some draughts but not as much a difference as other things
- installed a ventilation system from www.weiss.co.nz. after talking to the sparky reseller i was able to install the system myself after he installed a power point in the roof. ended up costing around $1900 for a 4 vent system. all the condensation dissapeared quickly after and the house takes less to heat.
We could have got add-ons for the system like a heat transfer kit, duct warmer or a fresh air kit. The heat transfer kit wouldnt have helped us much with the heat pump as you will loose a couple of degrees on the air between rooms. the sparky advised against the duct warmer as it isnt very efficient and is on constantly whent he temperature drops below 13C


We did a similar process (twice...) First house pink batts in the roof. Put the highest R-value ones you can afford in. Here in Christchurch we put R5 in the ceiling and then covered all the joins with the old insulation, we can no longer see the joisting in the roof, makes it hard to easily walk around up there now.
Under floor put down a ground sheet first, reduces the moisture and makes it easier to move around under the house.
First house we used expol, pain in the .... if your joist are not all the same size, and you don't have much room under the house to roll over and make the cuts. Two weeks after I finished  underfloor insulation we had the Christchurch earthquake, and 6 months later red zoned...
Second house we did the same in the ceiling (moved all the insulation from our old house, messy dusty job, even worse job getting it into the roof of the new house as it was no longer in compressed bags. Under floor we ended up using Terra Lana. Much easier and quicker to install (just a staple gun, watch for wires) and a higher R value.

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  #794976 8-Apr-2013 13:31
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rossmnz: As someone rightly pointed out the cheapest and best option for you as a renter is to simply move to the newest and warmest house you can find.

Also please dont under estimate the health negatives a damp home can have.


+1.  If you're renting and the house is overly damp then get out.  You'd most likely easily spend the same or more money running dehumidifiers and additional heaters etc than you would paying a bit more each week. 

Heating and ventilation are usually opposites that you have to balance in the most economical way possible.  ie you've had no condensation issues if you lived in a drafty stick hut, but it would cost a bomb to heat.  Likewise if you just seal up a house and insulate it, then heating should be fairly cheap, but moisture will quickly become an issue.  If you're renting it's often rather hard to make some of the fundamental changes required to achieve a healthy home.

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