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407 posts

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  #795548 9-Apr-2013 12:32
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leo0787sx: We are in Christchurch so one of the colder areas, it wasn't too bad this morning but I still had to wipe the windows. I guess I'm clueless due to the face I'm from the UK, I miss radiators :(

Most rooms have blinds and curtains, some only blinds, wheere we can we have both closed to try and keep warmth / stop condensation.

Kitchen has an extractor fan on the hub

The bathroom has one of those light fans but it seems to do a good enough job as there's only two of us.

The main room (living and kitchen) has an aircon

Main Bedroom has a small eco heater

No wall or ceiling insulation and probably no special light fittings.

Clothes are outside unless it rains otherwise in the main room with a window open - have thought about getting a dryer

All rooms have a gap under the door and windows leaked. Should we cover the bottom of the doors and close and seal the windows instead?

Landlord has said they are happy to buy a dehumidifier around a few $100 so looked at: http://www.noelleeming.co.nz/shop/heating-cooling/dehumidifiers/sheffield-pl420-dehumidifier/prod46101.html which we would put in the corridor to work on the 3 bedrooms and bathroom probably an hour before bed and an hour when we get up? Would this work?

Thank you for all the help guys, really appreciate it.


Anyone got any answers to the dehumidifier? :)

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  #795552 9-Apr-2013 12:36
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A dehumidifier will reduce the moisture, though $100 is very cheap and I'm not sure how effective it'd be. Probably a lot better than nothing. Two hours a day probably won't have a huge effect, I'm guessing.

 
 
 
 




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  #795567 9-Apr-2013 12:39
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timmmay: A dehumidifier will reduce the moisture, though $100 is very cheap and I'm not sure how effective it'd be. Probably a lot better than nothing. Two hours a day probably won't have a huge effect, I'm guessing.


I mean't a few $100, the one I linked is $200. I just don't know enough about them, how long to leave it on, how much electricity it uses, will it work etc. I guess I mainly want to take the moisture out of the air to help reduce damp/condensation around the bedroom / bathroom so on a night after bath then in the morning when waking up for a couple of hours?

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  #795571 9-Apr-2013 12:44
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Do some research on dehumidifiers - $100 is way too cheap and probably not going to be of much benefit. Running it for two one-hour periods won't be enough. At the beginning of each winter in my place I run a dehumidifier continually, moving it around the house, until the humidity comes down to acceptable levels, then I maintain this. Most days this means running for 3-4 hours.  Moisture isn't just in the air - its in curtains, bedding, carpets, etc. When initially bringing the humidity levels down you might be shocked at how much water the dehumidifier collects. 


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  #795595 9-Apr-2013 13:00
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Ah ok, deceptive language.

Dehumidifiers use around 300W, which means they cost 8c/hr to run when they're on full power. You'll need to run it maybe 12h/day, at least initially, so figure around $30/month.

Most heat pumps have a dehumidify function, which keeps the room temperature about the same by cycling between heating and cooling. If you already have one of those a portable dehumidifier may be redundant.

The question is where is all your moisture coming from? It could just be coming from people breathing. If you can eliminate that you'll have a much drier house ;)

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  #795598 9-Apr-2013 13:02
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One thing nobody has mentioned - don't over-insulate old houses. It's easy to think that more insulation = more warmth however houses also need to breathe and old houses can have some serious moisture problems if their ventilation is changed. 

 


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  #795600 9-Apr-2013 13:08
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timmmay: 
The question is where is all your moisture coming from? It could just be coming from people breathing. If you can eliminate that you'll have a much drier house ;)


I've discovered the down side to having a moisture barrier under the house. A water pipe (only two years old) failed and we didn't notice it until the water was running from one end of the house to the other. The soil was so dry that it may have been broken for awhile before the ground was so sodden it started running along the surface. The pipe was buried and was right next to the edge of the underfloor barrier. It was fixed yesterday but now, not only is the ground under the entire house oozing water, the moisture barrier has a lake on top of it. Just as the barrier will stop water coming up so does it stop water draining away. 

Needless to say, the house is pretty cold and damp right now :-( 

 
 
 
 




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  #795640 9-Apr-2013 14:09
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timmmay: Ah ok, deceptive language.

Dehumidifiers use around 300W, which means they cost 8c/hr to run when they're on full power. You'll need to run it maybe 12h/day, at least initially, so figure around $30/month.

Most heat pumps have a dehumidify function, which keeps the room temperature about the same by cycling between heating and cooling. If you already have one of those a portable dehumidifier may be redundant.

The question is where is all your moisture coming from? It could just be coming from people breathing. If you can eliminate that you'll have a much drier house ;)


The main condensation is overnight in the 3 bedrooms but only 1 slept in, which is the worse of the three. Our Aircon has a 'Dry' function so guessing this would act as a Dehumidifier, the problem is it is in the living/kitchen area, we would have to leave the doors open and the pets are in this area.

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  #795658 9-Apr-2013 14:38
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leo0787sx: The main condensation is overnight in the 3 bedrooms but only 1 slept in, which is the worse of the three. Our Aircon has a 'Dry' function so guessing this would act as a Dehumidifier, the problem is it is in the living/kitchen area, we would have to leave the doors open and the pets are in this area.


If the doors are all open then it's probably just your breathing. Try closing the doors, if they still get a lot of condensation then either you're producing a lot of moisture or it's rising up through the floor. If it's through the floor then a ground sheet would help.



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  #795675 9-Apr-2013 15:01
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timmmay:
leo0787sx: The main condensation is overnight in the 3 bedrooms but only 1 slept in, which is the worse of the three. Our Aircon has a 'Dry' function so guessing this would act as a Dehumidifier, the problem is it is in the living/kitchen area, we would have to leave the doors open and the pets are in this area.


If the doors are all open then it's probably just your breathing. Try closing the doors, if they still get a lot of condensation then either you're producing a lot of moisture or it's rising up through the floor. If it's through the floor then a ground sheet would help.


The doors are closed overnight but there's a gap as there's used to be carpets before the floors. There is no body in the other 2 bedrooms, which get condensation. I was mainly thinking if its happening overnight to put the dehumidifier on when we are home from work and then off overnight and back on in the morning and off before work.

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  #795682 9-Apr-2013 15:06
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Well warm air naturally absorbs more moisture than cold air, so it could be natural and almost unavoidable. I would be looking for the source though, water can't be magic'd out of thin air, it has to come from somewhere.

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  #795684 9-Apr-2013 15:15
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How do you put a moisture barrier under the house?




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


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  #795685 9-Apr-2013 15:16
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lokhor: How do you put a moisture barrier under the house?


It can be difficult, and can be a horrible job. I had insulation guys do it. For me it was thick rolls of plastic, rolled out, staked down, and taped to piles.

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  #795719 9-Apr-2013 16:26
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L
Elpie: One thing nobody has mentioned - don't over-insulate old houses. It's easy to think that more insulation = more warmth however houses also need to breathe and old houses can have some serious moisture problems if their ventilation is changed. 

 



What is your reasoning behind this? Houses don't have lungs, they don't need to breathe. Old houses generally have similar basic construction to the most common modern construction.

Insulating walls will make the cladding cooler and therefore a bit wetter but as long as the correct methods are used it is fine. In NZ type climates the greatest moisture infiltration danger to walls is from the exterior anyway.

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  #795766 9-Apr-2013 18:23
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Give me a drafty old 1950's house with the price of 1950's firewood - condensation gone.

I've got a dehumidifier, but I gave up on that, more mold and other problems with coughing and allergies started in this house with a dehumidifier and heat-pump. I use the dehumidifier now for drying cloths in the bathroom only, dries the cloths, the air, and leaves the heat from the running compressor in the air so the bathroom isn't chilly in the morning. Most dehumidifiers only put their capacity rating out in a 24 hour period in about a 29 degree heated home. So bear in mind, lots of litres a day is needed to get maybe 4-6 litres of actual moisture removed.

I still prefer flued combustion that takes air from inside which technically is a waste of heated air already, but draft/ventilation and heat are needed to combat condensation. It removes the moisture while heating what's left at the same time.

If you can afford it, a heat-pump and heat recovery ventilation unit - as in an air to air heat exchanger, not a roof air or element heated ventilation system is the way to go. If you take air from outside that's already really cold and heat it up on the way in (use the heat from the inside air being taken out givenit's warm enough) it lowers the "relative" humidity and makes the air drier (again this is all relative depending on temp, pressure, moisture, can't have one without the other two).

Unfortunately, the more homes are insulated, the less they breathe so you have to ventilate or dehumidify the tighter the house with a source of moisture in it, ie: humans.

Another thing to bear in mind is how often do you heat? I find having a good heat source 24 hours a day can also solve some moisture problems. NZ needs to be like Canada where they have gas furnaces running day and night in Winter. Having a heat-pump always left on but turned down more at night helps, or a good fire that isn't allowed to go out over winter or has good fire bricks in it to keep warm over night. As your home heats up, moisture is drawn out from soft funishings  or carpets etc... by evaporation. If you let the place cool to much over night the moisture has no option but to condensate on cool surfaces or the excess moisture vapour gets reabsorbed by the now dried out soft furnishings and the process repeats. That's why ventilation and heating go hand and hand, get it warm, then get it dry (might take a day or two) and keep it warm so the moisture stays in the air not the furniture, and ventilate to swap the higher humidity for lower humid air.

I'm not affiliate in anyway with home heating/ventilation products or companies. I strong recommend avonelectric products, aka cleanaire.co.nz air to air heat recovery units, not just a pretty label like HRV, which for a while was still just damp cold roof air in Winter. I'm firmly against roof space air or possitive pressure units that push moist air in to walls where it's likely to condensate worse and the damage = $$$.




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