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Don’t join the fan club

Imagine eight one-litre bottles lined up on your kitchen bench and filled with water. Pour the water into a big pot, place on the stove with no lid, and boil until all the water has turned to steam.

That’s the amount of moisture generated every day inside a typical New Zealand home.

It’s invisible but that doesn’t mean it has no effect. A moist atmosphere is what’s needed for germs and dust mites to thrive. Moisture also encourages the growth of mould on walls, ceilings and clothes inside wardrobes. The everyday dampness inside New Zealand homes turns out to be a big contributor to health issues.

You don’t have to boil up eight litres of water to cause a problem. Simply showering, cooking, drying clothes, and even breathing, is enough to keep your home permanently damp. The winter season, when doors and windows are kept tightly shut, only makes the problem worse.

What are your best tools for tackling dampness?

Excessive moisture is now recognised as a potential health risk inside older New Zealand homes. That’s why many building regulations require the installation of fans for extracting moisture. These are typically placed inside the rooms that generate the most moisture – bathrooms, laundries and kitchens. However, old-fashioned bathroom and kitchen extractor fans may not be enough.

For a start, they rely on humans to turn them on or off. Relying on the habits of people living in the house may not be an adequate way to ensure healthy ventilation.

Our recommendation is to steer clear of the fan club. There’s a much smarter way of ensuring a house remains free of dampness.

A modern home ventilation system such as i-vent will replace all the air in your house several times an hour. It takes dry air from the roof cavity, pumps it through a high-grade filter to remove allergens and dust, and then directs the fresh, clean air through a series of vents inside your living spaces.

This creates positive air pressure inside the house to drive out moisture, dust mite droppings, pollen, toxic pollutants and other nasties.

It’s a much more holistic solution to the problems caused by an unventilated home. Why extract damp air from a few rooms when with proper ventilation fans, you can have fresh, dry air flowing into every room of your home?

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