Bathroom Extractor Fans - Fix Your Bathrooms Condensation Issues - 27/03/2018

 

If your home struggles with condensation, you’re certainly not alone. Crying windows and damp walls are a common problem for New Zealand homes, but it’s a problem that can be fixed with proper ventilation, including bathroom and kitchen extractor fans.

 

The Importance of Home Ventilation

With so much of our time spent indoors it makes sense that we want to be as comfortable as possible in our homes year round. Unfortunately for many Kiwis that comfort is often compromised during cool weather due to condensation and the problems that come with it. New Zealand’s wet and humid environment means our homes are vulnerable to condensation, but many are ill-equipped to properly deal with it.

While there are different solutions to ridding your home of damp and condensation, the easiest and most cost efficient way to see results is by having a well ventilated home. With the increase in airflow, ventilation gives the opportunity for stale air to escape and fresh, drier air to get in. This helps your home avoid mould and rot that can appear when surfaces are exposed to condensation.

It’s easy to make ventilation part of your daily routine, and the NZ government even created a simple ventilation checklist to help your home:

  • Open doors and windows to replace stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air
  • Keep bedrooms ventilated a night by keeping windows slightly ajar
  • Ensure your heating is turned off when you ventilate to avoid condensation problems
  • Use extractor fans in high moisture areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundry,

Condensation droplets on window

Having a ventilated home means quick results for condensation, and will help keep your family more comfortable without breaking the bank. Damp and mouldy homes are not just unpleasant to live in, but the ‘flu, fatigue and severe respiratory illness — including asthma — have all been linked to homes with these issues.

While ventilating your home is important for older dwellings, it shouldn’t be overlooked in newer houses either. Although dampness is usually easy to spot in older homes, in newer builds, which are often near airtight, it isn’t always so clear. And without an opportunity for moisture to escape, it could mean that damp grows over time, remaining hidden until it causes real issues.

 

What Is Condensation?

The first step to eliminating the enemy is getting to know it, in order to be aware of how to stop condensation on windows. So what exactly is condensation and what causes condensation on windows and other surfaces?

Condensation is the name of the process in which the state of matter changes from a vapour into a liquid. Condensation happens in our homes because the air inside contains moisture, and when the air condenses it produces liquid.

Warm air holds more moisture than cool air, and when it cools down the water vapour condenses, leading to it to become noticeable on cool surfaces. This is what causes condensation of windows, as well as window sills and walls.

Condensation On Window

However, condensation doesn’t just affect windows and walls. The moisture in your home is also absorbed by carpets, rugs, and furnishings, which leaves them feeling damp, and can cause mould and odour. New Zealand has a real problem with damp homes, with a 2015 BRANZ survey finding that nearly half of the homes surveyed had visible mould.

Condensation, dampness, and mould are a nasty trio and can wreak havoc on your family’s well being. Being exposed to any of these means your body is contending with more factors than it needs to in order to stay healthy, leaving you and your loved ones vulnerable to illness. Dampness and mould in the home have been found to have links to colds, coughs, and fatigue, as well as more serious ailments such as influenza, respiratory infections and rheumatic fever.

Aside from your family’s health, condensation also affects the health of your home. If damp is left over time, it can cause wallpaper and paint to stain and peel, wooden furniture and flooring to warp, and most dangerously it can cause black mould and rot, meaning costly replacements or repairs. Thankfully this is something which can be avoided with the more cost efficient route of ventilation.

 

Main Sources of Condensation in the Home

bathroom - shower head

Condensation happens in all areas of the home, but knowing the most common origin of moisture will help you pinpoint which areas need to be especially well ventilated. The average New Zealand family produces a whopping eight litres of moisture at home every day, just in the course of our daily activities. Here are some common sources:

  • Showering/Bathing - 1.5L per shower/bath
  • Cooking - 3L per day
  • Dishwashing - 1L per wash
  • Sleeping - 4 people produce 1.12L per day
  • Washing Clothes - 0.5L per wash
  • Breathing - 4 people in a house will produce 11L in a 14 hour period
  • Drying Clothes - 5L per wash
  • Gas Heating - 1L per hour

While people produce a significant amount of moisture simply by breathing, you can see that the most moisture-prone areas of the home are the bathroom, laundry, and kitchen. Given they’re the source of so much moisture, these problem rooms need extra help to make sure they don’t contribute to condensation throughout the home. This can be done with laundry, bathroom and kitchen extractor fans.

 

About the Vortex Bathroom Extractor Fan

In rooms like the bathroom or laundry, which are significant sources of moisture, you can aid ventilation with the help of extractor fans such as HRV’s Vortex Bathroom Extractor Fan. The Vortex extractor fan packs a mighty punch, and can extract up to 550m3 of air per hour — believe us, that’s impressive!

The Vortex works by removing the moisture-laden air straight from the source. The fan sits in your roof and takes the moist air from showers and baths and deposits it outside. This ensures the moisture won’t stick around, helping to stop condensation on windows and mirrors, and also the spread of damp throughout the house.

You can even set it to run after you’ve finished in the bathroom or laundry with HRV’s Intelliswitch - perfect when you’re in a rush.

  

About Installation, costs, and guarantees

Family-Home

With BRANZ noting that extract ventilation in kitchens and bathrooms is important to reducing damp and mould, the Vortex Bathroom Extractor Fan makes for a very cost-effective way to manage this all too common problem.

Starting from $613.00 with installation, the Vortex is rated for 30,000 hours and designed and rated for use in wet areas. This reliability and hardiness makes it a great investment in both the comfort and health of your family and home.

The Vortex bathroom extractor fan can also be bundled with the IntelliSwitch system for $715.00 with installation. This extra timer switch means you’re able to run the Vortex even while you’re not there.

If you’re interested in the HRV Vortex, but want to make sure it’s the right choice for you, get in touch with your local HRV team on 0800 478 123 for advice and guidance in choosing the right ventilation system for your home.

References:

White, V & Jones, M. (2017) Warm, dry, healthy? Insights from the 2015 House Condition Survey on insulation, ventilation, heating and mould in New Zealand houses. Retrieved Mar 1, 2018, from https://www.branz.co.nz/cms_show_download.php?id=50335e67bb00f3e0464097be1d4d71ac8a85f6bf

CONTROLLING MOISTURE AND DAMP. (n.d.). Retrieved Mar 1, 2018, from https://www.smarterhomes.org.nz/smart-guides/air-quality-moisture-and-ventilation/controlling-moisture-and-damp/

Ventilation Checklist. (2017). Retrieved Mar 1, 2018, from https://www.energywise.govt.nz/at-home/ventilation/ventilation-checklist/

PREVENT CONDENSATION BY MANAGING THESE SOURCES OF MOISTURE IN YOUR HOME. (12 May, 2017). Retrieved Mar 1, 2018, from  https://www.hrv.co.nz/news/prevent-condensation-manage-these-sources-of-moisture-in-your-home/

Dampness. (2017). Retrieved Mar 1, 2018, from https://www.energywise.govt.nz/at-home/dampness/

Ventilation. (n.d.).  Retrieved Mar 1, 2018, from https://www.smarterhomes.org.nz/smart-guides/air-quality-moisture-and-ventilation/ventilation/


OUT WITH THE MOULD. IN WITH THE NEW. (n.d.). Retrieved Mar 1, 2018, from https://www.hrv.co.nz/ventilation/damp-or-mouldy-home/