Beama provides guidance on avoiding indoor air quality problems associated with fabric improvements.

Making improvements to your properties to improve its energy efficiency under schemes such as the Green Deal has numerous benefits such as keeping warm air in and lowering energy usage. An important consideration however, when making these improvements is ensuring your property is adequately ventilated.

Beama a trade organisation with a vision to be visible and recognised in the UK and across Europe as the “independent Expert Knowledge Base and Forum” for the Electrotechnical industry, has written a guidance document for those looking to introduce fabric improvements as part of the green deal.

The document, The Green Deal, Avoiding Indoor Air Quality Problems Associated with Fabric Improvements, How to avoid degradation of building fabric and health issues caused by inadequate ventilation, is a must read for anyone considering Green Deal improvements to a property. To download the document click here or to find out more information visit www.beama.org.uk.

Nuaire are pleased to offer many cost effective solutions to provide adequate ventilation for properties undertaking energy improvements, and more information can be found on our Residential area of our website, to find out more click here.

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£125M Green Deal Cashback Scheme Opens

Householders who use the Green Deal to make improvements such as loft insulation, solid wall insulation and new heating systems can qualify for the £125m Green Deal Cashback scheme that opened yesterday.

The more work households decide to have done, the more cash they receive with packages that could be worth over £1,000 on offer.

To qualify for the Cashback Scheme households need to book a Green Deal property assessment so they are then ready to have improvements installed under Green Deal from the 28th of January 2013. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey has advised that allocation is done on a first come first serve basis and recommends households get in early.

For more information on the Cashback Scheme click here or for more information on the Green Deal and other Green Improvement initiatives, visit Nuaire’s knowledge section of our website.

Nuaire recommends when making energy improvements to your home consideration is given to ensuring your home is adequately ventilated. There are numerous benefits to making energy improvements to properties. Warm air is kept in, lowering energy usage which is good for the environment whilst also helping to reduce energy bills. However, the impact of making properties more air tight is the reduction in natural ventilation.

Everyday activities such as washing, cooking and even sleeping produce around two litres of moisture per person, per day! Energy improvements, such as external insulation, result in minimal air leakage meaning there are fewer gaps within your property for the moisture to escape through and as a result condensation dampness can start to form.

Condensation dampness can not only damage properties with mould growth but are also damaging to the health of occupants. When undertaking energy improvements it is imperative that you eliminate the possibility of condensation dampness and consider how best to adequately ventilate your property. Find out more about Nuaire’s cost effective solutions by clicking here

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Indoor Air Quality - The Next Big Issue In Housing

In an interview for Housebuilder & Developer, Marketing Director Andy Mudie explains how to avoid getting all choked up about indoor air quality.

After years of improvements in social housing driven by ‘affordable warmth’ and a desire to improve the quality of the UK’s leaky housing stock, a new potential major issue is taking over as the main ‘bet noire’ of the residential housing arena across the UK. Indoor air quality.

In very simple terms, housing across the UK has been given acres of insulation to stop heat leaking out of these homes so that properties are warmer and cost less to heat. But by sealing them so efficiently, we have stopped air getting in and out of homes with a subsequent rise in problems arising from humidity, mould and condensation. The problem has moved from heating deficiencies to ventilation deficiencies.

Rather than address these issues head on, there is a tendency to do so retrospectively and address the problems when they arise rather than to anticipate the issues and integrate a solution up front, and the resultant problem is more often than not attacked with individual extractor fans, which are not the best way of dealing with whole house ventilation and improved air quality.

We’re in the ‘condensation season’ which tends to run from September to February each year. It’s all down to outside moisture levels and at the first cold snap experienced across the UK, condensation issues begin to raise their ugly heads.

On the positive side of things there is growing public awareness of the need for better indoor air quality and a growing realisation that in some cases the quality of air indoors can be worse than that outdoors. For new build homes, it could be about providing filtration on its systems at the entry level to a property – filtering the incoming air at the grille on the outside of the home. Particularly in urban areas, the levels of toxins – in particular nitrogen dioxide and particulates from heavy traffic – can cause havoc with those susceptive to asthma and other breathing related issues. So as well as filtering the air when it is circulating in a home, they are looking at filtering it on entry.

For existing properties, it’s about having a retrofit solution that is not intrusive so options such as positive input ventilation (PIV) works well here.

Indoor air pollutants are potentially important but the extent to which they affect health is not fully known. However in today’s sealed homes – with double glazing, better insulation and much reduced opportunities for indoor air to escape, it’s clear they play a huge role in the indoor air quality that millions of people in this country are subjected to. Strangely, there is currently no single government department with ownership of this issue – and that is something that has to change if it’s to be taken as seriously as it should be. Heating and cooking appliances and environmental tobacco smoke are the most important indoor sources of pollution in UK homes, and that’s before the effects of external air quality problems comes into play. The main health effects of poor indoor air quality are the same as poor external air quality – to the lungs and heart. And of course children and those who are already ill are most at risk from poor air quality, wherever it is experienced.

Sadly, many people take indoor air quality for granted. It’s clear that people would not drink brown water from a tap in the kitchen as it’s visibly dirty, yet what is the condition of the air that you are breathing right now?

One of the challenges of attacking air quality issues is that there is no definition of unacceptable internal air quality. There is no yardstick by which to measure it. It’s possible this may be best practically measured in terms of humidity levels, CO2 levels, VOCs and temperature. But this is an area that needs to be addressed and quickly so that we can inform homeowners and tenants about the quality of air they live in, quickly and simply.

Increasingly we are seeing proper purpose designed ventilation systems being included in new build properties to ensure that the problems associated with poor indoor air quality are addressed. Many of the systems being used currently include heat recovery systems – MVHR systems (Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery) – that, as well as improving air quality, also recover heat from the air being expelled so it can be used to heat the incoming air – offering significant savings on the costs of heating the properties, particularly in the winter months. This offers a win-win situation for the owners and for tenants of social housing and for the operators of public buildings where these systems are used on a commercial scale to improve the air quality of those using the buildings.

It’s clear that addressing indoor air quality is of growing importance and that over the next few years it will be seen as a mainstream issue that requires attention and the installation of good quality ventilation systems – incorporated at the build stage for new build properties and as retrofit options for existing properties where problems are identified. The use of ventilation systems is clearly a less expensive option longer term than the short term fix approach that may be required almost on an annual basis where the problems persist, which will include the need to re-decorate homes and properties that suffer the visually obvious effects of condensation, mould and damp in particular.

It’s an issue that is growing in importance and one that needs urgent attention as studies are suggesting. The age of ventilation as an essential contributor to well-being, is here.

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Bath West Homebuild & Renovation Show 22-23rd November

Self-builders and home improvement enthusiasts can get first-hand advice on the best ventilation strategy for their properties at the forthcoming Somerset Home build & Renovation Show 22-23rd November.

Nuaire’s dedicated Self Build Team will be showcasing a full range of products, including Mechanical Heat Recovery (MVHR), Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) as well our award winning Ductmaster Thermal Ducting which as just won Best Service Product in the Homebuilders Product Award 2014. Self-builders can find out about the best methods of meeting building regulations and ensuring their ventilation strategy is effective and efficient; on improving indoor air quality and solving condensation issues.

Nuaire Design Estimator Aaron Davies explained: “Home build & Renovation Show Somerset will be a great opportunity for home owners to get personalised tips directly from the experts. Visitors to the show can come and discuss their ventilation scheme with us, gain understanding on how the different systems work, see the design service that we can provide and ultimately get a free of charge, fully specified quote for their projects.”

Come and speak to Aaron and his team on stand number 416. For further details of Nuaire’s self-build and retrofit ventilation products you can download our Self Build Brochure or you can visit our website.

Free tickets to the show please contact our Dedicated Self Build team on 029 20858363.

Follow us on Twitter for regular news and advice on self build issues - @NuaireHomes

 

We look forward to seeing you there!

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The Sunday Times Article – Expert Advice how to stop Condensation

Q: I have noticed condensation on my walls, particularly after I cook. How can I prevent this from causing mould?

TL, Clapham 

A:Condensation affects one in five British homes and is formed when warm air comes into contact with a cold surface. Everyday activities such as cooking, boiling the kettle, using hot water in the shower or bath, drying clothes inside or even turning on the heating can contribute to this.

On average, a family of four produces 14 litres (24 pints) of water vapour each day, so keeping a house correctly heated and well ventilated is an important part of preventing condensation. There are six things you could do to address a condensation issue.

 

  1. Ventilate: Where possible, ventilate the house to let the build-up of water vapour escape, particularly if you are drying clothing indoors. If you have double glazing, keep the trickle vents open. When cooking or boiling a kettle in the kitchen, or using hot water in the bathroom, close the doors and put on the extractor fan to stop the moisture entering colder rooms.
  2. Central heating: When you turn on the central heating, heat the whole property at a low heat, rather than leaving some rooms cooler and susceptible to condensation. Yo-yo heating does not warm the fabric of the building or reduce the risk of condensation forming.
  3. Avoid dehumidifiers: Dehumidifiers merely mask the condensation problem and do not address the real cause. They can require frequent emptying and will stop once the collector is full. Moreover, they’re noisy and can be costly to run.
  4. Don’t let condensation settle: If you spot condensation forming, always wipe damp surfaces down. When it is allowed to settle on a surface for more than six hours, it creates the conditions for mould to form.
  5. Regular maintenance: This is key to preventing continuing issues. Identify any problem areas as they occur and seek professional advice to address them immediately: call a surveyor or a condensation, damp or mould specialist. They will be able to evaluate the causes, as every situation is different.
  6. Positive input ventilation: PIV units are sophisticated whole-home ventilation and condensation control units. Surveyors may recommend the installation of a PIV system, which will help to ventilate the building by diluting and displacing the damp air. From installation, the unit gently ventilates the home with fresh air, which is pushed into the house and redistributed. The Drimaster-Eco range starts at £295; allow an extra£100 for installation (nuaire.co.uk).

 

Click here to view Sunday Times artilce 5th February 2016

 

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Nuaire Named Top HVAC Employer

It's official. If you're in the HVAC sector, ventilation manufacturer Nuaire is a great place to work! The company was one of the top performers in Thornhvac’s Best Ventilation Companies to Work For survey. Managing director Mark Huxtable agrees that product quality and innovation are a key factor in attracting good people.

With 100 per cent UK based manufacturing, and a ventilation heritage dating back to 1966, Nuaire is a prominent employer in the UK ventilation industry. Most of its staff are from the local community, which has been shaped by the firm’s presence over several decades.

Huxtable joined Nuaire in 1988 and has been responsible for introducing a strong personal development ethic.

“Because we require high calibre, knowledgeable staff, we believe in training up apprentices and junior staff members,” explains Huxtable.

“The challenge for any manufacturing company is retaining high calibre staff who are keen to fast-track their careers. Where possible we recruit and promote from within to ensure our best people have opportunities for lateral and vertical movement and progression.”

Huxtable believes investment has helped the business thrive through recession and is key to attracting both customers and good sales people.

“We don’t shy away from investment into new product development, our salesforce, our manufacturing facilities and in the latest technology, all of which help us deliver first class service to our customers.

“Through this long-term approach and investment in many facets of the business, Nuaire has attracted and retained a loyal, highly-skilled workforce which is the key attribute that often allows organisations to set themselves apart. We have recently refurbished our offices and named the meeting rooms after eight members of staff that have each served more than 40 years continuous service with the company.”

Huxtable is proud of the fact that there is a family feel to the business, despite its size and profitability.

“Many of our people have worked for the company for over 25 years, some as long as 40 years. Because so many have given decades of service to the company, the spirit of the company is one of solidarity, passion and loyalty. There is no blue-collar/white-collar divide.

“There is also plenty of potential for progression, and many of our senior people have worked in several departments of the company, which gives them invaluable experience and understanding of the business from all aspects.”

In keeping with the survey’s findings he believes Nuaire’s products are a major factor in attracting employees.

“We’re known for innovation and our customers are keen to know what’s next in the pipeline. There is a general buzz in the industry and in the trade press when we unveil a new, high-tech product innovation. That attracts new people to the company as they’re keen to be part of the buzz.”

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