John Bradley, managing director of Homevent, a division of Elta Fans
Yesterday, under the Green Homes Grant, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said families will receive vouchers of up to £5,000 for energy-saving changes, such as insulation or a new boiler, with the poorest getting up to £10,000.
In light of this, John Bradley, managing director of Homevent, a division of Elta Fans, has urged homeowners and contractors to consider the provision of adequate ventilation as part of any thermal improvements works under this new government scheme.
“Anything that helps reduce heat losses and carbon emissions from a home has to be welcomed. However, new or additional insulation and more airtight windows can reduce the natural ventilation in a property to the point where it creates an environment conducive to mould growth and increased pollutant levels.”
With the new scheme expected to see work start in many homes during what will be the UK’s next “condensation season”, Mr Bradley expects many homeowners to find that they have condensation dampness problems the following year if ventilation is not properly considered and incorporated.
“I would expect to see many homeowners that benefit from warmer homes and lower bills having to face some undesirable unintended consequences of thermal improvements in the form of mould and poor indoor air quality if they don’t address ventilation as part of thermal improvement works,” he added.
The provision of a low energy mechanical ventilation system that can complement thermal improvements need not cost the earth. “In the vast majority of homes with little or no existing purpose-provided ventilation measures, a modern low energy ventilation system that will ventilate the whole property, can cost as little as £700-1,000. This would include the home survey and system design, supply, installation and commissioning and also notification of the system installed to the local building control body,” says Mr Bradley. “Many will agree that is a small extra price to pay for a warm, energy efficient and healthy home.”