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Lofty whole home ventilation system - any good?

Discussion in 'Building' started by kevin_robson, 12 Nov 2007.

  1. kevin_robson

    kevin_robson

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    Thanks for that Paul. Yeah, I think ours is worse than we thought. We had some shoes under the bed in a rack that are now covered in mould, and inspection behind wardrobes shows the same. That said, we've been doing far too much drying of clothes in the house (babies!). A new tumble dryer is being ordered this weekend - will do the simple stuff first.

    House is not great in many respects either - no trickle vents on double glazing, no airbricks.

    My parents installed a lofty in their rented house and swear by it, but like you I was after multiple positive reviews. When I posted originally (I think I asked this question twice) I got a few negative answers and that put me off.
    But I did also hear the reply 'never heard one not cure the problem' so I suppose it depends who you speak to.

    Would appreciate hearing how you get on in a few weeks. Thanks
     
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  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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    a washing line, maybe?
     
  4. stuart45

    stuart45

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    The relative humidity can be lower than 70% and you can still get condensation. It depends on whether the walls surface is below the dew point.
     
  5. PaulWin

    PaulWin

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    Hi Stuart, yes I'm sure that's true, I guess 70% is just a rough guideline to the kind of humidity levels at which condensation can start to become an issue.

    Hi Kevin, the point I was making is that I think there's a common misconception that if you raise the internal temperature, all will be OK, but of course this is incorrect because all else being equal the humidity levels will still be high, perhaps higher, and cold surfaces will always exist for condensation to bead on, to some extent. #1 priority has to be reducing the amount of moisture introduced to the house from sources like bathrooms and wet clothes drying. We now ensure the bathroom door remains closed with window open and extractor fan on for as long as it takes for all the air to be dry. Simple stuff but it makes a big difference. #2 priority is ventilation, and this is where the Lofty comes in. I will let you know how it goes once installed.

    Cheers,
    Paul.
     
  6. weseeyou

    weseeyou

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    you need to have a Surveyor carry out a full survey of your property to identify the full nature and causes of the problem. your clothes drying is probably the root cause.
    Think about where all the water from your wet clothes is going!
    Secondly you clearly have inadequate ventilation. I did a snagging recently on a block of flats and most of the flats were showing significant condensation and mould problems within 6 months of use because of lack of ventilation.

    You need to kill that mould ,(ordinary bleach will work fine) because it is sporing all the time. Throw away everything that is contaminated or it will just keep spreading throughout the property.
     
  7. PaulWin

    PaulWin

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    Hi Kevin et al,

    I promised to provide some feedback once the Lofty system was installed. I installed it myself about 1 month ago, though I used a qualified electrician to wire it up. Installation was easy and took 3 hours all said by the time I had cleared up and made good the seal between the body of the unit and the ceiling.

    Results were immediate. Condensation on internal windows is massively reduced, virtually eliminated, especially in the problem bedrooms which are closet to the location of the Lofty (end of hallway). Concurrently we re-decorated the end bedroom and scrubbed away all remaining traces of mould and so far there is no sign of it returning (early days).

    My concern about cold air entering the house was a valid one. The temperature at the end of the hallway is significantly colder, however this is akin to opening a window for a few hours to ventilate the house, and for us it's a good trade-off to feel we have fresh air in the house and much reduced condensation. Of particular benefit was leaving the Lofty operating when we went away on holiday for 2 weeks, coming back to a dry, fresh home (albeit a bit cold!).

    I can certainly recommend the Lofty as one part of an overall approach to tackling condensation damp and mould through improved ventilation, heating and reduction of the moisture we introduce into our home.

    Regards,
    Paul.
     
  8. meemee

    meemee

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    HI. I have just been searching the internet for any info on the lofty. Your comments are great and it puts my mind at rest a bit more knowing that the product that i am paying loads of money for will actually work. I have just moved to a very old bungalow which is riddled with damp and as well as having all the damp course done i have been advised to have one of these systems put in. As you can imagine, what with the normal condensation plus the whole of our house being replastered the water is so deep we could swim in it!!!! thanks for all the useful comments and actually posting back to let everyone know how you got on.
    meemee x
     
  9. rocky_robin

    rocky_robin

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    This is the topic that I'm looking for.

    I stay in a 1890 Granite croft and it suffers from condensation on both top bedroom windows. They are uPVC that was fitted around 1993.

    My wife is starting to nag me about getting new windows put in, cause she thinks this is the answer and as soon as a saleman talks to her, she is sold!
    I'm just starting to look at these systems too.

    Re the cold air, what about the Heat Recovery System? They are expensive, but so are new windows!
    http://www.screwfix.com/search.do;j...CCSTHZOCFGA?_dyncharset=UTF-8&fh_search=56776
     
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  11. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    The probelm with a whole house ventilation installation is that you need to run the ducting around the house. A possitive pressure fan system will not require this.

    Double glazed windows do nothing to remove condensation. Condensation may no longer show on the windows, but the moisture will still be in the air and will most likely condense on the next coldest surface
     
  12. rocky_robin

    rocky_robin

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    What do you mean by positive pressure?

    Kevin / Paul, whats the age of you homes?

    Mines was designed to be draughty, so I'm trying to draught proof everything, without damaging the house in the future, by looking at ventilation systems.

    I also noticed that we don't have vents on the windows. I'll be trying that cheaper alternative first.
     
  13. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    The units discussed in this thread are positive pressure fans.

    You need gaps, cracks holes etc for ventilation. Draughts are different to ventilation
     
  14. cods

    cods

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    Anyone know whether a lofty fan gets better results than the nuaire drimaster model.

    Also anyone know of installers/suppliers of either in the south east/buckinghamshire?

    Many thanks
     
  15. granshaz

    granshaz

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    Hi, i have a lofty installed, for years i have had to use a dehumidifier, i had black mold in the winter on walls, i had a survey and it was down to condensation, i had a lofty fitted and now i don't have any condensation at all, i have lived with condensation for over 20 years until the lofty. The only drawback i have is, its fitted in the hallway upstairs, and it can be a little cold in winter on the stairs and hallway, whereas rest of the house is warm. I once did turn it off for a few hours so the hall and stairs wouldn't be so cold, omg, condensation was running down the kitchen walls, i had forgotton just how bad it was in my house. Never again will i turn it off, in summer it turns itself off, only comes on when there is too much moisture in the home. I hope my info has helped.
     
  16. Chidders

    Chidders

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    Hi there, we run a student house in cornwall and yes, they all dry their clothes indoors 'cos they can't/won't pay for electricity! so, does the Lofty work? Currently we have mould in some of the bedrooms despite de humidifiers and open windows, if it works by circulating air, will it still work if the students generally keep their individual bedroom doors shut?
     
  17. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    These systems will only work with associated vents, and action to reduce the production of condensation in the first place.

    It is not some magical cure which will stop the problem just by being fitted
     
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