Impressively OT: Talk to me about dehumidifiers

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  • Impressively OT: Talk to me about dehumidifiers
  • Living in London means that inevitably the flat is a bit damp and mouldy and smells musty at times.

    Last winter I tried to heat the problem room more, but it didn’t make a massive difference – it still felt very damp in the atmosphere. Is an electric dehumidifier the next thing I should try?

    Any other tips? I’m vaguely concerned that the damp/mould will make us ill – reasonable worry?

    trail_rat
    Member

    Very much so . I lived in a damp flat which had 2 dehumidifiers going 24/7 for a year and had all sorts od respiritory issues which miraculously cleared up as soon as i moved out ….l

    It is not something i would tolerate ever again and would be even more strong on opposition if kids were involved.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Open the window.

    Awesome Cougar – top tip.

    Plunge taken. Maeco dehumidifier ordered as moving unfortunately isn’t an option in the short to medium term.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    My point was,

    Poor ventilation is a primary cause of damp, especially if it’s an older building that’s been hermetically sealed by modern building practices like double glazing. Improving ventilation might be a better fix (and considerably cheaper potentially) than running a dehumidifier.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    Open the window.

    Or look into trickle vents maybe.

    I didn’t realise that ‘living in London means that inevitably the flat is a bit damp and mouldy and smells musty at times’, how does that work?

    trail_rat
    Member

    Improving ventilation in our case meant having the noice of a million cars streaming in , hence why the owner and previous occupant had sealed all the vents to stop the noise partly because he is an idiot and partly because the noise was unbearable……

    As i said if your land lords let the flat get damp and smelly your only real option if they are unwilling to make remeadial works is to move.

    Dehumidifier is a sticky plaster

    wolly
    Member

    What about a PIV positive input ventilation? fitted in the loft space, there’s on for faults too have a look at Nuair

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Dehumidifier is a sticking plaster, you need to to find and fix the cause of the problem.

    I have a nu-air in the attic, it’s worked wonders on our damp 1880’s cottage.

    Edukator
    Member

    Having been nagged by Trailrat I’ve improved ventilation with a roof vent and fitted a sling on the bathroom window so it can be left ajar. However, there’s nothing like a dehumidifier to get the bathroom down from a post shower 82% to a normal 65%.

    Autumn is quite damp here in SW France but we still don’t need to heat, the dehumidifier for an hour after showers in the morning means we don’t have to worry about anything getting damp and going mouldy.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    We have invested in one, after a damp house in Killin for 7 years.
    The new house also has an issue for all sorts of reasons (mainly hidden on north facing slope – we have no sun for 3 months a year downstairs).

    A modern dessicating de-humidifier is superb. It costs bobbins to run (I can see how much on energy monitor) and is keeping the house dry. It also helps with the washing drying in winter – much cheaper than a tumble drier…

    konabunny
    Member

    It’s much easier if you can get one with a drainage hose, otherwise you have to keep emptying the tank. Don’t get the smallest capacity (in terms of wattage) as they will always be on. One with a humidistat (it keeps going until it hits a certain humidity) is better because you don’t have to put it on a timer.

    “Open the window” isn’t always very helpful if you don’t want the house to get cold or don’t want to have someone breaking in because you don’t have time to sit around and watch an open window.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    “Open the window”

    We also have the issue of being at the bottom of an old (wet) railway embankment, North facing, overhung by trees and in Scotland of the outside air in the winter having higher relative humidity than indoors! So opening the window allows cold, wetter air in… 😕

    Ours is a biggish tank, humidistat and a ‘turbo’ mode.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    and in Scotland of the outside air in the winter having higher relative humidity than indoors!

    Not nececeraly, colder air has a lower capacity for holding water, if you draw in cold air and warm it up you get really dry air. Same absolute humidity though.

    Couple that with day/night temperature swings from <0 (where the water capacity drops to almost nothing) to 7-10C but without the suns input to vapourise water on the ground (and lakes/sea being cooler) and winter air is actually very dry.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Couple that with day/night temperature swings from <0 (where the water capacity drops to almost nothing) to 7-10C but without the suns input to vapourise water on the ground (and lakes/sea being cooler) and winter air is actually very dry.

    Not been to killin have you ? It defys science over there.

    Living in London means that inevitably the flat is a bit damp and mouldy and smells musty at times

    Why would this only happen in London ? Probably the most stupid comment ever said in the history of stupid comments ever said ! Im surprised with a comment like that, that you’re allowed to live in London !

    Good luck with London and the damp !

    BillMC
    Member

    Solved my problem by locking the bedroom window slightly open, not drying clothes on radiators and making more use of the cooker extractor fan. Anti-mold spray is useful if you do find a bit. Leave some distance between furniture and walls. Windows open after a shower. I never had these issues in London but then I never had double glazing down there.

    BillMC
    Member

    Oh btw I did buy a dehumidifier from Screwfix but it didn’t solve the problem like above and it packed up after not much more than a year. Ventilation seems to be the answer.

    I’d have to agree, ventilation where ever possible, if it’s not, best dehumidifier your budget will stretch to. We have a basement that is tricky/impossible to ventilate, it also has our services/wash room down there, which doesn’t help, but can’t be changed.

    The first dehumidifier, 80 quid, lasted 10 months corroded through and sprung a leak, the 200 quid replacement is still going strong 6 years later. A yearly clean to get the dust off is all that’s needed. Not got round to adding a hose yet as it only needs emptying once or twice a week.

    Premier Icon senor j
    Subscriber

    I’d check that the external air vents aren’t covered over…several places we’ve lived in, in London ,have had layer upon layer of flagstones etc covering up vents .Then there’s the rubble between the joists….If that and a dehumidifier doesn’t work ,can I suggest you change your bedding.. 🙂

    freeagent
    Member

    we.ve got a £100 dehumidifier which we bought about 4 years ago because our house used to really suffer with damp/condensation.
    we then did a load of building work and it is now really well ventilated, we have no damp/mould/condensation issues at all.

    However we still use the dehumidifier when it is really cold/damp, it really helps with drying washing, and I feel that it keeps the house warmer as the heating is more efficient if the air is dry.

    qwerty
    Member

    We use a dehumidifier in our “drying room” (old bathroom with vents sealed shut), we crank up the radiator and create a proper humid atmosphere, its amazing how well the dehumidifier works, been doing this for several years & no mold / musty issues.

    Living in London means that inevitably the flat is a bit damp and mouldy and smells musty at times.

    No, thats just London 😉

    DrJ
    Member

    Living in London means that inevitably the flat is a bit damp and mouldy and smells musty at times

    Why would this only happen in London ? Probably the most stupid comment ever said in the history of stupid comments ever said ! Im surprised with a comment like that, that you’re allowed to live in London !

    Umm – he doesn’t say it ONLY happens in London. Back to school and a lesson on Venn diagrams!

    It does happen A LOT in London, because London has an especially large concentration of a) sub-standard housing stock and b) traffic making a lot of noise so you want to keep your windows multiple-glazed and shut.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Not been to killin have you ? It defys science over there.

    Nope, but it does illustrate that you could fit heat exchange extractor fans for a similar cost to a dehumidifier which would do the same job and be drawing in fresh air not just drying out what was already there.

    Flaperon
    Member

    However we still use the dehumidifier when it is really cold/damp, it really helps with drying washing, and I feel that it keeps the house warmer as the heating is more efficient if the air is dry.

    There’s a net gain from the dehumidifier as the water condenses. Most run at about 150% efficiency, but obviously depends on the relative humidity of the room.

    konabunny
    Member

    The machine also beats the air a bit, so the room is actually being heated as well as dried.

    Premier Icon nemesis
    Subscriber

    As above, it does heat the room too. I have the Ecoair one linked below which is used in the conservatory as necessary when drying clothes in there. Not really a huge amount to say other than it does what it’s supposed to.

    http://www.appliancesdirect.co.uk/p_dd122fw-classic_ecoair-dd122fwclassic-dehumidifier/version.asp

    m360
    Member

    I have one and it works very well.

    Premier Icon Doh1Nut
    Subscriber

    My mum has the one in the link and it is slimmer / lighter / quieter and does a better job of decreasing humidity than her previous refrigerant one.

    One issue of the refrigierant ones is that they work best when the ambient air is hot, so cooling the air makes a big difference. so does bugger all in a cold room as there is so little difference between the temperatures.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Nope, but it does illustrate that you could fit heat exchange extractor fans for a similar cost to a dehumidifier which would do the same job and be drawing in fresh air not just drying out what was already there.

    Except you cannot move the fan around the house, as we do with the dehumidifier, plus we can keep an eye on how much water it is extracting.
    As for the direct sunlight warming the ground, again I repeat that the back of our house is buried at the bottom of a slope with not a jot of direct sunlight for 3 months – you can see moss and mould growing outside all winter.

    Premier Icon PePPeR
    Subscriber

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/positive-pressure-ventilation-loft-units-which

    If you can get them to fit something like this in the building, you’d have more of a chance.

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