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What is the Effect of Not Heating a Home

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What is the Effect of Not Heating a Home

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

Oct 31, 2022

Energy prices have more than doubled during 2022, and even with government help, many people are struggling with bills and in some cases, avoiding using their heating as much as usual. While it is possible to save money on gas and electricity bills in the short term by putting on an extra layer and either turning the thermostat down, or avoiding using the heating as much this year, not heating your home could have longer term impacts.

Heating and Building Health

If a building is not adequately heated during the winter months, it can cause problems for the residents in terms of comfort, but it can also lead to damage to building fabric and exacerbate issues with damp and mould.

In an average household of four people, the total amount of water vapour released into the air from bathing, cooking, washing, and even breathing is about eighteen litres per day. When the heating is on in a property, the air is warmer, and has a higher capacity to hold moisture, however even a slight change in temperature can lead to the air holding less moisture, which in turn creates condensation on cool surfaces like walls and windows.

If the air temperature in a property is 20C each cubic metre of air can hold around 18g of water vapour, however as the temperature falls, this amount reduces. If a house is not heated on a chilly day, then the amount of moisture the air can hold will fall. At 10C, water can hold around half of the amount, and the rest of the water vapour produced will form as condensation.

In and of itself, condensation is not a problem, however if left untreated, it will lead to damp and mould that can lead to expensive repairs.

Damp forms when condensation is allowed to soak into walls and other porous surfaces where it can build up, saturate the material, and cause it to degrade. Plaster on walls can crumble, and paint or wallpaper can peel. Wooden window frames will start to rot, and even electrical equipment can be damaged as the water causes corrosion on components.

Good ventilation in a property helps to reduce the amount of moisture trapped in the air. Extractor fans that work automatically will maintain humidity levels and prevent condensation.

Advice for Landlords and Tenants

It is important that householders care for their property throughout the year to reduce damage and prevent damp from forming.

Using heating to maintain a steady temperature is important, but there are also steps that can be taken in parallel to reduce the amount of water vapour being generated.

  • Avoid drying clothes and towels in radiators indoors
  • Avoid using paraffin or other portable heaters that release additional moisture into the air
  • Use pan lids when cooking and close kitchen and bathroom doors when in use

Read more tips to reduce condensation here >>

How Good Ventilation Can Help

Modern whole house ventilation solutions such as EnviroVent’s Atmos, which is a Positive Input Ventilation system (PIV) draw fresh filtered air in from outside and distribute it through the house to improve air flow and displace moisture laden air.

Whole house ventilation can help to keep temperatures even through different rooms which can make heating more effective.

Thanks to highly efficient fans and design, PIV systems cost very little in use – a loft mounted Atmos unit can cost as little as £8.76 for a full year depending on energy costs.

Find out more about running costs for EnviroVent's Products >>

Learn More

Our local specialists can provide advice about the right ventilation systems for your property. Contact us today to speak to an expert in your area who can visit your property to conduct a free survey that will identify the causes of condensation and provide information about the most sustainable way of preventing it becoming a bigger problem in future.


Need help with condensation, mould or damp problems?

One of our local experts will contact you to learn more about your problems, offer free expert advice and make recommendations for a permanent solution.

During the free survey we will

  • check Assess any condensation, damp or mould problems in your property
  • check Take readings of the relative humidity levels
  • check Identify any underlying problems and make recommendations for a permanent solution

Arrange a FREE Home Survey now