Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) have been introduced to help improve the energy efficiency of buildings.
If you are buying or selling a home you now need a certificate by law. From October 2008 EPCs have been required whenever a building is built, sold or rented out. The certificate provides ‘A’ to ‘G’ ratings for the building, with ‘A’ being the most energy efficient and ‘G’ being the least, with the average up to now being ‘D’.
Accredited energy assessors produce EPCs alongside an associated report which suggests improvements to make a building more energy efficient.
If you have any questions regarding the above or require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact us.
We receive many calls throughout the autumn and winter months regarding the development of mildew in properties and have therefore produced the following information to assist tenants and landlords in preventing this problem as in nearly every case where mildew development is reported as a problem we find that the cause is due to ‘lifestyle’.
Mildew is generally caused by a build-up of condensation and stale air. Condensation occurs where moist air comes into contact with air, or a surface, which is at a lower temperature.
Air contains water vapour in varying quantities, its capacity to do so is related to its temperature – warm air holds more moisture than cold air. When moist air comes into contact with either colder air or a colder surface, the air is unable to retain the same amount of moisture and the water is released to form condensation in the air or on the surface. If the moist air is allowed to ‘escape’ out of the house condensation will not form on surfaces.
The moisture in the air comes from a number of sources within the house. Water vapour is produced in relatively large quantities from normal day to day activities – a 5 person household puts about 10 kg of water into the air every day i.e.
-breathing (asleep) 0.3 kg
-breathing (awake) 0.85 kg
-cooking 3 kg
-personal washing 1.0 kg
-washing and drying clothes 5.5 kg – every time one load of washing is dried indoors!
-(1 kg of water equates to about 1 litre)
Condensation is generally noticeable where it forms on non-absorbent surfaces (i.e. windows or tiles) but it will form on any surface and it may not be noticed until mould growth or rotting of material occurs. Classic examples of areas developing mildew are behind wardrobes and beds. These articles are constantly absorbing moisture and it is therefore wise to move them slightly away from walls to allow air to circulate and minimize condensation.
The effect of moisture generation is made worse by keeping the moist air in the house – it is possible to avoid condensation by adequate heating and ventilation. Usually in certain areas of a house (such as bathrooms and kitchens) the warm air contains a lot of moisture, if that air then spreads to cooler parts of the house, it will condense on any colder surface.
If washing is dried indoors adequate ventilation is needed to allow the condensation produced to escape.
In most cases where we have received reports of mildew in houses we have found, during routine visits and inspections, that no windows have been opened! We do appreciate many of the reasons given for not having windows open but we cannot emphasize enough that ventilation is the key to condensation prevention and we suggest that if you develop a routine whereby when individuals are in the house at differing times they ensure that windows are opened during occupation and secured if the house is to be left vacant. Another most important fact is that an individual does not have to be residing in a room for condensation to form. If other people are in the house a vacant room will still develop condensation. Equally when the house is totally vacated e.g. for holiday periods, if condensation has not been minimized before departure mildew will develop. Keeping a house sensibly heated will reduce the amount of cold surfaces on which condensation can form.
Patches of mildew that do develop on walls/ceilings, in tile grout and bath seals can easily be cleaned away by the use of a proprietary mildew remover such as Dettox Mould & Mildew remover This product can be purchased at most supermarkets.