Smart energy devices installed into millions of homes could lead to an increase in damp and condensation, according to specialists in humidity.
Ebac, which is the UK’s leader in dehumidifier manufacture and research, says that the £11 billion Government initiative to install smart energy meters in every UK home could have a downside by reducing temperatures inside a property during cold snaps, creating condensation or increased moisture within the home.
Smart Meters regulate the temperatures inside a home, switching central heating off when it is not needed. But as people struggle with bills, the meters are used to reduce temperatures when nobody is home and energy saving advice suggests switching heating off in rooms that are seldom used, increases the likelihood of condensation forming.
To tackle the problem the North East based organisation has adapted technology it first applied to tanks of the British Army that were used in Afghanistan and Iraq, where ‘smart’ moisture detectors combined with dehumidifiers were used within vehicles to combat the fluctuating desert climate to prevent condensation damaging expensive equipment and live ammunition.
John Elliott MBE the founder of Ebac, who designed and manufactured the first dehumidifier specifically for the UK market, believes that the Smart Meters are an effective way to combat climate change and rocketing energy bills.
Mr Elliott explains: “Condensation and dampness becomes a problem when two things happen; we create moisture and then trap it in our homes by stopping drafts.
“Moisture is created by everyday living, drying washing, running a bath, boiling a kettle and carry out other everyday activities. In summer this isn’t a problem but when we get low winter temperature the walls and windows of our houses become colder and dampness and condensation becomes an issue. The colder it is outside, the more moisture you need to remove.
“Smart Meters create a problem because by switching the heating on and off the houses become colder when we are not there and this presents more opportunity for condensation to form. Even modest reductions in internal temperature allow condensation to form somewhere. It is not always on a window, but sometimes in odd cold places like behind wardrobes or in rooms that we don’t use where we have switched off radiators.
He added: “One answer to preventing any side-effect of smart energy meters is to use smart dehumidifiers, which is why we have adapted our technology from our military applications and applied it to the domestic appliance.”
Ebac has also enlisted the support of meteorologist and former BBC weather-broadcaster John Kettley, who said: “We are an island after all, so there is an awful lot of moisture out there that can hit us from all directions, every wind direction has its own weather and it also brings different levels of humidity.
“That humidity is not always understood by people because the moisture is always around you, it’s in the house as well and it causes all sorts of problems.”
Given that all homes will be fitted with Smart Meters by 2020, this is an issue that John Elliot believes needed to be tackled proactively. Ebac’s team in the North East has worked hard to develop an innovative dehumidifier that not only works in tandem with Smart Meters to save customers money, but also prevents the build-up of potentially harmful moisture before it becomes an issue.
John Elliott continues: “Ebac’s latest Smart microprocessor based system automatically adjusts its setting so that the dehumidifier takes out the right amount of moisture when temperatures fall and rise. It is fully automatic and this ensures it will resolve condensation and damp problem using the least amount of energy possible.”
To visit the Ebac website, please go to: https://www.ebac.com/dehumidifiers