When Ventilation alone will NOT dry the air
During the winter months, preventing damp and the build-up of moisture in a caravan or mobile home can be a headache. Chris Michael from Meaco, a leading UK supplier of dehumidifiers and air purifiers, gives advice on preventing this annual winter nightmare
As the temperature falls, condensation rises, creating moisture on windows each morning which will eventually cause mould and damp, and associated health problems. Just turning up the heating in the winter will not get rid of condensation. A damp property means damp air, and raising the heating thermostat will only heat up the wet air molecules, rather than raise the room temperature. A room will feel warmer if you are heating dry air. Opening the window to bring in fresh air will work fine if you are heating the room up because by increasing the air temperature you will decrease the relative humidity of that air. For example if you pull air in from outside at 10°C and 80%rh and then heat it up to 20°C, the relative humidity of that air will fall to around 52%rh.
But what if you need to look after a space that is not heated and contains something that is sensitive to changes in moisture? This is often the case when you look at garages, archive storage, motor homes, caravans, boats or even your garden shed. Often these spaces will contain classic cars, bedding, papers, family photo albums, upholstery, veneer, wooden objects, fabrics and expensive electronics. Lots of things that need protecting from excess moisture and could be damaged beyond repair if they absorb and hold the excess moisture in the air.
If you are not heating the space and air is allowed to come in at our 10°c and 80%rh then it will stay at 80%rh. It could well be that the internal temperature is slightly higher than the outside the conditions thanks to insulation but unless it is (in this example) 5°C warmer, you will not dry the incoming air below 60%rh to get it into what would be seen as the upper end of a ‘safe’ relative humidity zone by conservation experts.
So although a lot of these spaces are ventilated when they are built this only helps to keep the air moving and to stop the air from becoming stale, it will not help to keep the space dry or to protect the artefacts from moisture damage.
This is where a dehumidifier comes in. It will reduce the level of humidity in the air, by sucking in air from the room at one end, removing the moisture, and then blowing it back out into the room again, adding warmth in the process. Sealing any ventilation gaps when using a dehumidifier in the winter will make it work more efficiently.
Meaco (U.K.) Limited, recently launched the Meaco DD8L Zambezi dehumidifier, designed and developed to address the many problems caravan owners were encountering. The Zambezi works well at temperatures below 15 degrees, has a Which? Best Buy Award, and adds warmth back into a room. It has a Daily Run Timer to turn the dehumidifier on and off at particular times, so taking advantage of off-peak electricity hours. A World first, the Meaco Control 20+ ensures that if the dehumidifier is left in the wrong setting Zambezi will automatically adjust itself to achieve the humidity conditions desired.
Alternatively, the Meaco range of low energy dehumidifiers are the first to come with a free HEPA filter, and are unique in that they can also be used as an air purifier in the spring and summer once set on air purification mode, so helping in the fight against pollen and pollutants, whilst acting as a money saving “cross over product”.
Meaco DD8L Zambezi RRP £249.99
Meaco 20L Low Energy Dehumidifier RRP £259.99
Meaco 12L Low Energy Dehumidifier RRP £179.99
Established in 1991, Meaco produces award-winning dehumidifiers, humidifiers and air purifiers distributed in over twenty countries throughout Europe and South Africa. The firm is the UK’s exclusive distributor of Mitsubishi Electric’s range of dehumidifiers, spares, and repairs. A winner of two Which? Best Buy awards, Meaco’s expertise is unrivalled, and its products cater for all needs, from home and industrial dehumidification to specialist areas such as boating, caravanning and swimming pools.
Meaco began by specialising in monitoring and control equipment for museums and art galleries. In 1992 the firm developed the world’s first radio based environmental monitoring system in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and quickly established itself as one of the most important suppliers of humidity monitoring and control equipment to museums across Europe. In 2005 Meaco divested the museum side of the business to concentrate on manufacturing its own dehumidifier range.
Based in Guildford, Surrey, and an owner-managed business, Meaco is a socially aware company, sponsoring local sports including the Team GB kayaker Rachel Cawthorn who recently competed at the Rio Olympics. The firm is also heavily involved in supporting local mini and youth rugby and is a sponsor of the London Welsh club. For each unit sale of the firm’s Zambezi dehumidifier model a financial contribution is made to the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation to assist its elephant conservation work in Africa.
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