The Drimaster Heat positive ventilation system promises to cure condensation and remove air pollutants. But does it really work?

Drimaster Drimaster Heat

 

 

 

The context: ‘I’ve suffered with condensation and black mould in my 1920s bungalow ever since I moved in five years ago.

I’ve tried various ways to get rid of the problem, such as improving the insulation of my single-brick walls with thermal wallpaper, adding more roof insulation, installing automatic extractor fans in the bathrooms and putting vents in the external walls of the bedrooms. ‘

But nothing had stopped the condensation and I was coming to my wits’ end. In the colder months, I had to remove a thick coating of condensation from the windows every day and I regularly had to treat black mould growing on walls, wardrobes and window frames.

I was particularly concerned about the mould growing in my children’s bedroom. ‘I decided to give the Drimaster Heat positive input ventilation system a try to see if it could help.

At around £315, it was a lot cheaper than other ventilation systems that I’d spoken to damp-specialist companies about, and I could get it installed by a local electrician. Read on for a summary of my experiences so far.’

What is it?

It’s one of several positive input ventilation systems that you can buy to help combat condensation problems.

This one is made by a company called Nuaire. It’s installed in the loft, although there is a version called the Flatmaster which can be used in homes without lofts and in cellars and basements.

A vent is installed in the ceiling below. Air is drawn from the loft into the house at a continuous rate to dilute the moisture-laden air inside the house and create a less humid environment that is less vulnerable to condensation forming.

The Drimaster Heat is one of several models in the Drimaster range. It’s different because it has a heater that switches on during very cold weather to warm the air coming into the house, so there is no cold draft below it.

Drimaster Heat

 

 

What’s it great at?

I’m very glad to say that it seems great at tackling condensation. It took a couple of weeks to settle in and then I woke up to dry windows nearly every day, which, after so many years of dripping glass, felt like an absolute miracle.

On very cold nights, I have woken a few times to a very light coating of condensation on my windows.

This doesn’t seem to occur when I leave the bedroom door slightly open, as this allows more air to come in from the Drimaster Heat’s vent, which is in the central hallway as recommended.

I’ve cleaned off the remaining mould from the house and a month later it hasn’t returned, so I’m hoping that mould will be a thing of the past, too – and I can finally paint my walls without worrying that they’ll soon turn black. At around £315, it was much cheaper than other ventilation systems I had heard about.

I got a local electrician to install mine and he charged for around three hours’ work. In action, the vent makes very little noise. I fiddled with the power setting for the first couple of weeks, but I think I’m happy with the level it’s at now, so it just gets on with its work with no input from me.

The only maintenance required is to change the filters every five years. During summer, it’s supposed to go into standby mode when the temperate in the loft is 23 degrees Celsius or above, as condensation is a problem in colder months.

I haven’t measured the amount of energy it’s using, but it claims to have low power consumption.

The other thing it claims is to improve air quality by removing pollutants from cooking and cleaning, while keeping out outdoor pollutants such as traffic fumes and pollen. I haven’t tested this so can’t comment on these claims. However, there is a filter on the machine.

Is there anything I should watch out for?

The vent is around 30cm square and has to be installed in the ceiling of your central hallway below your loft. It’s pretty inoffensive to look at, but it might bother you if you’ve got a house characterised by sleek, minimalist lines.

The Drimaster range claims to work in two or three-storey homes with lofts, but I live in a one-storey bungalow so can’t comment on how it might work in a taller house.

verdict

I’ve been very pleased with the Drimaster Heat because condensation now seems to be a thing of the past in my house.

My bungalow had been renovated before we moved in and, as part of the work, they’d reduced much of the original ventilation by removing the chimney breasts and installing double-glazing.

I don’t know what the house was like before this work was done, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this reduction in ventilation was at the root of the condensation problems.

By improving the ventilation, the Drimaster Heat certainly seems to have beaten my condensation.

I haven’t tried ventilation systems from other companies so can’t comment on these. I was impressed by the relatively low cost of the Drimaster system, though.