Ignorance is cold and mouldy


I have owned my own home on three occasions, have been a landlord of four properties and am currently a tenant. I feel completely qualified to criticise the twitter conversation started yesterday by journalist Angela Cuming, which is a barely disguised beat up of landlords.

First up let’s look at Jeremy who admits that he cannot afford to heat every room in the house. Woop de doo. Most people heat only the rooms that they are using. Why would anyone heat an?empty room? Most cost-conscious people use oil heaters in bedrooms as they use less electricity and are not expensive to buy, plus they do not cause the same amount of condensation that un-flued gas heaters do.

Instead of going to the Warehouse and purchasing an oil heater for $65 each for the rooms they are using he seriously expects his landlord to pay $2000+ dollars to buy and install a heat pump (that he won’t be able to afford to run) for one room, or to spend thousands to install an HRV system. The HRV admittedly would make a difference because it would ventilate a house even with ignorant tenants who refuse to crack open a couple of windows.

Jeremy doesn’t seem to think that leaving the house hermetically sealed, drying wet clothes inside the house, or overcrowding could possibly contribute to excess water vapour that will condense when it hits a cold window pane.

Angela Cuming, the reporter to whose tweet he was responding, seems to think that she is doing everything possible to prevent warm water vapour from coming into contact with the cold glass of her windows. Note that her photo shows water running down the glass of a closed window.

So what or who does this reporter think is responsible for a natural phenomenon like water vapour turning into condensation on her windows? You guessed it, horrible landlords who refuse to provide tenants with heat pumps and HRV systems.

What I want to know is how do you think she will get on when she finally owns her own home? It is a truism that when you are renting you can afford a higher standard of living than when you are owning. If she and Jeremy can’t afford to rent a house with a heat pump and HRV system now when they are paying rent?rather than a mortgage, then how on earth do they think they will afford to install them when they are?homeowners?

The only home I have ever had a heat pump in is the home I am currently renting. I didn’t even have insulation in the ceiling in the second home that Cam and I bought in Johnsonville.

I also refute the assumption that a heat pump will magically prevent excessively moist warm air coming into contact with cold glass.

Our lounge has the heat pump and we turn it off at night. In the morning despite it being freezing there is no condensation on the windows because there was no moist warm air in the room at night to condense on the glass.

Upstairs where our bedroom is we have an oil heater on low at night. When it first became cold I shut the glass sliding door to the bedroom deck completely but in the morning water was running down the glass. I didn’t want to get mould on our curtains so the next night I left the sliding?door open half a centimetre.

In the morning despite the oil heater and two adults breathing out warm moist air all night, there was no condensation on the glass.

It’s not magic, it’s the benefit of understanding cause and?effect.