After flood water swept through the Carlisle home of Paul Higgins and his partner Julie Simpson in December, Paul installed Herschel Far infrared heaters to help dry out the building; and he has been impressed by the results.
The Victorian four-bedroom town house was built in around 1880 and has a ground floor area of some 100m2 with a combination of both suspended timber and concrete floors. These were under approximately 30cm of water which receded the following day leaving the fabric of the building sodden.
Other than clearing up, lifting floorboards and removing skirting boards, there was little that could be done until the electricity supply came back on a week later.
Paul was keen to see how far infrared would perform. As the wiring in the house had been damaged, a new 13amp ring main circuit was installed. By Christmas Eve, infrared heaters were fitted in three rooms; two in the living room, one in the office and one in the kitchen.
Within a week, the results were “astonishing”. A further five Herschel heaters were installed on the 29th December along with time switches so they would operate for seven hour periods in different areas without overloading the electrical circuit.
The Herschel Far infrared heaters have the advantage that, unlike other forms of heating, they heat objects including the fabric of the building. This form of radiant heating means energy is used incredibly efficiently and the heating and drying effect is quicker as the thermal mass of the building is heated rather than the air.
This has the added advantage that, in contrast to drying with dehumidifiers, windows and doors can be left open which allows ventilation so the moisture and smell from the flood water quickly dissipates.
The results from the installation show that it took 44 days in total for the house to be declared completely dry.
Paul Higgins explains: “Initially, the damp readings were off the scale but, in the first room, the internal wall was more or less dry after seven days.
The companies specialising in dampness remediation predicted at least 16 weeks drying time for the houses in my area using conventional dehumidifier methods. A specialist has now declared our house dry so the far infrared heaters have worked incredibly effectively with great results!”