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Empowering a tenant to improve their home

In this case study we take a look at how informed advice helped a social housing tenant to drastically improve the health of their home with small changes following our advice, removing this home from a high risk category.

Ambisense were contracted to provide monitoring services in a selection of high-risk homes for a social housing provider in Ireland to identify the risk and root causes of issues such as damp and mould. After installing our AmibiAir sensors in a number of their homes we began receiving data about the levels of CO2 (ventilation), temperature (thermal comfort) and relative humidity (moisture levels) and we were able to identify some immediate issues in some homes.

One home in particular stood out for extremely high CO2 levels above 5000 ppm, above levels recommended for healthy living space, indicating inadequate ventilation. Similarly, the levels of relative humidity were excessively high with both the bedroom and kitchen/living room well above 80% for extended periods of time, indicating a very high risk of damp and mould. Due to low levels of temperature (15-17 degrees), we were concerned that the tenant may have been experiencing issues heating the property.

Our data automatically flagged these issues and subsequently, we got in touch with the tenant via our messaging service to offer them support and advice on how best to manage the high levels of CO2 and relative humidity. On communicating with the tenant, they indicated that they were comfortable with the temperature levels but the issues with moisture did exist. The tenant was concerned about a wall in the property that hey believed to lack insulation. However, our data showed that the issues of moisture were more likely due to under-ventilation.

After discussions, we recommended that to manage the high levels of moisture and avoid possible mould and damp, it would be beneficial to open a window for 20 minutes each day as this would improve the ventilation. Additional benefits would be an improvement in the levels of CO2.

Following our conversation on the 18th of January, and the tenant confirming they had taken the measures we had suggested, we could see a marked decrease in both the CO2 levels and the relative humidity levels without any negative impact on the thermal comfort of the home.

Co2 levels dropped from an average of 3000 ppm to roughly 1000 ppm and relative humidity dropped from above 80% average to roughly 70% average in both the bedroom and the living area taking this property out of the emergency repair category requiring urgent intervention and into a manageable category to be monitored.

When our continued monitoring detected a downturn in the conditions of the home after a week of improved conditions, we sent a nudge to the tenant to remind them of the benefits they had seen by taking small measures to improve the health of their home. We immediately saw a return to the improved conditions, demonstrating the value of continued monitoring.

We can see how small changes and informed advice can make enormous changes to the health of a home when implemented and actioned by tenants. The key is in the right kind of communication and the right information.

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