Static Caravan is Sold

The static caravan which has been on site since 2014 is on the move. I was gearing up to advertise it more widely when word of mouth brought a buyer to my door. It will be removed from site within the next few days.

Its pale colour made the caravan quite obvious from Aston Lane (and Snelsmoor Lane) and its location meant it was more visible than the house when approaching the bend by the gate.

Static Caravan from Aston Lane

Once out of the trees, where the view widens up, it was clearly visible alongside the house.

Static caravan from Aston Lane

Closer up, it was more evident the outside was overdue for a good clean, though nothing a bit of pressure-washing can’t fix.

Static Caravan still in situ

These caravans might be called “mobile homes” but they’re only just mobile. They’re firmly optimised for staying in once place for years on end. It proved easy enough to roll it on its wheels across level ground but getting it onto a trailer needs a winch and unless the trailer is specially designed with a straight bed, the under-frame fouls the trailer before the wheels make contact with the ramp so there’s a lot of packing and jacking involved.

Static Caravan on trailer ready for transport

 

Paul Novus MVHR Enthalpy Heat Exchanger

By default, the Paul Novus 450 Mehanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) unit comes with a “standard” heat exchanger which is very efficient at transferring heat but which is impermeable to moisture. This means that in winter it has a tendency to result in an overly-dry internal atmosphere.

The reason is simple physics: cold air can’t hold much moisture so when drawing in cold, fresh air from outside and heating it up in the heat exchanger, the relatively humidity decreases significantly. If there is a lot of humidity already present in the house this is exactly what you want since it will help to moderate the humidity levels, but if the house is already quite dry this will tend to decrease the humidity. High levels of humidity are bad, resulting in condensation, mould etc. but low levels are bad too – see e.g. Slide 8 in this AECB conference paper by Alan Clarke which shows that below 40% there is an increased risk of health problems (mainly respiratory issues).

One solution is to reduce the ventilation rate but if the supply air is being used to heat the building that will also result in a reduction in heat supply. Another solution is to switch to a heat exchanger with a dPoint membrane which permits moisture transfer between the outgoing and incoming air as described here. As noted on that page:

“This is especially important for larger dwellings with low occupancy levels, as the internal moisture generation is in dis-balance with the ventilation requirement of a large building envelope.”

In the winter of 2017-18, with the “standard” heat exchanger, the humidity level stayed below 40% from November to May (i.e. while the heating was on) and dropped to 30% on a few occasions. Time to try the “enthalpy” heat exchanger instead then, for the 2018-19 winter season. The best time to swap it seemed to be while doing the regular filter change (still on a 4-month cycle). It’s an easy enough job – the front steel cover simply clips off and the heat exchanger is under a polystyrene cover cap and it just slides out.

Standard heat exchanger for the PAUL Novus 450

The new heat exchanger just slides in the same way.

Enthalpy heat exchanger for the PAUL Novus 450

The old filters were pretty grotty, as usual.

The old G4 (extract from the house. top) and F7 (intake from outside, bottom) filters after 4 months of use