Loft Flat Is Uninhabitable at 38 Degrees

Loft Flat Is Uninhabitable at 38 Degrees

14:33 PM, 8th August 2022, About 2 months ago 8

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Hello everyone, My London (Clapham) Loft flat has become “uninhabitable” and/or “uncomfortable to live in” says my Tenant.

She further says it is consistently 4 or 5 degrees higher than the outdoors temperature during our present heatwave. She finds an indoor fan ineffective.

She continues “the only common heat reduction solutions seem to be air conditioning and insulation.”

Portable air conditioning would occupy too much space and any AC (portable or fitted) would not be used by her as too expensive, and not worth the expenditure from my point of view. In addition to the capital expenditure, there would be the regular servicing charge.

As to insulation, I have explained to her how difficult it is to obtain a C grade (EPC) in a Victorian house, and her flat is C. She now wants me to fit Velux anti-heat blinds.

Would these blinds affect the EPC C grade?

Also, would such blinds make the flat less energy efficient and make it more expensive to heat in winter?

I have offered her a British made award-winning Meaco Air Circulator (1056) Energy Class A Quiet at 20dB. Price £105 + £10 warranty.

She still insists on the Velux Blinds.

Any thoughts?

Please advise.

Thank you.

Suresh



Comments

The Forever Tenant

14:50 PM, 8th August 2022, About 2 months ago

It's difficult to say without knowing the layout of the attic flat.

One thing I can say is that your tenant will be right and that fans will do little. I would not bother getting that fan you mentioned because it will do nothing to help. Fans do not cool rooms, they technically make them even hotter. Only an air conditioning unit has the facility to actively cool a room.

The blinds may indeed help, reflecting the heat back that would come in through the window. Regular curtains and blinds do not have the same heat reflecting effect.

It could be that it's the sun beating down on the roof that is then seeping through to the flat that is the issue, but again, without knowing the makeup of how the flat is laid out, I cannot say.

If you can arrange for some sort of air conditioning unit then it may be worth making the expenditure to resolve the issue, as this could be a flat that you have issues renting in the future if it remains like this.

Simon F

14:50 PM, 8th August 2022, About 2 months ago

Reflective Velux blinds make a lot of sense. The silvering on the blinds would help retain heat in Winter too.

Simon Williams

15:12 PM, 8th August 2022, About 2 months ago

I strongly suspect the vast majority of the excess heat is from being directly under the roof. The Velux blind won't make a lot of difference, though you could fit it just to placate her. Personally I think a fan does help. Sure - it doesn't lower the temperature - but moving air on the skin does cool the skin by encouraging evaporation. I have several loft rooms and in my opinion, the key thing is to make very clear before the tenant signs up to the tenancy that loft flats have many advantages - but also a few drawbacks - one of which is summer heat and people should not sign up without carefully thinking about whether they will cope with the 14 days out of 365 when things get uncomfortably hot. I would also observe that I have been to some very modern (non loft) flats which are so well insulated and with such small windows that they are worse in summer than my period loft rooms.

Graeme View Profile

15:15 PM, 8th August 2022, About 2 months ago

Replacing the air inside the room from the air outside will help. With exception of one or two exceptional days in July the air temperature outside rarely gets above 30C. My home office is a loft conversion and I've been helping tenants with hotter rooms. Using a fan to circulate as above can make a significant difference especially when the outside air temperature reduces in the evening. What I can also recommend is ThermPro TP357 thermometer. I personally use this in my office and it helped with a tenant situation in the really hot weather. I was able to get a trace of what the temperature really was and from that figure out how to minimise the room temperature. It also helps align perception with reality with a tenant.

JohnCaversham

16:03 PM, 8th August 2022, About 2 months ago

The law of physics states that hot air rises...If the property is a recent build or conversion last 20yrs or so then there will be a reasonable amount of insulation on the underside of the roof to stop most of the heat from the roof side seeping through. Black slates will get much hotter then red tiles, old Victorian conversions with minimal insulation will be worse. If you have a C EPC then I suggest you have a good level of roof insulation already, the issue is heat from below.

Graeme View Profile

16:50 PM, 8th August 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by JohnCaversham at 08/08/2022 - 16:03
The converse of the rule is that cold air descends. There also needs to be a source of cooller air to displace the hot air. Hot air being trapped is a real issue. It needs to be released

Bob Clarke

8:17 AM, 9th August 2022, About 2 months ago

Get some velux style windows fitted.

Graeme View Profile

9:16 AM, 9th August 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Bob Clarke at 09/08/2022 - 08:17
I have large Velux windows in my home office that is a loft conversion. They definitely make a positive difference with cooling. I have blinds built into the windows and keep both the blinds down and windows fully open. This shades the sun and maximises air flow. I can get the room temperature to track the outside air temperature to within 1C or 2C. On the hottest day in July this year and at the time of day when the sun has the most impact on the room (around 5:30pm, south west facing) it peaked at 38.6C when outside it was around 36.5C.

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