Tackling damp and mould in social housing: Awaab’s law and the power of infrared heating

Dampness and mould are a persistent enemy in social housing across the UK. The UK Government estimates that damp and mould affect between 4% and 27% of homes in England. This range depends on how the problem is measured and reported, but even the smallest estimate equates to almost a million homes. 

Damp and mould not only create an unpleasant living environment, but also pose significant health risks for tenants. Following the landmark Awaab’s Law, the built environment sector – including social housing, local authorities and private landlords – faces new legal pressure to address these issues effectively. Luckily, innovative infrared heating technology can be a powerful tool in this fight.

Understanding Awaab’s Law and its significance

Two-year-old Awaab Ishak tragically died in 2020 due to complications from mould exposure in his social housing residence. Awaab’s Law, named after him, took effect in England in July 2023. This law places new legal duties on landlords in the social housing sector, specifically focusing on tackling damp and mould hazards. Landlords are now required to deal with reported issues within reasonable timeframes, with potential penalties for non-compliance. Awaab’s Law marks a significant shift in responsibility, empowering tenants and raising the bar for acceptable living conditions in social housing.

The shortcomings of traditional heating methods

Traditional heating systems, such as gas boilers and radiators, can inadvertently contribute to damp and mould growth in several ways. Firstly, these systems often struggle to reach consistent temperatures throughout a property, leading to cold spots where condensation can form. Secondly, the convection heating process used by radiators circulates damp, moist air which on contact with cold walls will likely produce condensation, potentially creating mould. 

The benefits of infrared heating for social housing

Infrared heating offers a unique and effective solution for tackling damp and mould in social housing. Unlike traditional systems, infrared panels generate radiant heat, which directly warms objects and people in the room, contributing to a more comfortable indoor environment.

Reduced condensation damp and mould: By using this heating method, the problem of damp, warm air encountering cold walls is removed. As a result, this eliminates condensation dampness and mold growth.

Improved health: Apart from reducing condensation, damp and mould, infrared reduces air circulation, so minimising the circulation of dust at home. This is helpful  for those with respiratory issues and allergies, improving general health.

Compatible with renewable energy: The low-carbon heat panels used in Ambion’s solution are perfect for use with renewable energy sources like solar panels. This can further reduce the environmental impact of social housing and contribute to a healthier and more sustainable future.

Improved comfort: This may seem like a bonus feature, but anyone who has experienced living around damp and mould – and tried to combat it by constantly turning heating up and down – knows how uncomfortable it all is. Infrared heat feels gentle and soothing, providing a more comfortable living environment for residents.

And best of all, infrared heating boasts these specific benefits to tackle damp and mould without compromising other features which make it a great solution. These include improved energy efficiency, up to 60% less energy than traditional heating systems, and easy installation with no need for complex plumbing or boiler systems.

Let’s build a healthier future for social housing

Awaab’s Law represents a vital step forward in ensuring safe and healthy living conditions for residents. By adopting innovative solutions like Ambion’s infrared heating technology, the built environment sector can proactively address damp and mould, improve energy efficiency, and ultimately build a healthier future for residents – whether that’s in social houses, local authority-owned ones, or private rentals. 

The ongoing need to build more affordable housing offers a unique opportunity to take a preventative approach to mould and damp from the beginning. Incorporating infrared heating technology into new developments can be a strategic move, ensuring energy efficiency and creating a healthy living environment from the onset.

Infrared heating technology from Ambion offers a compelling solution that aligns perfectly with the goals of Awaab’s Law. With its targeted heating approach, improved energy efficiency and ability to reduce dampness and mould growth, infrared heating can contribute to a healthier and more sustainable future for residential buildings in the UK.

To learn more about Ambion’s low-carbon heating solutions and how they can help prevent mould and damp at your properties, contact us today