Living Rooms – Heat and Moisture in North East Valley Homes

  • Collecting and sharing data on heating patterns, temperatures and moisture in homes
  • Investigating how homes can be warm and dry at an affordable price

Current heating and humidity upgrade strategies – insulating, reducing draughts, installing double glazing, and subfloor moisture barriers – are based on the assumption that houses are being heated constantly. Dunedin-based research shows that this is only true for 5% of the houses surveyed. That means standard upgrade plans may not be useful for the vast majority of homes in the area.  How can we control moisture in buildings? How can we reduce building fabric degradation and mouldy odours?

The project team have developed open source wireless Indoor Weather Stations in collaboration with the Dunedin Makerspace. Project participants are using these to capture time series observations of heating patterns, temperature and moisture in a key room of their house. This data is being analysed by scientists in collaboration with the people doing the collecting. A website enables participants to find out about the thermal performance of their home, and target their home performance upgrades and heating and ventilation practices accordingly. Students from Dunedin North Intermediateare making observations of several home models and their classroom. We are learning psychrometry – the science of moist air, thermal comfort, and weathertightness.

Find out more about the project, request an indoor weather station and get involved on the Valley Community Workspace website and Facebook page.




Living Rooms Presentation to Dunedin Makerspace

Want to measure you house’s temperature or dampness? Please take our Living Rooms Survey – A chance to get an Indoor Weather Station!

When is your house in shade? Dunedin Sun Map (DCC-sun_morning, DCC-sun_afternoon)

View a detailed sun profile for your house – Free! – NIWA Solarview – calculate sun heating power (W/m2) onto your roof, solar panels, windows, and more.

Psychrometric Chart (PDF) Shows the relationship between temperature, relative humidity, wet bulb temp, dewpoint, and more.

Community Questions

  • “What is thermal resistances of window film and drapes?”
  • Timber framed window, single glazed
    • R0.2
  • Timber frame, single glazed, with drapes and pelmet
    • R0.3 $0-$150/m2
  • Timber frame, single glazed, with window film
    • R0.4 $5/m2
  • Alu frame, thermal break, double glazed, low-e
    • R0.4 $450/m2
  • (Higher R values mean less heat loss)

Have another community science question?  Email