Home Improvement Help

Help Support ValveReplacement.org:

Dodgy Ticker

Active member
May 3, 2020
France (unfortunately)
Hi All

Slightly off-topic, but health-related anyways, and hoping someone might be able to help...

My Endocarditis left me with a number of ailments aside from my two beloved mechanical heart valves. Among them is a pleural Effusion - a hole in the lining of my lungs. This causes me to be very out of breath at the slightest effort due to note build-up of fluid in there sack which encompasses my lungs (and yours too!).

I am constantly having to empty my lungs and throat of tons of heavy mucus, which I cough-up after regular bouts of coughing and heaving. Not fun..

But I have just - for the first time in over 5 years - had some work (YAY!!) and spent some time Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which is slap bang in the middle of the desert. And guess what? No Mucus!! I was there for 10 days and didn't cough or splutter once.

I came home and back to my house, and it has started again. The house is a 16th century medieval village house in rural France. To say that the house is humid would be an understatement of biblical proportions.

I have realised that by living somewhere drier, that my lungs will be better. But I can't move (my kids are in the next village) and I can't rebuild my house.

So my question is... Short of changing all of my Windows and doors for insulated and double-glazed fittings (which would cost me too much to do) I am wondering what else I could do to reduce the amount of humidity in my old house? The summers are wonderful, as all my doors and windows are open for 6 months and the house never heats-up - I don't need A/C. But once things start to chill - OMG!!! The windows drip on the side from dampness.

Anyone out there have any practical, real-world advice?

Help would be appreciated

Many thanks


Well-known member
Dec 27, 2015
New Zealand
@pellicle made his own solar heated underfloor heating set up, he has info on his blog.
Here in southern NZ it ranges between 30+ celcius in summer and -5 celcius in winter, we have a wood fire for heating and 10 years ago I put a heat tranfer kit in the roof, this has a fan that sucks the heated air from one room and blows it into another, that definately helped with the damp.

Also we have a Karcher window vacuum which is good for sucking the water off the windows in winter, about $100 nz.


VR.org Supporter
VR.org Supporter
Apr 21, 2021
Maybe I am being the Professor of the obvious here but just in case...

I don't have any expertise, but a little personal experience. We live in Central Florida and extremely high humidity here is off the charts about 9 months out of the year. We have a bonus room approx. 2350 cubic ft. over the garage which has a small mini split for just that room. The mini split does a great job of heating and cooling but does not touch the humidity.

We purchased an inexpensive dehumidifier like this one

It does a great job. If you spend a majority of your time in a couple of rooms, maybe a couple of these would make a difference for you?



Well-known member
Apr 9, 2014
Levittown ,Pa 19054
If it's only humid during the cooler season when you have the windows and doors closed have you thought about a dehumidifier on the larger size? I have one similar to the one in the link Crooser provided. However I don't use mine because the whole house is too humid but we have an extra room where my wife likes to hang some clothes on a drying rack rather than put in the dryer. So in the cooler months I run the dehumidifier in there as it not only dries the clothes quickly but also provides some heat


Professional Dingbat
Nov 4, 2012
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
I don't need A/C. But once things start to chill - OMG!!! The windows drip on the side from dampness.
ok, so if I get this right you are getting the worst humidity in winter?

this is a pretty concerning sounding situation and I would finger not the actual humidity but what that brings - mould spoor germination.

from (what appears suspiciously like a commercial TV name, but is actually Victorian State Government) Mould and your health - Better Health Channel

Mould grows best in damp and poorly ventilated areas and reproduces by making spores. Airborne mould spores are commonly found in both indoor and outdoor environments. When they land on damp spots indoors, they may begin to grow and spread​

That article is aimed at "The General Public" and is suitably tuned to remove any troublesome complicated words, but essentially stripping out important meanings and clarifications. The bottom line is that as soon as you get sufficient relative humidity and temperature to allow the surfaces to be close to the dew point (think a glass of cold beer gathering moisture) you have hit the sweet spot for mould germination and a down kick in your health (and probably rotting everything you own.

What are your inside temperature and relative humidity please?

I'm going to suggest you need a de-humidifier but based on what I've seen of late medieval architecture it will need to be sucking out 20L per day and will be like trying to dry yourself with a fresh towel while still out in the rain.

This old stuff looks quaint, but often it's a horrible thing.

In Finland (for instance) they take mould very seriously, as in winter it often causes (in badly designed buildings) permanent dampness where the frost line is between the outside of the wall (where its below zero) to some point mid way in the wall where its about zero.

Hopefully your walls and glass are not zero.

tom in MO

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2012
Many find humid air easier to breath, hence humidifiers in CPAPs. So don't discount allergies. Coughing up lots of mucus in one setting vs. another could be due to an allergic reaction. Living in an old dusty house filled with god knows what small particulates is the source of many people's congestion. You might find it's your pet or even a pet who lives on through their particulate remains.