When Winter closes in and the temperature drops, the vast majority of us want to hibernate – draw the curtains, exclude the draught and have the heating on or better yet the fire. However, this very act of insulating and sealing our homes up can actually be damaging to our health. By ensuring no air gets in and no moisture escapes we are preventing our homes from breathing, which can lead to damp and mould.
It is extremely important to ventilate your home, ventilation stops condensation which in-turn stops damp and mould. Not only that but it improves the indoor air quality of a property, most people don't associate health problems with the air in their homes and think, 'I'm just prone to headaches,' or 'my nose is always stuffy.' Yet, 81% of people are at risk of respiratory problems or skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis due to the quality of air in their homes.
Ventilation also reduces Radon gas, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, which can enter your home from the ground, exposing you to doses of radiation. According to the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB), health studies from around the world have linked exposure to Radon to the increased risk of lung cancer.
When particles of Radon become trapped in a property they can accumulate to dangerously high levels. When they are breathed in they can be deposited on the surface of the lungs, where they decay further, emitting harmful radiation directly into the lungs.
Furthermore, proper ventilation can also benefit asthma sufferers and those with allergies. Ventilation can help alleviate the symptoms of asthma and dust mite allergies by reducing the triggers. Ventilation is also crucial in combating VOC’s, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are airborne pollutants found lurking in the air inside our homes.
As the word ‘Volatile’ indicates, these airborne pollutants do not contribute to the health of the household, in fact they can play havoc with your health. Air pollutants are irritants which affect some people more than others, they can cause allergic reactions, headaches, tiredness, respiratory problems and other illnesses. Improving air circulation by installing a ventilation option helps to reduce these pollutants and the stale air in your home and ensures fresh, filtered air is circulated throughout your property.
Opening windows is a form of natural ventilation and is why we like the feeling of bringing ‘the fresh air in’. However, is this really a realistic option when Britain has been battered with snow and ice?
Natural ventilation means having to choose between a warm home and a fresh one, realistically and given the choice you would want a bathroom that airs out quickly without having to shower with the windows open. Whilst it is of course possible to naturally ventilate your home your losing out on more than your gaining by opening the windows and letting the outdoor air in.
Extractor fans is the traditional method of ventilation and they simply extract air from your kitchen or bathroom but they not only extract moisture, they extract precious heat too. These days you have the option of saving that heat, in the aptly named heatSava. The heatSava is an energy efficient, through the- wall mini heat exchange ventilation unit called a Single Room Heat Recovery unit (SRHR). It has been designed for people who are looking for new and innovative ways to improve air flow within their home whilst saving energy and making their homes more energy efficient.
Single Room Heat Recovery units work by continuously extracting moist air from rooms in the home, which is especially important in bathrooms, utility rooms and kitchens. This heat energy transfer can help save money on energy costs, because it keeps temperatures more constant than when opening windows for ventilation.
There are of course precautions you can take to limit the level of excess moisture and condensation in your property. For example keeping bathroom and kitchen doors closed to contain the moisture, putting lids on cooking pots and wiping down cold surfaces but these factors only reach so far and some are actually difficult to attain during winter, such as drying clothes outside. The best way to ventilate your house during the Winter months is to have a suitable mechanical extract ventilation solution in place, so your home can take care of you.
When it comes to your own homes ventilation needs it can be hard to determine how much ventilation a property actually needs. There are of course legal requirements and regulations in place to ensure properties are built properly and safely. Approved Document F provides guidance on meeting building regulations that specifically apply to ventilation. It states that adequate ventilation needs to be provided to prevent excess condensation build-up which could damage the structure of the property. It also ensures that the air properly flows through the property maintaining good ventilation levels which in turn improves the indoor air quality.
When building a new property it is important to comply with the requirements in building regulations for installation, inspection, testing, commissioning and provision of information when installing fixed ventilations systems in your new and existing property. Approved Documents provide guidance on how to meet these building regulations.
Every home is built differently so will of course require different ventilation solutions in order to meet different demands. It’s certainly not a one-size fits all scenario and so shouldn’t be treated as such. No two properties are the same which is why it is important to ensure the right product is specified and installed correctly. This is why we offer a free home survey as standard to ensure the correct product is installed.
When you choose EnviroVent, you can be sure of receiving a professional service from your first call with your local ventilation specialist through to installation with our qualified ventilation engineers. We pride ourselves on the quality of our ventilation products and offer long term parts and labour warranties to protect your home and your health.
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