Arrange a Survey

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Select a category

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

Feb 16, 2024

According to the World Health Organization, up to 3.2 million people around the world die each year because of poor air quality inside their homes or workplaces. The quality of air inside our homes plays a major role in our health and wellbeing. From affecting underlying medical conditions such as asthma to contributing to allergies and illness, ensuring that the air inside your home is healthy can positively impact on your quality of life.

Air can become trapped in a poorly ventilated home, and this can lead to higher concentrations of many pollutants that affect our respiratory and skin health. Understanding the different factors that affect indoor air quality allows us to take steps to improve and create a healthier environment to live in. This is especially important during the winter when we spend more time indoors.

Indoor pollutants

The air inside our homes contains a variety of potentially harmful chemicals and particles that affect our health in different ways:

Particulate pollution from outdoors such as exhaust gasses from cars can enter our homes and affect breathing. This is more noticeable in urban areas and homes close to roads and can affect the health of younger children.

Allergens including mould spores, pollen, dust mite faeces and pet dander can build up in our homes at different times of the year. Mould spores and dust mite waste are most common in homes that suffer from high humidity and condensation as these are the conditions that create damp patches where moulds grow best.

Chemicals known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are released by some air fresheners, cleaning products and candles and can cause allergic reactions.

In some parts of the UK, the local geology causes a radioactive gas called radon to seep out of the ground. High concentrations of radon gas are known to cause cancer because the gas releases ionising radiation as it decays.

The effects of poor indoor air quality

The most common health effects associated with poor indoor air quality are respiratory. Many pollutants can cause irritation of the airways when inhaled and this may result in symptoms like allergies or cause asthma attacks. Mould spores can also irritate the skin and in the case of some species such as toxic black mould (Stachybotrys Chartarum) can cause neurological problems.

High concentrations of radon gas can cause lung cancer, particularly in younger children who are more likely to spend time on the floor where concentrations are at their highest.

Ventilation helps improve indoor air quality

the quality of the air inside your home can be measured in terms of the concentrations of the various pollutants, so improving the flow of air in and out of your home will help to reduce the levels of pollution that could affect your health.

Ensuring that you use extractor fans or keep windows open when using cleaning products or air fresheners is important in helping VOCs to escape from the room where they are being used. Similarly, if you are painting or decorating, you should avoid allowing fumes to build up in the room where you are working.

Ventilation that incorporates filters such as Positive Input Ventilation Systems (PIV) is one of the most effective ways of improving the air quality in your home. PIV systems such as EnviroVent ATMOS have a central unit that is usually mounted in your loft. This draws air into your home through a filter at roof level where it is free of heavier pollutants. Filtering the air helps to remove allergens such as pollen and mould spores. The air is then gently released throughout your home to displace the stale or humid air which escapes through the natural vents in your home.

PIV systems are highly efficient and run continuously to create positive air pressure in your home which helps to stop pollen from entering windows and doors during the summer months. These systems also reduce humidity which prevents condensation from creating damp patches where mould can grow.

Find out more

Good air quality is an investment in the health of you and your family. Enter your postcode below to request a free home survey from one of our local ventilation specialists. They can visit your property to identify causes of poor indoor air quality or condensation and provide advice about the best way to deal with it permanently.