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How Ventilation Improves Indoor Air Quality

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How Ventilation Improves Indoor Air Quality

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

Feb 02, 2024

Good quality indoor air helps to create a healthier environment to live in. Reducing the concentration of allergens and pollutants we come into contact within our homes and workplaces is important in protecting our well-being and avoiding some medical problems. According to the World Health Organization almost 3.2 million people die each year due to poor indoor air quality and as such it should be a priority to ensure that you have clean and fresh air in your home.

The health impacts of poor indoor air quality

Air quality is measured in terms of the concentration of unwanted pollutants that can be found. Typically, there are two main types of pollutant that can be found in the air:

Particulate Pollution: This includes things like unburned fuel and soot from combustion. Particulate pollution may come from outdoors if you live in an urban environment or close to a busy road but can also originate from indoor wood burners. Particulate pollution in the home also includes irritants such as pollen, mould spores, dust mite waste and pet dander which can be inhaled and affect the airways.

Gas pollution:  Gases and chemicals in the air may include nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide from burning and Volatile Organic Compounds from cleaning products and air fresheners. In some areas of the UK, there may also be higher concentrations of Radon gas which seeps up from the ground. As this decays, it releases ionizing radiation that can create damaging particles called radon daughters.

High concentrations of particulate matter in the air can cause allergic reactions. When inhaled, pollen, mould spores, and other allergens will inflame the airways and cause difficulty breathing, streaming eyes, and can cause asthma attacks.

Particulate matter from combustion can also lead to conditions such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), which can be life threatening. Inhaling radioactive particles generated because of radon decay can lead to lung cancer.

High levels of carbon monoxide can result in suffocation and death, while nitrogen dioxide has been linked with development disorders.

Improving air quality with ventilation

Good ventilation in a home means that there is more transference of air between the exterior and interior. By bringing more fresh air into the home, you reduce the concentration of the different pollutants and minimise their impact on health.

Simply opening a window is the easiest way to bring fresh air into the home, but this isn’t always practical. If you live in an urban area or near a road the air being brought into the home, particularly on the ground floor, may bring additional particles into the home, while in summer months, air from outside will contain high levels of pollen that can trigger hay fever.

Mechanical ventilation is a more effective way of improving indoor air quality. PIV (positive input ventilation) systems such as EnviroVent ATMOS feature a loft-mounted central unit that draws fresh air into the home through filters and then disperse it throughout the home to displace the stale air. The high intakes for PIV systems mean that they are above the sources of most sources of particulate matter and far away from ground level where radon levels are highest.

PIV systems also help to reduce humidity levels in the home which prevents condensation that could otherwise create the conditions for mould to grow and affect your home.

Find out more

Good quality indoor air is essential for the health of you and your family. Book a free home survey today from one of our local ventilation specialists. They will visit your home and provide advice about the best solution for your needs. Simply enter your postcode below to find an expert in your area.

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  • check Assess any condensation, damp or mould problems in your property
  • check Take readings of the relative humidity levels
  • check Identify any underlying problems and make recommendations for a permanent solution

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