Like the lungs, homes need to be able to breathe to make sure that fresh air comes in and dirty air goes out. Air indoors can build up high levels of moisture, odours, gases, dust, and other air pollutants. To prevent pollutants from ruining the indoor air quality of a property, proper ventilation must be in place.
There are many benefits to be gained by installing a ventilation system in your home. Home ventilation refers to the process of moving air around, so that it is changed or replaced in different spaces, improving the quality of indoor air. Almost every home in the UK will have some form of ventilation, even if this is just in the form of air bricks, which are often neglected, covered up, or are not adequate to cope with today’s living. Modern ventilation systems often use mechanical elements and offer a whole-house approach.
These ventilation systems can help to:
Condensation is a common problem in millions of UK homes. A recent My Health My Home study found that more than half (58%) of all homes in the country experienced condensation. It is a leading cause of dampness and, if it is left unchecked, condensation can result in the growth of black mould.
Condensation forms on internal surfaces when the air outside falls sufficiently below the temperature of the moist air inside the property. Moisture in the air then condenses into liquid droplets, leading to damp patches or resulting in the familiar ‘streaming’ on windows. It is more common in the Winter when the difference between the heat inside and outside is most noticeable. A good ventilation system not only improves the air quality within your home, but it can also help to prevent an increase in moisture levels within a property which can lead to condensation and mould issues over time.
According to Asthma UK, there are 5.4 million people who have asthma in the UK. This is equivalent to one in 11 people, and one in five households. Some have mild symptoms, but severe asthma can be debilitating, and even fatal. In 2016, (which is the most recent data available) 1,410 people died from asthma. There are many different triggers for asthma, but the mould associated with damp, pollution, cigarette smoke, house dust mites, and other things that get into the air in the home, can all trigger attacks or make an existing problem worse. A well-ventilated home will not cure asthma, but it can help to reduce the symptoms and make asthma attacks less likely.
Although it is not as big a health risk as asthma, hay fever can still cause misery, and can also make asthma symptoms worse for those who suffer from both. Hay fever is caused by an allergic reaction to plant pollen. While you may think that you’re better off staying inside your home, you will still need a fresh air flow indoors, and a ventilation system can prevent build-ups of pollen, as well as reducing the need to open your windows and doors. Some units also have filters that can help to reduce the amount of pollen in the air.
Radon gas is a naturally-occurring substance in some parts of the country and is formed by the decay of uranium, which can be found in all rocks and soil. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that radon is linked to between 3% and 14% of all lung cancers in a given country, depending on the national levels of radon, and the prevalence of smoking. The World Health Organisation says that improving the ventilation of a house, including underfloor ventilation, is an essential part of preventing a build-up of radon gas. Having a ventilation system, such as a Positive Input Ventilation system installed might be advisable if you live in an area that is prone to high levels of radon.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are another reason why home ventilation is so important. These gases can build up from many different sources, including cosmetics, air fresheners, and some cleaning products. One way to lessen the impact of VOCs is to reduce the use of these products; the other option is to control the levels via a ventilation system, the build-up of VOCs in a confined space can also contribute to several health problems.
The importance of ventilation to your physical health cannot be overstated, but, whatever the design of your home, a good ventilation system can also help to keep it fresh, pleasant, and relaxing, helping to prevent the build-up of any stale, musty, or bad odours.
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