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What Affects Indoor Air Quality

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What Affects Indoor Air Quality

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

Feb 07, 2024

In cities around the world people are more aware than ever about the risks of pollution to their health, but did you know that it is even more important to think about the quality of the air inside your home – particularly during the winter when you spend more time indoors. Indoor air quality significantly impacts our health, especially for vulnerable groups like babies, children, and the elderly. Here are some key points to consider:

Air quality in our homes contributes to our wellbeing, and living in a property where the air quality is poor can lead to worsening of medical conditions such as asthma and severe allergies. Many different factors contribute to indoor air quality we experience but thankfully there are things you can do to improve things.

What is in the air inside our homes?

Air moves in and out of our homes all the time. This means that anything that is found outside will gradually find its way in. Unfortunately, without good ventilation, the contaminants that are carried by the air outside can become more concentrated indoors and mix with the various chemicals that are released into the air by our day to day lives.

If you live in an urban area or close to a road, vehicle fumes and particulate matter from exhausts can be carried into your home. While cars and trucks no longer use leaded petrol, the combination of sulphides, nitrates and carbon dioxides found in vehicle fumes can affect the quality of your health and affect people with respiratory problems.

During the summer, pollen from grasses, trees and flowers can also be brought into your home and fuel allergies.

Another contributor to low quality indoor air is a group of chemicals known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These are chemicals that are found in many household cleaners and air fresheners. They are also released from the fabric of our homes over time and can cause reactions for people who are sensitive to them.

In humid homes with poor ventilation where condensation and damp are a problem, you will also find mould. Mould spreads by way of microscopic particles known as spores, and when inhaled these can irritate the airways and cause respiratory problems. Damp also increases the population of dust mites in your home. Dust mite faeces are associated with asthma and can cause severe allergic reactions.

In some parts of the country, radon gas can also be a major problem. Radon is a colourless radioactive gas that seeps out of the ground and can become concentrated in your home. Radon decays with ionizing radiation that creates radioactive particles known as radon daughters that are associated with lung cancers. If you live in an area with high levels of radon gas, ensuring your home has good ventilation is essential in protecting your health.

Improving indoor air quality

Of all the things you can do to improve the quality of air in your home, the most effective is to increase the amount of ventilation you have. Better air flow in and out of your property reduces the concentration of the various pollutants that affect the air quality.

Positive Input Ventilation Systems (PIV) improve indoor air quality by drawing fresh air into your home at roof level – where there are fewer particulate pollutants and lower concentrations of radon gas – and distributing this fresh air around your home. The fresh air from outside gently displaces the stale and humid air indoors which escapes through the natural ventilation taking VOCs, mould spores, and other pollutants with it.

PIV systems such as EnviroVent ATMOS run continuously and are highly efficient. In addition to improving your indoor air quality to create a healthier environment for your family, they also reduce humidity which prevents condensation.

Find out more

Poor indoor air quality can seriously affect your health and that of your family. If you are concerned about the quality of air in your home, we can help. Our local ventilation specialists offer a free home survey and can provide advice about the best way to improve air quality in your home. Enter your postcode below to find an expert near you.

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  • check Assess any condensation, damp or mould problems in your property
  • check Take readings of the relative humidity levels
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