Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality
We spend a great deal of time indoors, so the air we breathe in our homes and offices needs to be fresh and free from pollution to protect our health and wellbeing. Good ventilation refreshes the air in our living spaces, controlling humidity, removing allergens, and helping to prevent the build up of chemicals that can affect us.
What is Good Air Quality
When we talk about good air quality, we are talking about a combination of freshness and cleanliness.
The air in any building will carry a variety of different chemicals and particles including:
- Water vapour – the level of humidity which can form condensation and damp.
- Particles of dust and pollution from traffic that can affect asthma.
- Biological matter including pollen and mould spores that can cause allergies.
- Volatile Organic Compounds from cleaning chemicals and building material.
- Small amounts of radioactive gas such as radon.
Good quality air contains minimal amounts of these items.
In addition to cleanliness, a consideration of good quality air is its freshness. When air is static in a building, it becomes stale and starts to pick up the smells present in the building. The freshness of air is something that is easy to recognise when you leave an enclosed space and go outdoors.
How Ventilation Helps Air Quality
The most basic form of ventilation – a fan – simply moves air from one place to another. On a warm day, we can easily appreciate the benefits of airflow. The movement of air around a room helps to reduce the overall temperature and makes the room feel fresher, preventing hot spots from forming.
A ventilation system works in the same way – air is moved around from one room to another, and this movement helps to prevent staleness – however modern systems do much more to improve air quality than simply circulate the air around a building.
A modern ventilation system moves air through the building. Fresh air is drawn into the property, flows from room to room and is extracted. Through this process, indoor air is replaced regularly meaning that there is less opportunity for chemicals and particles to build up in the environment that might have a health effect.
An important component of a ventilation system is the process of cleaning air that is brought into a building. Filtering the air as it is drawn into a property prevents any pollutants and allergens such as pollen from being carried with the air. With clean air coming in, and passing through the property, the overall quality improves. The movement of air means that there is no longer an opportunity for humidity, VOCs, or radon to build up and with less pollen coming into the building, and less dust building up around the property, allergen levels drop.
Making Ventilation Energy Efficient
During summer months, the presence of cool, fresh air from outdoors is a welcome addition to any home. It is easier to sleep at night, and residents are not disturbed by having open windows throughout the night. However, during the winter, the thought of losing heat into the environment, or replacing warm air with cold draughts might be an unwelcome thought.
With heat recovery systems this is not the case. The warmth of indoor air is used to heat up the air that is being brought into the property which helps to reduce heating bills. In fact, good quality air circulation is more important than ever during the winter as it helps to reduce the presence of germs around the house and prevents damp from building up due to clothes being dried indoors.
If you are concerned about the air quality in your home and how it might affect health and wellness, book a free survey today from one of our local experts who will be happy to discuss what we can offer.