Did you know that the air inside your home can be up to 50 times more polluted than outside? We asked the experts from Nuaire to explain the solution
The average person in the UK spends up to 90 percent of their time indoors, breathing up to 10,000 litres of air every single day.
The air inside the home can be up to 50 times more polluted than outside, meaning each breath could contain a noxious cocktail of road traffic pollution, radon, atomised chemicals, pet dander, dust mites, mould spores, allergens, as well as hundreds of viruses and bacteria.
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Many people have a Carbon Monoxide detector, yet few know if their homes are properly ventilated. It may not be something that is actively thought about, but the difference is immediately apparent when comparing fresh and stale air.
If odours and irritants linger in the air, if there is condensation build up, and mould and mildew is found in the home, it is a good sign that the home isn’t being properly ventilated.
Without adequate ventilation, pollutants can enter the home from outside and become trapped. Radon, which is a radioactive gas produced from the rocks and soil found everywhere in the UK, can be higher inside buildings and needs to be detected and controlled by specialised ventilation systems.
This is also true for Nitrogen Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide (NOX) from car fumes and industrial processes. Long term exposure to NOX can decrease lung function, increase the risk of respiratory conditions, and increases the response to allergens.
The Environmental Protection Agency states that poor indoor air quality is exacerbated by everyday activities such as cooking and cleaning, which is contributing to major health concerns as well as children’s respiratory health and cognitive development.
While no living environment is pollution-free, exposure to contaminants can be limited.
Tips for limiting pollution in the home
- When it comes to cooking, the best solution to avoid breathing in by-products and toxic gases is to avoid gas stoves and switch to electric appliances.
- It’s important to properly ventilate stoves and heaters, and change the filters on ventilators and range hoods when instructed to do so by the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Cleaning products that contain peroxides, chlorates or perchlorates can react with a variety of common household chemicals to form toxic compounds. It’s a good idea to seek out cleaning products labelled as allergy-friendly, which may contain lower levels of volatile chemicals.
- Avoid sprays and use solid or liquid cleaning agents, and vacuum the home frequently to help remove house dust; which is a mixture of dirt, house dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and other particulates.
- Washing and drying clothes inside the home produces excessive moisture in the air which condenses on cold surfaces, producing mould. Long-term exposure to a damp environment is linked to serious health conditions including asthma, respiratory infections, lung disease, and heart disease. Spores and moisture can also degrade the fabric of buildings and devalue properties.
Choosing a ventilation system
Choosing the right ventilation system that is tailored to the nature of the building is simple.
When it comes to ventilating wet rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms, a powerful extract fan will take moisture and pollutant-laden air from these rooms and exhaust it through ducts to outside. Selecting the right size fan for the room’s square footage ensures that the right amount of ventilation is taking place.
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For complete home ventilation, however, the best choice is Positive Input Ventilation (PIV).
Invented in 1972, PIV remains the UK’s most popular method of low-energy, whole-home ventilation that cures condensation. It works by gently pressurising the home from the inside out, continuously cycling in fresh, filtered air and driving out stale, contaminated air.
The ventilation unit sits discretely in the loft and pulls in fresh air from natural ventilation gaps in the roof. This air is filtered inside the unit and then forced through a diffuser in the ceiling into the home. This method of ventilation creates a positive pressure throughout the entire house, driving warm, stale air and further impurities out through natural openings such as windows, doors, and letterbox.
For more information on ventilation systems and to discover our latest PIV unit, the Drimaster ECO NOX which can reduce NOX pollution levels by up to 80%, visit nuaire.co.uk.
Nuaire is the UK’s leading ventilation manufacturer for the domestic, commercial, and industrial sectors. Established in 1966 by the Tack Brothers, the company has become the pioneer of new air technology after inventing several of the UK’s first solutions for poor indoor air quality. Driven by ambitious targets for exceptional quality alongside green manufacturing practices, Nuaire continues to seek out the very best solutions for maintaining healthy living environments.