How To Improve Indoor Air Quality: Top Tips For Cleaner Air
How clean is the air that you’re breathing, day in and day out? Is the quality of the air found inside your home or workplace something that you’ve ever considered before? Did you know that you could be put-ting your body at sizeable long-term risk, without even being aware?
By Tammy James, Senior Marketing Communications Executive, July 2021
Considerations around indoor air quality have come to the fore in recent years, as awareness has grown for the impact that IAQ can have on our overall health and wellbeing. With the average grown adult breathing around 20,000 times every single day, that’s a whole lot of chances to cause harm to yourself; when thought of in these terms, it makes sense to ensure the air you breathe is as clean as can be.
Improved indoor air quality: why it matters
We all recognise obvious pollutants in the outdoor air - traffic fumes, for example, are pretty hard to miss. Yet what often goes undetected is indoor air quality, which can be up to 50 times more polluted than the air found in outdoor environments. As most of us spend more time inside our homes, workplaces and recreational settings, it pays to be mindful and aware of the risks - and do everything possible to ensure cleaner, fresher air.
Poor indoor air quality is most typically the result of inadequate ventilation, with harmful pollutants be-coming trapped inside indoor environments with no way of escaping to the outside world. From Nitrogen Dioxide to Radon Gas. Many of these pollutants can remain undetected for long periods of time yet can gradually chip away at our wellbeing.
Air pollution has been recognised as a huge environmental risk to public health. In the UK alone, illnesses linked to living in cold, damp and dangerous conditions has led to the NHS spending billions annually treat-ing those affected. Many of us live in houses that are over 60 years old - built during a time when indoor air quality wasn’t considered to be a major issue - and these properties often suffer from problems with black mould, mildew and condensation.
Yet, it’s not just older homes that are a problem. Modern homes, by design, are built for warmth, and the prioritisation of this can lead to moist air becoming trapped indoors and result in a damp environment.
Damp, polluted dwellings can affect our bodies in significant ways if indoor air quality is unaddressed. Ex-tended exposure to polluted air has been linked to a range of very serious health conditions, including respiratory infections, lung disease, heart disease and asthma.
Tips to improve indoor air quality in homes
The activities that we carry out within our homes can generate a staggering volume of pollutants, often without our knowledge. Tasks that include using cleaning and beauty products, air fresheners and cook-ing on a gas hob all emit harmful substances into the air which, if not dealt with, can result in long-term respiratory problems and very serious health conditions.
Modern homes are also are designed for comfort, which can be a breeding ground for poor indoor air quality. Ramping up the heating, shutting all the windows and cooking comforting food certainly adds to the ‘hygge' feel-good factor in the winter months, but it doesn’t aid good ventilation.
There are, however, plenty of ways in which indoor air quality can be improved within homes:
Maintain a clean home: Paying close attention to the cleanliness of our homes can make a big difference to indoor air quality. Regularly vacuuming carpets and rugs with a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter will help cut down on harmful molecules in the air. At the same time, bedding, drapes and other fabric items should be cleaned often as these attract allergens. Clean surfaces regularly and de-clutter your home to limit the amount of dust present in the air.
Open windows: Windows should be opened all year round, even during the colder winter months. Fresh air is vital to let oxygen in and harmful pollutants out, and open windows will also reduce humidity, the breeding ground for dust mites.
Reduce the number of house plants: It can be lovely to bring the outside in and have a home filled with greenery, yet indoor plants can also collect mould and encourage it to grow. A select number of house plants might make for a pleasant home environment, but don’t overdo it, or you run the risk of damaging your indoor air quality.
Ventilate your air: Ventilation is the key to better indoor air quality, and positive input ventilation is a trusted, whole-house system that prevents the buildup of condensation and black mould from harming the health of occupants and home environments. Since its invention 50 years ago, this highly cost-effective solution is the most popular method of low-energy whole home ventilation in the UK, drawing fresh, filtered air into homes and forcing air pollutants out.
Improving indoor air quality in commercial properties
Heavily populated commercial properties, from offices and workplaces to public spaces such as shops, restaurants and leisure centres, need to make sure that the air contained within is clean, at the right temperature and right humidity levels to support the health and wellbeing of occupants and visitors.
Commercial properties run a far higher risk of indoor air pollution than inside homes due to the number of people who typically pass through daily. Given their heavier use, specialist ventilation support is required to bolster and improve indoor air quality.
Commercial Heat Recovery Units are now widely used across the UK within a host of commercial properties ranging from schools to hotels. Working in a similar way to residential MVHR units, commercial heat recovery units deliver filtered fresh air into commercial buildings while extracting stagnant, stale air. This achieves a number of benefits. As well as keeping Co2 levels down (beneficial for reducing fatigue and feelings of tiredness), it also recovers otherwise lost to the outside.
Nuaire’s commercial heat recovery systems can be adapted to incorporate cooling, additional filtration and sophisticated control packages, providing a range of options, and peace of mind, to help you breathe a little easier.
Combating indoor air pollution
Paying close attention to indoor air quality can make a world of difference to how you feel - both now and in the future. Nuaire has specialised in market-leading ventilation solutions for the past five decades, continuing to in-novate to provide strategies that ensure cleaner air in homes and commercial properties alike.
From preventing condensation and cleaning up indoor air in existing homes via Positive Input Ventilation solutions, to supporting new build developers, social housing providers and landlords to bolstering indoor air within a wide range of commercial properties with the Commercial Heat Recovery Units, Nuaire has a tried-and-trusted solution to ensure fresh, safe and healthy air circulates freely and plentifully, whatever the indoor environment.