Don't Let Air Pollution Control Your Asthma - Top 10 Tips to Help You Fight Back

It’s national Allergy Awareness Week 2016 (25 April – 1 May) and ventilation designer, Nuaire is keen to highlight the danger to asthma sufferers from rising air pollution levels across the UK. With 40,000 early deaths each year being caused by dirty air and news that the UK won’t meet EU standards on air quality until 2020, the dangers are real. If you or a loved one suffers from asthma, the fight against air pollution starts at home. Here’s what you need to know.

  1. Traffic fumes are a major culprit. Diesel and petrol engines churn out a cocktail of noxious gases that include carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and – most harmful to humans – particulate matter, or PM.
     
  2. Air pollution from traffic emissions is bad news for asthma sufferers. Medical research has proven that particulate matter (PM), nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone are the most hazardous types of air pollution and can worsen asthma symptoms and even cause fatalities. Nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide damage the lungs, causing inflammation and reduced lung function, while ozone is a major factor in asthma mortality.
     
  3. Air pollution and warm, sunny weather don’t mix. Sunshine reacts with nitrogen dioxide, PM and VOCs to produce ozone, which can reach dangerously high levels near busy roads. If air pollution levels are high on warm days, the pollutants can combine to form smog. This also traps pollen and the irritants can stay in the air for as long as the calm weather is around.
     
  4. Long-term exposure to air pollution can actually cause asthma. Children and young adults are most at risk from its harmful effects. As air pollution levels increase, so does the harmful effect on lung function. Children who live near busy roads are four times more likely to have reduced lung function when they grow up.
     
  5. Polluted outdoor air is polluted indoor air. If air pollution levels are high in the area around your home, then unfortunately the air you breathe inside your home will also contain the same pollutants. To make matters worse, everyday activities like burning coal or wood on a stove or fireplace, cooking on a gas hob, using decorating and cleaning products, and using air fresheners and burning scented candles, all contribute to poor indoor air quality. The chemicals released react with one another and with the chemicals from incoming traffic fumes, making the air we breathe at home up to 50% more toxic than the air outside.
     
  6. Your home could be making your asthma and allergies worse. The My Health My Home campaign is lifting the lid on contaminated indoor air and how it’s affecting our health. To take the healthy home test and find out if you need to take action visit www.myhealthmyhome.co.uk 
     
  7. Opening a window won’t help, but neither will sealing up your property. When air pollution levels are high, the general advice for asthma sufferers is to stay at home and keep windows and door shut. However, this could do more harm than good if the property is poorly-ventilated or has been made more energy-efficient with wall and loft insulation. Houses need to breathe, but the air we bring in must be free from pollution and allergens. Two of the most common asthma triggers in the home are house dust mites and mould spores. Both thrive in damp, humid conditions and are a result of poor ventilation.
     
  8. Ventilation is the key to improving air quality at home. But extract fans which operate intermittently won’t do the job. Installed in the wrong place they simply blow allergens around the room making asthma symptoms worse. What’s needed is whole-home ventilation that will treat the air throughout the property, improving the indoor air quality and ensuring that the air being brought in is free from pollution and allergens.
     
  9. MVHR is a must for new-build homes. Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery or MVHR is the most energy-efficient method of ventilating new homes being built. This is a ducted system that removes stale air from each room and replaces it with fresh, filtered air from outside. Popular for two decades, MVHR systems contain high grade filters that clean pollutants, dust and pollen from the incoming air before it enters the home.  For homes being built near busy roads, carbon filters can be fitted to pre-filter the incoming air so that even the finest particles of pollution are removed.
     
  10. PIV can reduce asthma triggers in your existing home.  Positive Input Ventilation or PIV has delivered proven benefits for asthma-sufferers.  PIV works by pushing air into the building at a constant rate, forcing air circulation around the interior. A properly installed unit will ensure that stale, contaminated and moisture-laden air in the property is continuously diluted, displaced and replaced with good quality, fresh and filtered air. The result is an environment in which condensation dampness can’t exist, and where the allergens and pollutants that act as triggers for asthma sufferers are kept to a minimum. This solution is easy and quick to fit, so minimal disruption is required to get good indoor air quality.

While we wait for the politicians to take control of the rising air pollution levels in the UK, there’s already lots we can do to protect ourselves at home. Proper ventilation is the most effective way of removing pollutants and allergens from our indoor air, but the added filtration offered by both MVHR and PIV systems is the secret weapon for asthmatics against air pollution.

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The Race Is On for Ductmaster Thermal

A team of contractors have put three methods of insulating ducting to the test in a head-to-head race at Robert Price Builders Merchants in Newport, South Wales. Nuaire’s award-winning Ductmaster Thermal product was pitted against two traditional methods based on the standard PVC pipe which is sealed and taped before either Rockwool or foil-faced bubblewrap is wrapped around the duct in order to comply with current Building Regulations.

Electrical installers, Hitching Electrical bravely stepped up to the challenge of competing on camera in Nuaire’s ducting installation race, hosted by our very own James Mullane.

You can also watch and share our Ductmaster Thermal race on our YouTube channel.

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The implications of overheating when making energy efficient home improvements

Improving your home to make it more energy efficient under schemes such as the Green Deal, has numerous benefits in terms of saving on fuel bills and of course protecting the environment. 

In 2011, its reported that there were 4.5 million households in the UK in fuel poverty and with cold homes being a much bigger problem today than warm ones; introducing energy efficiency measures to reduce winter fuel bills, under schemes such as the Green Deal, seems a sensible solution to help combat fuel poverty.

The latest climate change projections, however, suggest that Britain will see warmer summers and an increased likelihood of heat waves. For this reason there is concern that some of measures suggested to make homes more energy efficient, could increase the risk of overheating and poor indoor air quality.

Research undertaken by the Adaptation and Resilience in a Changing Climate (ARCC) under the projects, CREW, LUCID and SNACC have evidence to suggest that Green Deal measures such as heavily/inappropriately insulated homes could increase the risk of summer overheating and create new problems in the future.

So what should you do for the best? 

The ARCC have produced a guide for anyone with concerns and provides information on those properties at higher risk and the key principles for addressing overheating, including ventilation.

Continuous Mechanical Ventilation products can help with improving indoor air quality and elevate some problems inherent when highly insulating properties, such as condensation in the winter and overheating in the summer. The Green Deal guidance refers to the use of continuously running Extract Fans and Positive Input Ventilation, all of which are products offered by Nuaire. Advice should also be given by your Green Deal Assessor on any ventilation requirements as a result of the recommendations being made to improve your home.

For more information on Nuaire’s solutions for homes undergoing energy related improvements click here.  

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Nuaire launches market-changing MVHR solution for apartments

UK market leader in energy-efficient ventilation systems, Nuaire has announced the launch of its latest whole-house mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) product for apartments, which will offer architects and consultants greater flexibility in their designs due to its very low depth.

The new MRXBOX95-LP1 offers the lowest specific fan power of any low-profile void-mounted MVHR system and is specifically designed to fit easily into apartments with ceiling void restrictions where space is at a premium.

A recent study by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) stated that of the eight key benefits for homebuyers, storage was top of the list. Nuaire's latest MVHR system will free up valuable storage space for homeowners whilst providing high performance ventilation for up to six wet rooms. It will also avoid the need for designers to make allowances in their initial designs or make costly alterations by having to lower ceilings to fit other MVHR units.

The MRXBOX95-LP1 will achieve low specific fan power in SAP Appendix Q to assist in meeting Part L 2010 Building Regulations and in achieving Code 3 and above in the Code for Sustainable Homes. 

Combining supply and extract in one unit, the MRXBOX95-LP1 works to deliver tempered air into living areas, whilst extracting moisture laden air from wet areas, to create a healthy and comfortable living environment.

Using the latest technology of low watt DC fans, the product operates quietly and uses long life motors to ensure efficient and effective ventilation. The DC fans not only reduce power consumption significantly but also lower operating and life cycle costs.

Wendy Thomas, residential product manager at Nuaire, said: "This latest product launch demonstrates our commitment to providing innovative product solutions to meet the wide ranging needs of our customers.  As city populations increase, so consultants and architects are faced with further reductions in space when designing apartments.

"Ceiling void restrictions and the need for storage space for occupants were therefore the chief concerns for Nuaire when designing the new MRXBOX95-LP1.  Not only is this a high quality product, but its ultra-low profile will offer greater flexibility to designers and will free up valuable space within the home."

This latest addition to Nuaire's intelligent range of MRXBOX95 products has been designed to meet the demands of apartment builders, developers and social housing providers, further enhancing the company's heat recovery portfolio, which now encompasses units for every conceivable size and type of residential building.

Nuaire also offers a complementary code advisory service, CPD Seminars, together with a full design and supply solution package, simple user guides to ensure trouble-free use and a five year warranty to ensure the customer's peace of mind.

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Harrogate Show 7-9th November

Self-builders and home improvement enthusiasts can get first-hand advice on the best ventilation strategy for their properties at the forthcoming Harrogate Home build & Renovation show 7-9th November.

Nuaire’s dedicated Self Build Team will be showcasing a full range of products, including Mechanical Heat Recovery (MVHR), Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) as well our award-winning Ductmaster Thermal Ducting which has just won Best Service Product in the Homebuilders Product Award 2014. Self-builders can find out about the best methods of meeting building regulations and ensuring their ventilation strategy is effective and efficient, on improving indoor air quality and solving condensation issues.

We will be holding a master class during the exhibition for all those who want to join us, explaining more about energy-efficient ventilation and the importance of good indoor air quality. You can join us for this event at 13:00 on the 8th November or why not come along and speak to Aaron and his team on stand number 320.

For further details of Nuaire’s self-build and retrofit ventilation products you can download our Self Build Brochure or you can visit our website.

Free tickets to the show please contact our Dedicated Self Build team on 029 20858363.

Follow us on Twitter for regular news and advice on self build issues - @NuaireHomes

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Nuaire to Exhibit at Ecobuild

Following on from last year’s success at Ecobuild, Nuaire will once again be exhibiting at this year’s show.

The 2013 show held at ExCel, London between the 5th and 7th of March 2013, will not only see Nuaire showcase a wider range of their award winning MVHR products but promote their complete ventilation solutions. 

The Nuaire Design Centre

Visitors to the Nuaire stand are able to get a free ventilation design whilst they are at the show and can start putting their plans into action, by not only getting a detailed ventilation drawing but receiving expert advice on the ideal ventilation solution for their new build property.

The Nuaire Design Centre will allow Ecobuild visitors to see and discuss Nuaire’s design solution offering including REVIT 3D CAD drawings.

For pre-design and collection at Ecobuild, email your DWG AutoCAD drawings to selfbuild@nuaire.co.uk by Thursday 28th of February 2013.  To book a dedicated time slot and get expert advice and get a ventilation design produced whilst you are at the show, call 029 2085 8425.

MVHR Best Practice Guide

Although whole house ventilation has been around for some time, the advancement of Mechanical Heat Recovery (MVHR) products has resulted in far greater requirements and skill with regards to installation.

The introduction of the Domestic Compliance Guide with 2010 Building Regulations has a number of requirements in order to conform with building regulations, including the requirements to commission mechanical ventilation systems using an approved procedure and the use of a qualified competent person.

Nuaire is a BPEC accredited training centre and together with the queries/issues received through their After Sales Department, they recognise that there is a need for manufactures to guide and support Installers and Housebuilders in overcoming the challenges MVHR brings with regards to installation.

Nuaire are therefore pleased to be launching their best practice installation guide at Ecobuild and offer technical support and advice on their stand – N2360.

To receive a free copy of their best practice installation guide or to book an appointment with one of their experts whilst you are at the show, call 029 2085 8369 or email info@nuaire.co.uk.

Get a sneak preview of Nuaire’s soon to be released products

In addition to seeing Nuaire’s full range of awarding winning MVHR products, Nuaire are pleased to be previewing their two new fans dedicated to the RMI and New Build markets together with some industry leading acoustic and ducting solutions.

To get a sneak preview of Nuaire's industry leading new products or to find out more about their complete ventilation solutions visit us on Stand N3620.

About Nuaire

To find out more about Nuaire click here.

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Nuaire releases its latest Heat Recovery Wall Unit - MRXBOX95-WM1

UK market leader in the design and manufacture of energy efficient domestic and commercial ventilation systems, Nuaire, has announced the launch of its latest whole house heat recovery product, to further extend its successful MRXBOX95 range.

The MRXBOX95-WM1 is a high performance, compact, wall-mounted unit. Designed to create a healthier living environment, this whole house heat recovery system will ensure you meet building regulations, whilst providing effective, year round ventilation.

Designed for the smaller property type this economically designed system delivers fresh tempered air into living areas while extracting moisture-laden and stale air, creating a more comfortable and healthy living environment.

An addition to the current range of Nuaire’s discreet MVHR solutions, it has been designed to help meet current new-build regulations while providing energy-efficient, quality ventilation in modern residential build set-ups.

Offering a range of benefits, from low and easy maintenance, easy, accessible controls and a 5 year warranty, the new heat recovery system is SAP Appendix Q listed approved by the Energy Savings Trust. All of our MRXBOX95 range of products meet the code for sustainable homes and comply with Part F building regulations.

As Nuaire’s residential product manager, Wendy Thomas, explains, ‘this latest addition to our range has been introduced to meet the bespoke demands of housebuilder’s & developers. Our MRXBOX95 units offer the most compact range on the market for loft, wall, cupboard and ceiling void applications all of which have front filter access allowing quick & easy maintenance for the social housing provider and the occupant.’

To find out more about Nuaire's MRXBOX95-WM1 click here

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Drimaster-Eco Installation Is As Easy as PIV!

Curing condensation dampness and improving your indoor air has just become even easier, thanks to a smart new product range from Nuaire.

The Drimaster-Eco positive input ventilation (PIV) range boasts features that make it quick and easy to install, commission and adjust. And to prove it, Nuaire has launched a useful step-by-step installation video.

The how-to guide shows installers and DIYers how to install the system in the loft and how to set up the wireless sensors. 

"Drimaster-Eco can be installed in under one hour by one qualified tradesperson", explains Nuaire's Residential Product Manager Wendy Thomas. "The whole process has been simplified to save time and money."

 

For further details about the Drimaster-Eco range click here. Or watch our video explaining how Drimaster-Eco cures condensation dampness and improves indoor air quality. 

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Nuaire To Shed Light on Low-Energy Ventilation at Swindon’s Self Build Show

The National Home Build & Renovation Show takes place from 7th to 9th February, 2014, well-timed for those starting a 2014 self-build project. Exhibiting at the show, Nuaire’s expert Self-Build Ventilation team will be on hand to explain which ventilation products are best suited to the particular property type, layout and needs of the individual.

Nuaire Design Estimator Llyr Davies believes visitors can save themselves time, money and headaches with the expert advice he and his team provide during the weekend event. He said: “Visitors are able to discuss projects and get first-hand advice on how each ventilation system works. We can steer them through the requirements of Building Regulations and reducing energy usage, and demonstrate our design service."

Speak to Llyr and the team on stand T050 for an expert view on low-energy ventilation and hassle-free design. In the meantime, you can find out more about our self-build ventilation products by downloading our brochure or visiting the Self Build page.

For more information please contact our dedicated selfbuild team on 029 2085 8425.

 

Find out more about the National Self Build & Renovation Show, Swindon. To claim your FREE early bird tickets, please use promotion code SBRSWEB14 when ordering. Normal ticket prices are £5.00 if booked in advance or £8.00 on the door!

 

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Nuaire expands new range of wall-mounted MVHR solutions

UK market leader in ventilation solutions, Nuaire, has revealed the newest mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) system that will extend its latest range of wall-mounted products created specifically for the modern needs of residential architects and building designers.

The MRXBOX95-WM2 is a high efficiency, low power and low noise product. Part of Nuaire's wall-mounted range of discreet MVHR solutions, it has been designed to help meet current new-build regulations while providing energy-efficient, quality ventilation in modern residential build set-ups. This latest unit will cater for homes with up to five wet rooms, adding to the product range which already includes the smaller WALL unit, a compact solution for smaller homes, and the powerful WH1, which is capable of ventilating homes with up to seven wet rooms.

Each product in the cost-effective range provides a whole-house heat recovery system, combining supply and extract in one unit. This economically designed system delivers fresh tempered air into living areas while extracting moisture-laden and stale air, creating a more comfortable and healthy living environment as well as saving the amount of space needed for more conventional units that deliver similar benefits.

The addition of this new product to the MVHR range means that Nuaire can now offer a ventilation solution to meet the varying requirements of small, medium, large and three storey properties - maintaining more choice and better value for home builders and residential architects.

In addition, its use of the latest low watt DC fan technology with long life motors means that the entire range operates quietly while ensuring a more efficient and effective ventilation solution. The DC fans not only significantly reduce power consumption, but also lower operating and life-cycle costs, increasing each unit's value for money.

Wendy Thomas, residential product manager, said: "At Nuaire we are acutely aware of the challenges that are presented by the latest residential housing regulations and, as a result, we are consistently striving to achieve the smallest, quietest and most cost effective ventilation solution without compromising on air quality and speed.

"This latest product compliments our economically designed range of wall-mounted products made specifically for residential use, and adds yet another string to our bow as we strive to offer the most cost-effective and wide variety of solutions - making sure that we have a product that will cater for any residential design and any level of ventilation."

Nuaire offers the widest range of MVHRs of any UK manufacturer and can provide solutions for all property types and sizes. It also offers a complementary code advisory service, CPD Seminars, together with a full design and supply solution package, simple user guides to ensure trouble-free use and a five year warranty to ensure the customer's peace of mind.

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