Ventilation helps your home rid itself of moisture, smoke, cooking odours, and indoor pollutants. Structural ventilation controls heat levels in the attic, moderates dampness in the crawlspace and basement, and keeps moisture out of uninsulated walls. It is also good to have an airflow that is uninterrupted, as anything blocking the air flow in your home can cause damage to both your home and your health. One of the reasons ventilation is so important is because it controls how much moisture is lingering in your home.
Without a ventilation system in place, you have no control of the air flow in a building.
Reasons Why Your Home Needs Good Ventilation
1. To remove condensation which causes damage to the home
A recent My Health My Home survey found that 58% of homes experience condensation. Everyone knows what condensation is, but what causes condensation and what can be done about it?
If you have ever noticed the droplets of water that form on the outside of a canned drink when you take it out of the fridge, then you have seen condensation at first hand. The reason why this happens is all to do with temperature, air, and water vapour. The temperature on the surface of the can is reduced as air passes over it. As the air gets cooler its relative humidity rises and the water vapour turns into moisture. The air passing over the can is unable to hold onto the moisture which ends up as droplets running down the side of the can’s cold surface.
This is what happens in thousands of households across the nation when the temperature drops inside the home, especially at night-time when the heating is turned off. The air reaches the point where it can no longer hold onto to all the moisture that we create in our homes and it migrates to the coldest surfaces – windows, walls and behind furniture – where it appears as condensation or the more familiar sight of streaming windows.
Condensation is most noticeable in winter because there is a large difference in temperature between the inside and outside of the home. That means once the heating is turned off the inside temperature drops quickly and soon reaches the point of 100% saturation. As the air cools further, some of the water can no longer be held in the form of invisible water vapour and begins to form liquid droplets. Condensation is the most common form of dampness and will eventually lead to mould growth. If it is left to develop over time then damp patches may start to appear on walls, which means that wallpaper may peel, and ultimately black mould will grow. This leads to musty smells, damage to the fabric of the house and it can even result in health problems.
Introducing adequate ventilation, with a condensation control unit, gently ventilates the home from a central position such as the landing to transform a stagnant and stale atmosphere into a fresh, healthy and condensation free environment.
2. To make a healthier living environment and reduce asthma
Did you know that damp and mouldy conditions can be major triggers for asthma?
If a home does not have an adequate ventilation system and humidity is high, this can provide a perfect breeding grounds for dust mites. These dust mites and their airborne detritus thrive in homes that are not effectively ventilated. When their detritus encounters the skin or is inhaled, it can cause allergic reactions, resulting in asthma attacks, eczema, watering eyes, itching, sneezing and a runny nose. These issues can be significantly reduced with an effective ventilation system and some asthma sufferers have seen immediate benefits when such a system has been fitted in their homes.
3. To help alleviate symptoms of hay fever
In the summer, hay fever causes misery and suffering for many people. An effective ventilation system can filter out larger particles, such as pollen, preventing them from entering the home. Having a ventilation system in place means there is no need to open the window, which can cause a problem for those with pollen allergies. A ventilation system could be the answer to a more comfortable summer.
Some sufferers of seasonal health conditions, such as hay fever and pollen allergies, have noticed improvements in their condition when an effective ventilation system is fitted. A constant supply of filtered fresh air entering the home can help to control pollutants in the indoor atmosphere, which can have a positive impact on health.
4. To reduce the effects of naturally occurring Radon gas
Some parts of the country are affected by Radon gas. This is a colourless, odourless radioactive gas, which is formed by the decay of small amounts of uranium that occur naturally in all rocks and soils. When this occurs, it produces another radioactive element called Radon’s Daughters, which can attach themselves to dust particles in the air and, if inhaled, they will stick to the airways of the lung. The World Health Organization (WHO) has linked Radon exposure to between 3 and 14 per cent of all lung cancer cases.
Radon is mainly found in areas with high levels of granite and other igneous rocks and is prevalent in areas such as the South West and the East Midlands. If you are in a Radon-affected area, it is worth having tests carried out in your home and it may be the case that a Positive Input Ventilation system can help to reduce Radon to safe levels, reducing the risks to your health.
5. To lessen the impact of VOCs
Volatile Organic Compounds – or VOCs as they are often known – are invisible gases that can lead to many health problems in the home. The Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks calculates there are up to 900 chemicals in indoor air, with negative side-effects much more common in properties without adequate ventilation. In fact, figures from the Environmental Protection Agency show the air inside homes could be 70 per cent more polluted than it is outdoors!
VOCs originate from a wide range of sources including cosmetics, air fresheners, through to permanent markers. Following certain activities such as cleaning and stripping paint, VOC levels could be as much as 1,000 times higher than background outdoor levels. Homeowners can take steps to protect themselves and their families by installing an effective ventilation system fitted to constantly introduce clean, fresh air from the outside to dilute and control VOCs in the home.
How You Can Improve Ventilation
The average person spends 70% of their time indoors within their own home. Good ventilation in the home helps you avoid the issues associated with poor air quality. Take the first steps toward improving your home air quality, book a free survey with one of our local installers.