How do closed windows affect ventilation?
It is obvious knowledge that a Fresh air ventilation system for the home works at its best efficiency in a closed space. But one common worry with consumers is if there is too much recirculation going on, despite the air quality indicating that it is top-notch, and keeping the windows and doors closed is starving the space of oxygen. These fears are very rational and valid.
Let us take a deeper dive into what actually happens in the closed room with a fresh air system. Further, at the end of this post, you will have a clearer idea of if you should keep your windows closed permanently, or let in some natural air from time to time, and if a Mechanical Fresh Air Ventilation System for Home would still bring in the fresh air.
Reservations against closing windows:
When windows are closed, there are obvious fears of fresh air not coming in. You know how air conditioning is on, and everyone in the house is instructed to close doors and windows. It is in situations like these, that the air smells heavy, and there are hanging odours.
One of the first things that come to mind when we say closed rooms with all windows and doors closed is the concept we learnt as children, that one should not sleep in a room that is fully closed when a coal fire is burning.
Now this is because when a carbon-based fuel burns, it produces carbon monoxide, which latches onto the haemoglobin poisoning the blood.
This is not true for rooms where carbon-based fuel sourcing is not burning though, simply because there is no condition of oxygen starvation in closed rooms. However, there have been a lot of organisations that have played on this myth to introduce air purifiers that “solve” the problem of oxygen deprivation using submarine technology. The idea was simple – to use the technology marines use in submarines that help them breathe.
Does a central vacuum system or ventilation system help?
Ventilators do help in diluting the built-up pollutants inside closed rooms, by drawing air from inside the room, conditioning it to the right temperature, purifying it and maintaining the right humidity, and bringing it back into the closed space. However, let us look at what science has to tell us about the idea of oxygen in closed rooms, offices or even malls.
What does science say?
The experiment was simple. People were placed in a closed room – 7 of them within 35 square meters of space, and oxygen levels were monitored. The office space was insulated and windows closed, and there was no other central system available for use.
Interestingly, there was no drastic change in oxygen levels despite these extreme experimental conditions. This is because humans while breathing in oxygen do not breathe in as much oxygen so as to make the space run out of it.
That said, there was a remarkable change in the levels of carbon dioxide. The levels of carbon dioxide tripled while oxygen levels dropped by a meagre 0.3%. This is because of the composition of air. While oxygen forms about 21% of air, carbon dioxide form less than 1% of it.
Conclusions and takeaways from the experiments:
The experiment showed that we will not run out of oxygen in any case. Does that mean that we can be safe if we keep windows closed at all times?
WRONG. Remember that too much carbon dioxide can be harmful. Exposure to higher levels of carbon dioxide can cause people to feel drowsy, increase the risk of virus spreads and impair people’s performance. Although we don’t have to worry about running out of oxygen, too much carbon dioxide can be harmful.
Ways to maintain balance in the air:
Ventilate your room, office or home from time to time
To conclude, open those windows. Opening windows will let out the built-up carbon dioxide. But a word of caution here while employing natural ventilation methods. This also poses a risk of letting in air pollutants – especially if you are in a commercial or industrial area. In such a case it is wise to use a Fresh Air Ventilation System for Commercial. These have proven to cut particulate matter by 70% within just 10 minutes of turning it on.
Consider a central ventilation system
Even if you have an air purifier, and open windows from time to time to let in natural ventilation, get a central ventilation system. It will not just purify air but function as a holistic fresh air system. It will take outside air, condition it, purify it and send it in. This air exchange system will give you the best of both worlds – fresh air that is clean and germ-free.
Air composition and exchange within closed doors can be tricky. Though scientific experiments show that there is no oxygen starvation in closed areas, carbon dioxide can be a serious problem. Getting a central ventilation system for fresh air circulation solves all issues while giving you clean, fresh and germ-free air at all times.