Ventilation and indoor air quality – a relationship that goes a long way
Among many things that the last two years taught us, there was a marked emphasis was on cleanliness, immunity-building food, wellness and preserving quality across all walks of life. A debate around Covid-19 was centred on the virus being transmitted through improper air conditioning, HVAC and ventilation systems.
Covid-19 or not, scientifically, traditionally and per common sense, good ventilation helps the indoor air quality by flushing out stale air and bringing in the fresh air. It also regulates temperature, and humidity and removes airborne particulate matter that comes in and settles down on furniture, furnishings or hangs in the air.
Ventilation and the way forward:
The pandemic has sparked an interest in mechanical fresh air ventilation systems, with increasing studies showing that fresh air can be beneficial to health and the immune system. With pollution levels touching dangerous levels, ventilation systems have turned into a must-have facility, on the lines of electricity and plumbing. The scaling up, and mass adoption of automation systems, smart appliances and home automation has resulted in affordable home health systems, which largely comprise of appliances like air purifiers, air conditioners and ventilators.
Residential and community units’ ventilation:
Older residential units are considering retrofits, remodelling and modifications to existing systems. As cities grow, there is a pressing need to turn to mechanical systems to provide necessary ventilation, rather than relying on natural systems alone. A good ventilation system reduces infection risk, and purifies and cleans air which has more than just health benefits – it has a positive effect on pets, plants and people.
Schools, hospitals and community centres, where larger groups of people are present, are including ventilation systems as part of their design as a measure to control disease spread and curb infection. The World Health Organisation in its publications and research has brought forward the fact that viruses and bacteria, including the covid-19 virus, propagate faster indoors, especially when spaces are closed and restricted.
How to make the best of fresh ventilation systems?
Apart from regular check-ups to the ventilation system, and replacements of filters, there are a few pointers that can preserve the life of your ventilation system and also be beneficial for the health of the inhabitants.
Natural and mechanical ventilation – a winning combination:
Research across the world suggests that ventilation and air quality are optimal and most effective when it is a combination of natural and mechanical ventilation systems. Neither is a full replacement for the other. Only mechanical may increase the chances of air recirculation, which is not desirable, while only natural means pose a risk of pollutants and suspended particulate matter in the indoor air.
HEPA filters can filter out particles as tiny as 0.1 microns and has been proven to filter out bacteria and virus. These effectively filter out infection and allergy-causing microorganisms and dust, so that your indoor air is top-notch. Most mechanical ventilation systems use HEPA filters, which need to be monitored, cleaned and changed regularly for optimal performance
Ventilation & humidity control:
Ventilation is vital when it comes to removing unpleasant odours, health, air quality and maintaining humidity. Ventilation and humidity control go hand in hand, where control of both works to remove contaminants, and odours and improve air circulation. Older buildings may require a mechanical fresh air ventilation system retrofit, with new buildings towering over them, and obstructing their natural ventilation.
Newer buildings today have ventilation systems – both natural and mechanical built into their blueprints, keeping the health of its inhabitants and the building itself in mind. The central idea with humidity control and ventilation is to flush out contaminated air, bring in fresh air, and ensure good air quality.
Ventilation is all about striking a balance between energy use, health and air quality. Excessive ventilation and humidity control can result in higher energy consumption, while low ventilation causes poor indoor air quality.
In order to remove contaminated air and fill the space with fresh air, two types of ventilation systems are currently deployed – natural ventilation and mechanical ventilation.
We come across this in the form of windows, doors, blinds and balconies, where opening and shutting them regulates ventilation and humidity naturally.
This is a combination of fans, purifiers and exhausts placed strategically to maintain set standards of indoor air quality.
These days, as buildings dot our skylines, there is increased use of mechanical ventilation systems. Renson is a world leader in mechanical ventilation systems. With state-of-the-art technology and considerable industry authority, Renson strives to provide clean, germ-free and healthy air to all inhabitants.