Fresh air is one of the most important prerequisites for life.
However, all air contains a number of different contaminants, in different quantities, depending on the time and place. A great deal of effort is being made to reduce emissions that have a negative effect on our outdoor air, but unfortunately far too little is being done to improve our indoor climate.
Indoor air is, unless we do something to the air en route, simply outdoor air plus what you’ll ﬁnd indoors. Most materials, e.g. rugs/carpets, paints, screed ﬂooring, chipboard, etc., release so-called emissions. These substances can be allergenic and hazardous to health. The emissions increase at high levels of humidity; humidity itself is the primary cause of rot and mould. These contaminants remain in the indoor climate for longer periods if the airtight houses of today are not adequately ventilated.
The air indoors is often worse than outdoors. Add the fact that we spend around 90% of our time inside, and you quickly realise that a good indoor climate with proper ventilation is extremely important.
We used to build houses with natural “leaks”, and we were all ﬁne. The energy crisis of the 1970s led to new building regulations that required new homes to be airtight and energy-efﬁcient. This change also had an impact on natural ventilation. This led to many problems such as rot, damp and mould in the home and health problems for the people living there.
Humidity is dangerous!
Nowadays we generate much more moisture in our homes than ever before. We shower every day and we wash and dry laundry indoors. Not forgetting the moisture from cooking food, watering
ﬂowers and exhaled air. Air humidity is the amount of water that is combined with the air around us. Serious problems arise when the humidity condenses in the building structure, e.g. in an external wall or loft space. In many cases, this leads to rot and mould problems.
The right type of ventilation reduces the risk of these problems. People feel healthier, are more efﬁcient and perform better if we breathe clean air. Did you know that a typical adult consumes around 1 kg of water, 3 kg of food but as much as 30 kg of air each day? That’s the equivalent of about 25,000 litres of air. Every single day!
How should your home be ventilated?
The basis of all types of ventilation is that we “draw” air through the property (creating negative pressure). The moist, used and foul-smelling air is ventilated outdoors using exhaust air ducts in bathrooms, utility rooms and kitchens. When this happens, negative pressure is created in the property and new, fresh air ﬂows in through air vents in bedrooms, living rooms, studies, etc. To make sure the new, fresh air circulates freely from “clean” areas to “dirty areas”, the transferred air must do its job properly. The best way to achieve this is to have ventilated interior doors, transfer air grilles or an open-plan solution.
The fresh outdoor air brought into “clean” areas such as bedrooms and living rooms is called intake air.
The air ventilated out from the property’s “dirty” areas such as bath-rooms, toilets and utility rooms.
The air that should be able to circulate freely between rooms in the property, from“clean” areas to “dirty/humid” areas, is called transferred air.