November 8 has is World Ventilation Day
The initiative was established by a group of ventilation professionals in the UK from CIBSE, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), and academic researchers within the Future Urban Ventilation Network. Other organisations around the world to have pledged their support include the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the European association of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump contractors (AREA), the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), and AIRAH.
The stated aim of World Ventilation Day is to raise awareness about ventilation, highlighting why it is so important, how it can be done well, and to champion the organisations and people who work together to deliver good ventilation for health and sustainability.
“We decided to launch this project after discussions with Professor Cath Noakes about raising awareness of the importance of effective ventilation,” says Graeme Fox, Head of Technical at the BESA.
“The pandemic finally allowed the rest of society to understand what we always knew – that good ventilation is key to healthy living. And with the onset of colder weather again – in the northern hemisphere at least! – it will be an increasingly important point to drive home. Hence, choosing November.”
The official launch event took place this week at the BESA National Conference in London.
“We very much hope that you will join us to celebrate everything that is great about ventilation,” says the BESA. “It is our intention that this becomes an annual event to highlight the importance of our sector.”
Ryco and Ventil8
Bringing good clean air in from outside is crucial for health and wellbeing; it helps to keep CO2 levels down and lessens the risk of shared pathogens and illnesses. However, it also works against sustainability goals because that external air usually needs to be heated or cooled. This uses power which works against the reduction of greenhouse gases.
Also, the air outside can be poorer quality than inside; especially in fire season, when the pollen count is up, or when air pollution levels are high. So, what can you do? You can utilise air purifiers which filter the contaminants out of the air, so that you can balance ventilation with good air quality and optimise power usage to breathe easier.
Ventilation is just one element in enabling a building to perform well. Ventilation needs to be considered alongside energy consumption, climate change, urban pollution, noise, comfort and safety and security in buildings. In designing buildings for the future and upgrading existing buildings to be sustainable, healthy and safe, there are complex trade-offs to consider.
With the current focus on energy costs, it is tempting to reduce ventilation rates as a way of saving money. But this brings potential significant health consequences in the long term. It is critical that the importance of good indoor air quality is at the heart of decisions about design and operation of buildings.
Even simple actions can help enable better ventilation and heating without increasing energy costs.
Make sure your systems work
It sounds simple but ensuring filters are regularly changed, that systems are set up properly and that fans are running can make a big difference.
Use windows well
If you are relying on windows, open high level windows during cold weather to reduce drafts and/or open windows intermittently rather than all the time.
Optimise the heat
The more effectively you use your heating system the easier it is to ventilate too. Bleed radiators, make sure that radiators are not blocked by furniture or covers and move seating away from cold windows.
Use the weather
On sunny days in autumn and winter, allow the solar heat to come into your building and open windows more on the sunny side.
Target your ventilation to activities
Use extract fans for short periods when cooking or after showering. This removes pollutants and moisture at source and prevents problems later.
Consider using air cleaners
When it is difficult to ventilate, HEPA filter air cleaners can be an effective and low energy way of reducing exposure to indoor pollutants, particularly for people who are vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution or disease.
Ryco Air Quality can help you achieve cleaner air quality especially when its difficult to create the require amount of ventilation with the implementation of HEPA air purification systems and replacement HEPA air filters.