Why do we need to ventilate?
We breathe 12,000 litres of air with the 26,000 breaths we take every day & because we spend 90% of our time indoors, indoor air quality is crucial for our health.
Contrary to what many people think, the inside air quality is on average +10 times worse than the air quality outside of our home. The first reason why this is possible because we pollute our homes ourselves by cooking, showering, heating, cleaning, sweating and EVEN breathing!
Continuous high humidity leads to odours, condensation and mould and increases the number of bed mites. Bed mites eat our skin cells in beds, textiles, towels. Dust in our homes is mainly our skin cells. What we call dust allergy is not an allergy for our skin cells, dust allergy is the allergy for bed mites and their “waste”.
Bed mites enjoy high humidity, the reason why is because bed mites can eat, but they can`t drink with their mouth. They absorb water from humidity through their skin. So they do not survive in low humidity conditions and their numbers decrease when the humidity is not high.
So, in other words, low, normal humidity equals fewer bed mites and this means less allergy and asthma. Normal humidity levels also mean no mould & no condensation in our homes.
Almost every building material release VOCs (volatile organic compounds) for a very long time. Furniture, wall coverings, flooring, plastics release VOC. Formaldehyde, one of the most common VOCs, it`s a colourless gas with an acrid (sharp and bitter) smell. It is common in many building materials such as plywood, particleboard and plastic, glues. Formaldehyde can also be found in some drapes and fabrics and certain types of foam insulation. VOCs include a variety of chemicals that can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and skin problems.
Higher concentrations or long term exposure may irritate the lungs, as well as damage to the liver, kidney, or central nervous system. Some VOCs are suspected of causing cancer and some have been shown to cause cancer in humans. The health effects caused by VOCs depend on the concentration and length of exposure to the chemicals.
We all know the deadly consequences of CO (carbon monoxide) but do we know the effect of CO2 of our body?
Co2 is not deadly, except if you breathe co2 in high concentration and this is, of course, hardly possible at home. Our body constantly burning from the moment we born to the last breath we take.
We Breath oxygen, “burn it” and breath out CO2. So it`s natural. But when we are in a small space like our bedroom the Co2 level can reach a high concentration, above 1200ppm. So the “our fire” doesn’t burn anymore in the same efficient way. Sounds strange? Yes, but true.
Our brain, organs & our body will not work efficiently if the Co2 levels are high. Research shows people that sleep & live in a good oxygen level environment are fitter & more energetic. On the other hand, people with poorly ventilated areas, offices, homes are more likely tired, having more headaches and similar symptoms.
Is it a new thing in our life?
No. But in the last decades, our buildings become tighter and tighter and the air changes reduced or stopped.
In our grandparent’s time the houses were leaky, but with our modern building technologies, we reduced the natural ventilation in our homes.
Starting from the 80`s we improved a lot in our buildings, better insulation, less heat loss, but a few years later we saw an exponential increase in allergy & asthma-related problems.
Because we forgot what the previous generations knew, that we still need to ventilate our homes.
In a modern home, opening a window will not work because the house is so tight there is no flush, it`s not effective and it costs money. We will end up with huge heat loss and very little air changes. During the night, we won't start opening our windows or switch on our bathroom fans if the IAQ deteriorate.
Is it a problem? Why we build airtight buildings?
The key here is control. We want to reduce the heat loss and uncontrolled ventilation. We want good indoor air quality. If your home is leaky, on a windy day you have over “ventilation”, maybe not in the right area, if there is no wind you have no “ventilation”. So a leaky building has a high heat-loss and over or under ventilation.
In a modern building, we can minimalise the heat-loss and with intelligent ventilation, we can provide excellent indoor air quality with minimal heat-loss caused by the ventilation system.
This is the reason why in our modern airtight homes we need modern mechanical ventilation.
Even better if our ventilation system knows the indoor air quality and can adjust the ventilation rates according to the pollution. Why you want to ventilate all day the same way if you have different pollutions every time.
i-ventilation is committed to promoting intelligent, modern ventilation systems for your home
We truly believe we have systems that make life healthier while still reducing energy use.