Ventilation - how your home breathes and what that means for your health

July 18, 2022
Low ventilation can bring about a dangerous build-up of radon gasses which can cause lung damage.
The purpose of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems is to create thermal comfort and to ensure healthy indoor air quality. You know the drill. Out with the bad air, in with the good air. Like the lungs, homes need to be able to breathe to ensure that fresh air comes in and dirty air goes out. The general purpose of ventilation in buildings is to provide healthy air for breathing by diluting the pollutants originating in the building and removing the pollutants from it. You spend up to 90% of your life indoors, much of it in your own home. If you walk into a room in your house and it feels hot, stuffy and immediately uncomfortable, chances are that there is just not enough ventilation. Your health and that of your family is compromised.

This is no small matter. The Biden Administration and the US Congress have agreed on few things, but they agreed to provide hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds that can be used in schools, public buildings, and other settings to improve indoor air quality by improving Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. It was already well-established that to control the transmission of airborne infectious diseases indoors, and to control the transmission of infectious diseases, most of from the inhalation of airborne particles. As an example, a study of children in 390 Swedish home found that the prevalence of allergic symptoms decreased significantly with an increased ventilation airflow rate.

The spread of respiratory infections of any kind is mainly through contaminated fluid particles by viruses such as droplets and aerosols. In fact, air indoors can build up high levels of moisture, odors, gases, dust, and other air pollutants. To keep the air safe indoors, fresh outdoor air is needed to dilute these indoor pollutants—and that air must be constantly on the move providing the all important ventilation to your home. The quality of the ventilation and the test of your HVAC system is a measured in two ways: the air exchange rate, the number of times the air inside a building gets replaced with air from outside in an hour, and airflow by which the external air is delivered evenly to each part of the space to keep airborne pollutants far from you, your family and your guests.

The safest indoor space is one that constantly has lots of outside air replacing the stale air inside. And that depends on your HVAC system. Simply put, the more your HVAC system provides fresh air and causes it to circulate the better that system for your health and general well-being.
Ventilation, Indoor Air Quality and Disease Particles in Your Home

Your HVAC system is of great importance to reduce infection risk and in other ways to improve human wellbeing. In order to satisfy the requirement of better healthy environment and more thermal comfort performance of your indoor ventilation system, you need to choose your air-conditioning system wisely. There is a fascinating study of why air distribution and airflow are important in an era of COVID-19. In a densely occupied Chinese restaurant much studied by scholars of the pandemic, a wall air conditioner with no fresh air intake infected just those tables directly in the path of a stand-alone fan. None of the other diners or staff in the restaurant was infected. You may be advised if you have a poor airflow in your home to get a fan to avoid the danger of airborne diseases. Don’t listen to them.

That’s why air density and airflow matter. When air does not circulate, pollution builds up indoors. Just the family spending quality time together breathe out carbon dioxide. Low ventilation can bring about a dangerous build-up of radon gasses which can cause lung damage. Good ventilation fights humidity and prevents the growth of molds on which bacteria thrives. If your air conditioner doesn’t circulate air properly, hundreds of species of bacteria, fungi and moulds can grow in your home which can cause respiratory problems, allergies, asthma and affect your immune system as a whole. Carbon Monoxide (CO2) can actually be fatal in sufficient doses and bring about headaches, dizziness and nausea. Radon gases can cause lung cancer. Your air conditioning system is of very great importance to reduce infection risk and in other ways to improve human wellbeing in the pandemic. It’s all about fresh air freely circulating through an HVAC system that delivers. Does yours?
Legacy air conditioning systems and CEOTECH Climate Control Engineering

Air conditioning systems contain critical components that may aid in virus transmission and must be updated, such as air handling units, filters, transmission channels, and fans. Filtration is the most common and typically the most effective method for HVAC systems which promise temperature control. Filters in HVAC systems are typically installed either at an air inlet or outlet or within the central air-handling unit of commercial structures. These filters in HVAC systems have tangled fibers that trap particles too large to fit through the openings. If the unit is not maintained properly, it can become contaminated and potentially harmful to your health.

Hot air rises, cold air sinks. You know that if you live in a multi-story home every time you climb between the upper and lower floors. Your kitchen is usually downstairs sending hot air upstairs. As a result, the upper story feels much warmer, while your basement may be very nice and cool. This makes a big difference whether you are heating or cooling your home, and even more to your airflow and air density Depending on the layout of your home, certain spaces may have better airflow than others. When you hit a warm spot in a cold room, you had come upon that space. Our VIRMA monitors the ever-changing climate characteristics in each individual room, and controls airflow by opening and closing motorized vents strategically placed throughout your home. That motorized vent with related sensors for dust particles and temperature changes ensures a steady flow of air throughout your house, keeping all manner of climate dangers outside with you the master of the climate at home.

Air conditioner works just cools the air. That is, it is necessary to press the button, turn on the fan, and cold you feel the cold air. Temperature control is not provided, and you can only change the direction of the airflow, with its dangers. A step-up climate control sets the optimal temperature depending on the weather conditions, leaving uneven temperatures and problems with airflow and air density. That’s where we come in at CEOTECH.
Sources
American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). ASHRAE position document on filtration and air cleaning [Internet]. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE; 2015 [cited 2020 Dec 29]. Available from: https://www.ashrae.org/file%20library/about/position%20documents/filtration-and-air-cleaning-pd-feb.2.2021.pdf

Pirouz, B., Palermo, S. A., Naghib, S. N., Mazzeo, D., Turco, M., & Piro, P. (2021). The role of HVAC design and windows on the indoor airflow pattern and ACH. Sustainability, 13(14), 7931.

Ding, J., Yu, C. W., & Cao, S. J. (2020). HVAC systems for environmental control to minimize the COVID-19 infection. Indoor and Built Environment, 29(9), 1195-1201.

Izadyar, N., & Miller, W. (2022). Ventilation strategies and design impacts on indoor airborne transmission: A review. Building and environment, 109158.
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