To ensure a supply of fresh air and reduce the risk of indoor air pollution caused by filthy air ventilation, ozone, radon, and carbon monoxide, it is crucial for a building to have a flow of high indoor air quality throughout the entire structure. According to data from the World Health Organization, poor indoor air quality causes 4.3 million deaths yearly. That is around four times Birmingham’s whole population.

It is important to understand what contributes to indoor air pollution and how to raise indoor air quality to protect our health.

Why Having Good Indoor Air Quality Is Important?

Here are some stats and facts that can help you understand the gravity of the problem:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that interior pollution levels are typically two to five times greater than outdoor ones. Indoor contaminants can sometimes cause 100 times more harm than their outside counterparts.
  • 90% of people’s waking hours are spent indoors.
  • An optimal working environment that helps the employees focus on their tasks is one with good air quality. Studies show that better air contributes to positive and more productive work results.
  • In the short term, poor air quality can cause coughs, eye irritations, and headaches. If exposure to indoor air pollution is prolonged, however, more serious long-term issues may result.
  • Exposure to indoor air pollution may cause severe illnesses requiring extended absences from work, which would reduce productivity. It is estimated that poor air quality globally causes productivity losses totalling tens of billions of pounds.

Indoor Air Pollution – How Can It Affect Your Health

Poor air quality from sources like unclean air vents can have negative immediate and long-term effects on your health, just as good, well-maintained air quality can be advantageous.

air ventilation

Immediate health effects

Headaches, lightheadedness, and weariness are a few health impacts of poor air quality that can develop quickly. Additionally, it could irritate your throat, nose, and eyes. It is vital to take notice of the timing and location of these symptoms because they can resemble those from colds and other viral illnesses. If your symptoms disappear as you leave the building, poor air quality is almost certainly to blame. At that point, steps must be made to rectify the situation.

The likelihood that you may experience an instant reaction to poor air quality will vary depending on multiple factors, including age and any preexisting medical issues.

Long-term health effects

Some impacts, such as respiratory problems, heart disease, and cancer, might not be discovered for several years after a protracted period of exposure to poor ventilation. These issues can sometimes be lethal.

While the likelihood of substantial long-term health impacts varies from person to person, it might be challenging to identify a certain concentration or length of exposure likely to result in health problems from inadequate ventilation.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

There is no one reason for low-quality air in the home. Here are some of the most frequent reasons:

  • Pollutants and dust buildup in air vents
  • Asbestos
  • Worn-out insulation
  • Too much moisture
  • Ineffective central heating systems
  • Sources of combustion that use fuel (e.g. oil, coal, gas, kerosene)
  • Using pressed wood items to create furniture
  • Higher concentrations of pollutants due to high temperatures and humidity
  • Inadequate ventilation in a space or structure
  • Pesticides
  • Radon from the outside leaking inside the building
  • Defective or incorrectly set gas stoves or boilers

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Thankfully it is not hard to better your indoor air quality. The following tips can help you have a clean house and a healthy body and don’t require much time and effort:

  • radon monitorInstall radon detectors within the structure and take steps to lower the radon levels.
  • To prevent asbestos from spreading, seal or contain it.
  • Reduce the number of emissions by adjusting stoves and boilers.
  • When appropriate, open the windows and doors.
  • Install extractor fans in the bathrooms and kitchens to get rid of pollutants.
  • If you see visible mould or dust in the vicinity, arrange to have your ventilation ducts cleaned.
  • Air vents should not be blocked or blocked.
  • Use a dedicated outdoor spot to smoke instead of doing it indoors.
  • Garbage must be disposed of correctly and promptly.

Do You Have to Clean Your Air Vents?

It is undeniably true that allowing dust and mould to build up in air vents will significantly increase the risk of health issues caused by poor indoor air quality. Therefore, health experts strongly advise you to have your vents handled by professional cleaners anytime you discover signs of dust, mould, or vermin inside them.

Types of Building Ventilation

Numerous ventilation options are available, and we will look at the most popular ones.

Background ventilation

This is a secure ventilation opening that permits general airflow and is typically found in a wall or window. It can be accomplished mechanically using single room or entire building heat recovery systems or naturally using closable hit-and-miss vent covers on the inside side of the vent. Compared to natural ventilation, mechanical forms of ventilation are typically more energy-efficient since they can be manually operated, but they are also more expensive to install.

Extract ventilation

A mechanical extractor fan must be used to properly ventilate “wetrooms” like the bathroom or kitchen to prevent the buildup of water condensation inside the space. The mechanical fan in these areas, which lack windows or background airflow, should have an automatic 15-minute overrun, after which it should shut off.

air vents

Permanent ventilation

Permanent ventilation is necessary for spaces where fuel-burning machinery (which “sucks” the air ) is installed. As a result, the ventilator cannot be closed and must always be left open to maintain airflow. Typically, they come in the shape of 110mm pipes, internal vent covers, or external galvanized vent covers. All three of these components are combined in proprietary ventilation systems, which are certain to deliver sufficient airflow.

Purge ventilation

It refers to sizable movable ventilation entries that can be opened to whatever degree you require at any particular time, such as windows and patio doors. It is quite helpful when there needs to be a lot of ventilation, such as when rooms are being painted or refurbished, and there is a lot of sawdust or angle grinder dust present. Purge ventilation can then be kept closed for other circumstances, such as when attempting to maintain as much heat in a room as possible in cold weather.

As you see, there are many different types of ventilation systems, you can have in your building or house. Some are easier to maintain in good condition than others. You can check our house cleaning guide for tips and tricks on keeping your home safe, dust-free and healthy.

We know that cleaning the air vents is not an easy job, and not everyone will feel comfortable doing it. So if you feel uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to book a domestic cleaning crew. Your health and convenience are our prerogatives.

Stephanie Cooper

Stephanie is a content marketing specialist for Top Cleaners for the past several years. She has extensive experience working with cleaning companies and knows her audience. Stephanie creates engaging and useful content helping the customers of Top Cleaners with their struggles and providing them with the most accurate insight.