So that’s it, we are heading into winter. Which means more time spent inside our homes, trying to keep warm (although these beautiful warm days are tricking us at the moment). But did you know that the air in our homes can be 50% more polluted than outside (Smart vent, 2019) Not a nice thought at all!
The quality of the air around us and our homes has a huge impact on our health. To improve the quality of air in our homes we need to ventilate. Which is easier said than done in winter. Thankfully we can install home ventilation systems in our homes.
“Even though Auckland has a warmer climate than the majority of New Zealand, it is often damp and cold in winter and many of the houses are cold, damp and unhealthy…. 45 per cent of all New Zealand homes have significant mould inside (The Auckland Region Public health service, 2018). Showers, un-flued gas heaters, cooking and even breathing create moisture and dampness. “Condensation is the visible symptom of unhealthy air in homes.” (smart vent, 2019)
First up, home ventilation systems do not take the place of properly insulating and heating your home, but home ventilation will do wonders alongside these things in improving air quality and keeping your home warm and dry.
”"45 per cent of all New Zealand homes have significant mould inside"The Auckland Region Public Health Service(2018)
How does it work?
There are two different types of ventilation systems:
Positive pressure ventilation– These are the most common systems used in New Zealand. Positive pressure ventilation works by using fans and forcing air from your roof space or outside through filters. This fresher filtered air is then pumped through vents in your ceiling. The stale, moisture ridden air in your house is then pushed out by “positive pressure” through the gaps in your property.
Balanced pressure ventilation– With balanced pressure ventilation, two fans are used. An exhaust fan for pushing old, stale, polluted air out of the house. And another for drawing in fresher air from outside, which is then pumped through vents in the ceiling. Balanced pressure ventilation systems also have the capability to heat some of the exhaust air in a heat transfer unit.
Most home ventilation systems come with the ability to add on a heat transfer or summer kit. Heat transfer systems will only work if you are using fire as your heat source, not a heat pump. Using a heat pump with a heat transfer unit will overwork your heat pump, resulting in inadequate heating, higher energy bills and a lower lifetime of your heat pump.
- We spend 60% of our time in our homes
- Our homes can be 50 times more polluted than outside
- To remove moisture – moisture in the air makes mould
- To expel harmful and potentially toxic gases (VOCs) and chemicals that are released from everyday objects and products that we use in our homes e.g. furniture, air freshener, fly sprays, cleaning products, fabrics. These can cause respiratory issues and have links to cancer
- You are 30% more likely to develop asthma living in a house with condensation, damp or mould
- Great for landlords to ensure their properties are being ventilated effectively to protect their assets (The Smart Vent lite system – which is the cheapest of the Smart Vent systems comes with a lockable control panel to prevent it from being switch off)
(Smart Vent, 2019)
The ventilation systems we install here at Coastal Connections are Smart Vent systems. Their website is full of useful information related to ventilation systems and the differences between them, head over to their website to check it out: https://smartvent.co.nz/why-ventilate
Finance is available for the purchase and installation of ventilation systems making it an achievable option.
”"Our homes can be 50 times more polluted than outside"Smart Vent(2019)
Helpful tips to keep your home healthy this winter:
- Open your windows daily for a short period
- Make sure to open curtains in the day time and close before it gets dark
- Keep the bathroom window closed when you are having a shower (confusing I know) but make sure to use a bathroom fan
- Try not to dry clothes indoors (if you have to – run a dehumidifier)
- Avoid using unflued indoor gas heaters
- Remove existing mould
- Put lids on pans whilst cooking
- Use your extraction hood when cooking
- Use your heat pump correctly – read our blog post here to find out how (click the link)
To sum up, our homes are generally pretty polluted! New Zealand’s climate, particularly Auckland’s climate, along with the activities we do inside our homes frequently e.g. cooking, showering and even breathing, makes for a great breeding ground for mould in our homes. Impacting on our health. This article points out the simple tasks we can do daily to improve the ventilation in our homes, to attempt to combat these issues. Installing a home ventilation system can greatly improve the quality of the air in our homes and help to improve issues such as asthma and allergies.
If you have any questions regarding home ventilation systems in general, Smart vent systems or would like to book in for a free home assessment leave us a comment below or click here.
Auckland Region Public Health Service , 2018. [Online]
Available at: http://www.arphs.health.nz/public-health-topics/healthy-environments/housing/
[Accessed 14th March 2019].
Energywise , 2019. [Online]
Available at: https://www.energywise.govt.nz/at-home/ventilation/home-ventilation-systems/
[Accessed 14th March 2019].
Smart Vent, n.d. Why Ventilate. [Online]
Available at: https://smartvent.co.nz/why-ventilate
[Accessed 14th March 2019].