Indoor Air Pollutants

Condensation

What is condensation?

Condensation forms when water vapour in the air comes into contact with a cold surface, The water vapour becomes a liquid. Think what happens when take a glass bottle from the fridge, it does not take long before the outside of the bottle has water droplets forming and start running down the bottle. This is condensation. The same principle what you see on your windows on a cold day, don’t despair, this can be controlled.

Condensation can form on any surface if the surface is cold enough and there is a lot of moisture in the air. Typically, condensation forms in the home because the air in the home is too damp and cannot stay as a vapour when it hits a cold surface such as glass and in bad cases, walls and furniture.
Condensation can also impregnate into clothing and bedding but it less obvious as it is absorbed and not visible. A good test is to feel the bedding or clothing, if they feel colder than what the room feels like then you can be sure they are damp and that is not a healthy environment to be in. Wearing damp clothes or sleeping in a damp bed is not good for your health, especially your airways and lungs.

The best way to combat condensation is to find out where your moisture is coming from and put a plan in place to prevent it. BDVAir are experts in this field and can help you. Controlling and limiting the amount of moisture indoors is the first step for a healthier environment.  

Condensation
Mould

Mould

What is mould and how to prevent it.

Mould is by product of dampness. Dampness (see damp below). Damp surfaces attract mould spores which are constantly floating in the air both inside and outside. A spore will stick to a damp surface then feed off the moisture and proteins in the item or surface, they then spread like a wild fire and get deep rooted. Mould is like an iceberg, what you see is only about 10% of what is there.

Mould can be toxic and extremely unhealthy in the home. Mould is responsible for lots of illnesses and the more well known ones are asthma and other lung diseases.

The best way to combat mould is to follow the guidelines for condensation as they are both the result of an overly damp home.

Read our article on mould here >

Bacteria and Viruses

At any given time your home is full of bacteria. Bacteria forms on nearly all surfaces and is present in the air as micro organisms. The bacteria we commonly fight against are surface prone, we deal with these by way of cleaning, wiping and spaying to help control them but what about airborne bacteria and worse, viruses. They move around the house or stagnate waiting for a host to occupy. Like other airborne pollutants, the best way to deal with these is by adequate and constant ventilation.

 It is the ventilation or constant movement of air that flushes the air and the micro organisms out of the house and replaces this air with fresh filtered air. Many of the filters in a good ventilation system will help filter these out preventing them from entering the home. A good filter is a must in any ventilation system. BDVAir only uses hospital grade deep pleated box filters which filter down to .3 microns, this filters out many airborne pollutants creating a cleaner healthier environment for your family.

Pollen

Pollens, Allergies, Hayfever, Asthma

What could be causing allergies in my house?

Your home is full of allergy triggers and they come in the form of Pollens, pet dander, mould spores, dust and dust mites, cleaning chemicals, hairsprays and perfumes just to name a few. These indoor allergies are not just seasonal and remain all year long. These are especially invasive for asthma and lung infection sufferers.

All of these airborne pollutants can be dealt with one way or another. The easiest way is to prevent the outside pollutants from coming in such as pollens, dirt, dust, spores and other allergens. This can be achieved by keeping the doors and windows shut when practicable and having a ventilation system filter these from the air that is introduced to the home. A good filtration system will filter these from the air plus many more. The other indoor pollutants will be flushed from the home by the ventilation system so they don’t hang in the stale air waiting for their next victim.

It is important that the ventilation system has a very good filtration process. BDVAirs filters are hospital grade deep pleated box filters which filter down to .3 micron. As an example, a spec of dust is generally 10 micron is size. The filters will last 2 years before replacement is required.

Pollen & Allergies
Dust

Dust

Where does dust come from?

Dust is made up from many things, dirt, skin, pet dander, dust mite dander and smoke. Additionally, mould and bacteria are likely to be present in dust.

Dust also comes from nearby building sites, commercial areas, motorway and busy roads. For these it is not practical to open doors and windows as this lets the pollutants in and makes the problem worse as well as noise pollution, machinery exhaust gas and fumes. We have both indoor and outdoor dust pollutants and they can be dealt with the same way as other pollutants.

A good filtration system will filter these from the air plus many more. The other indoor pollutants will be flushed from the home by the ventilation system. It is important that the ventilation system has a very good filtration process. BDVAirs filters are hospital grade deep pleated box filters which filter down to .3 micron. As an example, a spec of dust is generally 10 micron is size. The filters will last 2 years before replacement is required

CO2

What is it and why is it in the home.

Carbon dioxide is a gas, you cant see it and you cant smell it although there are tell tales signs that it is present. It is one of the most important gases because plants use it for photosynthesis, people rely on plants for survival. Although it is an important gas, too much can be bad for your health.

Carbon dioxide or commonly known as CO2 builds up in confined spaces especially where people gather. That can be in the home, office, work and schools.

CO2 is produced from breathing, we breath in oxygen and exhale CO2. Overcrowding is also a contributor towards high levels. Overcrowding can be as little as 3 or 4 people in a room. CO2 is also produced in the home from gas cooking appliances and open fires. Outside CO2 is produced from decomposing vegetation, from the ground and from cars and machinery. Living close to motorways and main arterial routes are also factors.

CO2 can be very imposing on your health. Signs of exposure to high levels of CO2 indoors are drowsiness, inability to focus, mild headaches and abnormally tired. In some cases of excessive exposure to high concentrations can produce increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, asphyxia and coma. It does not take much for CO2 levels to climb to higher than normal or acceptable levels in the home. This can impact seriously on your cognitive ability to learn at school and university or to think clearly at work. We spend 90% of our time indoors and are constantly exposed to higher levels of CO2.

Levels of CO2 are measured in parts per million, referred to a ‘ppm’. i.e., the normal outdoor concentration of CO2 ranges between 350 and 450ppm. Indoors, normal levels are under 1000ppm. 1000ppm to 2000ppm are considered unhealthy and over 2000ppm can have serious health consequences. Do you ever wake up in the morning after a normal night’s sleep and still feel tired, have a mild headache, or generally feel drowsy? Chances are there has been a build up of CO2 in the bedroom overnight and the air has stagnated due to little or no airflow or ventilation.

CO2 gas levels can be controlled indoors with good ventilation, this can be by effectively opening and closing windows and doors to the outside or using a mechanical ventilation system. Heat pumps and air conditioning systems are not ventilators and do not help control levels of CO2 indoors.
BDVAir’s ventilation systems are designed to help control CO2 levels indoors as well as other pollutants. They naturally flush out stale air and replace it with fresh filtered outside air

Damp

Damp Indoors

When you hear a home is damp you think of flooding and water all through the house. This not quite correct. A home can be damp with only small tell tale signs but the outcomes can be extreme. Dampness is unhealthy, it is a major contributor to asthma and lung infections plus many other health concerns. It is bad for the structure and in extreme cases demolition is the only result. It increases maintenance schedules and costs more to maintain homes.

A damp home will have moisture impregnated right into the structure, it is not only present in the air. To fully dry out a home can take weeks or months of concentrated effort, merely running a dehumidifier for a few days and seeing a bucket of water will not dry out the home regardless of how impressive it looks.

Tell-tale signs of a damp home can be condensation on windows and surfaces, mould on walls and ceilings, on fabrics, behind curtains, wallpaper peeling and occupants constantly struck with coughs and colds.

Damp is introduced into the home by breathing, showering, cooking, overcrowding and rising damp to only name a few. All of these need to be addressed at the source such as good service area extraction systems, ground vapour barriers and adequate whole home ventilation. Ventilation will flush out the dampness 24/7 and over time dry out the structure and create a drier healthier environment.

Damp Indoors

Stuffy Air

What is stuffy air? Stuffy air is really a catch all description for a lot of airborne pollutants but mainly it refers to stagnant air. Stagnant air does not move, it is trapped and stationary, in pockets and corners around the home. Trapping pollutants such as mould spores, dust, bacteria, viruses, gases and CO2 and dampness, it is very bad for your health. You notice a home stagnated as it will smell, you find it uncomfortable to breathe, it may feel clammy and damp. Ever notice how different homes have different smells when you enter? That is that homes unique concoction of stagnant pollutants giving it its own smell. Animal smells are also a tell-tale sign.

Air circulation prevents these pockets from forming, ventilation flushes this air contamination from the home and in doing so rids the home of these air pollutants and keeps all rooms, corners and pockets free of stagnating air. The level of air flow does not need to be a hurricane. BDVAir’s exclusive IMS (Integrated Management Software) automatically controls the level of airflow around the home. Most of the time the system is in ‘Filtering mode’, this is a mode operating 24/7, you don’t even know its on, you will not hear it nor will you feel it but you will know it is on as the home will always smell fresh and the air will be clean

Stuffy AIr

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