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Ever wondered if there are regulations in place about workplace air quality and ventilation? Well, the answer is yes.

It’s the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that sets these rules out through the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. These make sure that air quality remains adequate and safe for all employees.

You can read the full copy of these regulations here. However, if you’d just like the highlights, then we’ll talk you through what is expected of you as an employer and what you can expect from your workplace as an employee.

Air quality regulations

In the UK, “effective and suitable provision” should be made by employers to “ensure that every enclosed workplace is ventilated by a sufficient quantity of fresh or purified air.” 

This means that any work space, whether it’s an office, factory or shop, should have systems in place which replace unwanted air with fresh, clean air. This will also help to prevent workplaces from getting stuffy and overheating.

The government regulations state that workplaces should normally be supplied with at least 5-8 litres of fresh air per second, per occupant, but more may be needed in more crowded areas, where machinery or equipment is used or where people are doing strenuous work.

This fresh air should be as clean as possible to avoid employees inhaling anything undesirable, like pollution or pollen, that could make them unwell. To do this, employers need to make sure that ventilation systems are located away from places where there could be contaminated air, such as near roads or near an exhaust.

The regulations also state that mechanical ventilation systems should be provided for some or all of a workplace, if this is necessary to ensure adequate ventilation. When re-circulating air, these systems should have adequate filters to remove impurities and their fresh air inlets should always be kept open. All of our units at Ventilation Megastore adhere to these rules.

Systems also need to be regularly cleaned, tested and maintained to ensure they’re kept clean and free from anything which may cause the air to become contaminated.

It is important to note that, while Regulation 6 is a great resource to refer to for general workplace ventilation, it is not designed to help with controlling employees’ exposure to any harmful substances such as asbestos, lead or ionising radiations. More details on these regulations can be found here.

Will my business benefit from mechanical ventilation?

Absolutely! Mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) systems are the perfect solution if your firm is struggling to meet the required regulations for ventilation, or if you simply want to create a better environment for your staff.

Our MVHR units are designed to help your business reduce energy bills. What’s more, they also look after the environment with a highly efficient heat exchanger.

The system will remove stale air in the workplace while ensuring that your team has access to fresh, filtered air all year round. So you don’t have to worry about opening any windows and making your staff chilly!

What’s more, filters are easy to access and washable, with the heat exchangers removable for hassle-free cleaning, meaning that the units are simple to maintain. Built with efficiency in mind, they’ll fit into small spaces within your premises without taking up too much room.

So, if you’re interested in getting your own MVHR system, we’ll work with you to find the right solution for your workspace. We’ll take into account the size of your workspace, the number of occupants and the nature of your work, to ensure everyone can benefit from safe, clean and fresh air - no matter the weather.

To find out more about how MVHR systems can work for your company, or if you have any queries, please get in touch with our team today.

Everyone is aware of outdoor air pollution and the harmful effects that it can have on humans, but the dangers from indoor air pollution can be equally as damaging - especially for households with children or older people.

High-quality indoor air is absolutely crucial to our health. As we spend a significant amount of time indoors in the UK (especially in winter!), it’s imperative that we don’t expose ourselves to harmful substances while doing so.

What exactly is indoor air pollution?

Indoor air pollution includes dust, dirt or gases that are within the air inside buildings, such as homes, offices or schools. In its simplest terms, it refers to any contamination of the air indoors. 

You’ll probably have noticed when your home feels stuffy, humid or dusty but you might not realise that there can be serious consequences if you allow pollutants to build unchecked.

Most indoor air pollutants are small enough in size to enter your lungs, and can make symptoms of a lung condition (such as asthma) significantly worse.

There are many different types of indoor air pollution, including:

Why is it dangerous?

Indoor air pollution is fast becoming a more significant issue, as homes are getting even more energy efficient.

To keep your home warmer in winter, you’ve probably reduced the number of draughts around windows and doors or have upgraded your insulation. While that makes your home more energy efficient, it will also make your home more airtight, meaning that the air inside can quickly become stagnant and pollution levels will undoubtedly rise as a result.

According to Asthma + Lung UK, poor indoor air quality has been linked to many different lung diseases such as asthma, lung cancer and COPD. It’s also been linked to an increased risk of strokes and heart disease.

Although those with a lung condition are more likely to be affected, anyone can be susceptible to side effects as a result of indoor air pollution. Children are also more at risk, as their lungs are still developing - their airways are smaller, so inflammation can cause them to narrow more easily than adults.

Symptoms of poor indoor air quality include irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, coughing and sneezing, and sinus congestion. The best way to tell if your home is causing your symptoms is to keep an eye on how you’re feeling after a few hours out of the house. If you’re feeling better, it’s likely to be your house doing the damage.

Breathing in dust inside

Here’s some examples of things in your home that produce air pollution

How can I reduce my indoor air pollution?

The best way to quickly and safely reduce levels of indoor air pollution is to invest in reliable, efficient ventilation.

Opening windows throughout the night and day is one solution, but it will also make your home cold, and small openings won’t do much on a still day. Extractor fans are also effective in removing warm, humid air, but let out heat. They also only remove the air from a home and don’t replace it.

Mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) units are the perfect solution - they ensure that your home has a constant stream of fresh, warm air, while removing polluted air from the property at the same time. Not only that, but they also use the extracted air to warm the air that the system draws into the house, protecting the energy efficiency of your central heating.

The system works by extracting moist, stale air from the home and replacing it with fresh air from outside via a duct network. These ducts bring in clean air from outdoors, passing via a heat exchanger to warm it up on its way in.

The clever central unit will automatically control and monitor the air quality within the home, making any adjustments necessary to ensure that there is a continuous stream of ventilated air at all times in your property. Not only will it remove the pollutants, it’ll also remove any infectious particles along with it - helping to reduce illnesses and air-related symptoms in one go.

Thinking of investing in MVHR? Get in touch with our team of experts today for no-obligation consultation - we’d love to hear from you!

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