Ventilation Megastore logoVentilation Megastore logo
Ventilation Megastore logo
Menu
Menu
Log In
Cart
BUILD YOUR SYSTEM
Log In
Basket

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!

If damp is allowed to develop within your home, it can result in the growth of mould and potential damage to the structure of your property. If you find damp in your home, then you must act as quickly as possible to remove the cause and prevent the issue from getting worse.

What actually causes damp to appear?

Essentially, damp is able to form when moisture soaks into porous surfaces in the home, making them saturated. The most common form of damp is condensation, which forms when moist, warm air touches a cold surface, such as a wall or window but it can also build up in other ways.

There are three main sources of moisture within a home that can result in damp:

Penetrating damp

Penetrating damp is caused by water soaking through a wall or a ceiling. It may be caused by gaps around windows and doors, holes in the roof, leaking pipes, or damage to any external walls within the property.

It is usually identified by dark stains on the walls which are caused by pigments from underlying plaster, or rust, coming through the layers of paint.

Rising damp

Rising damp is caused by water soaking up into the walls of your home through the ground, due to a lack of a damp-proof barrier at the bottom of walls. It will only affect the ground floor of a property due to the nature of how it is caused. It can best be identified by stains on the plasterwork, located approximately up to one metre above the ground.

Both rising damp and penetrating damp need to be fixed professionally as soon as possible - typically by a builder or plumber. Once resolved, you may find that you need to redecorate due to the staining it has caused.

Condensation damp

The third main cause of damp is condensation, which forms when moisture inside your home soaks into the internal walls. In a house that is poorly ventilated, humidity levels can build up quickly - causing condensation to form on walls and ceilings.

If allowed to continue over time, this condensation can soak through the paint layers and saturate the plaster underneath, leading to significant problems if not resolved quickly.

Black mould in the corner of the room

If I heat my home more, will this help?

The answer to this question is yes, it can help - however, it most definitely is more of a short-term solution rather than a long-term, permanent fix. Although heating can temporarily reduce dampness in your home, you’ll always need to address the underlying cause of the damp to prevent it from getting worse.

Nonetheless, using heating to keep a property warm is still essential and highly recommended, as it can help to slow down any spreading of damp. Whilst heating your home isn’t cheap at the moment, it can actually help to save you money in the long run by ensuring that your home remains structurally sound.

Condensation damp is caused by water from the air inside your home soaking into cold walls, so by warming these walls up and maintaining heat in the property, you will reduce the amount of condensation that is able to form. 

Heating can also contribute to drying out damp surfaces once the moisture source has been removed, however, it is only a good solution if you identify the cause and stop the damp from occurring in the first place.

However, there is a downside to using heating to reduce damp. Unless you can dry out an area completely, heat can also speed up the growth of mould, so it could become a double edged-sword.

You’ll also need to make sure that, once you’ve managed to dry up any damp patches or puddles, you can let the water vapour escape through good ventilation. If not, you’ll find all that vapour will settle again on your walls and windows the next time the temperature drops.

How can I prevent damp from affecting my home?

Rising and penetrating damp are both caused by physical issues with your house itself, and therefore are best being resolved by professionals - such as a plumber or builder. They will fix the source of the moisture, meaning that the damp will reduce over time and gradually return to its original state.

However, damp caused by condensation can be prevented by you, by making improvements to your home ventilation. Firstly, make sure that you’ve covered the basics - including having extractor fans installed in all bathrooms and the kitchen to allow moisture to escape.

Bathrooms and kitchens contribute to some of the moisture in your home but drying clothes indoors, leaving towels on radiators, and even breathing can also add to the airborne moisture.

By installing a whole-house ventilation system, such as a Mechanical Heat Recovery Ventilation unit (MVHR), this will greatly reduce moisture levels whilst keeping your home warm at the same time. They work by displacing the moist air from within your home and replacing it with fresh, heated air from outside. As a result, this will greatly reduce condensation, damp and mould.


Worried about damp caused by condensation? Get in touch with our team of professional industry experts today to find out how we can help!

Copyright © 2022 – 2024 Ventilation Megastore, All rights reserved
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram