We cannot live without clean air. The quality of the outside air has therefore been the subject of particular attention for some time. And that’s quite right. But the quality of the air inside our homes is just as important! And the air in our home may not be as good as we may think. How would you know? And what can be done to address this?
Do you spend a lot of time indoors?
This is the case for all of us. Particularly compared with a few decades ago, when we used to work outside in the fields and children still used to play in the streets most of the time. Or compared to some countries that enjoy a warmer climate where people spend more time outdoors. On average, we spend up to 80% of our time indoors: in the office, at the supermarket, in the gym, at home, etc.
So what about our indoor climate?
The indoor climate determines the way we feel at home. And air quality plays a big part in that. In all rooms where there is no natural ventilation, the air may be polluted. And air pollution is often 10 times greater indoors than outdoors. However, to measure indoor air quality carefully and accurately, we need to call on specialists. But you can make a reasonable estimate with just a few things.
What influences indoor air quality?
Indoor air quality is influenced by several factors. In particular, ventilation, humidity and temperature. As well as the various activities you undertake every day, such as cooking, bathing or showering, laundry and, yes, even just breathing. Or by the materials with which your home is built, how you heat your home, how many pets and plants you own, the cleaning products you use, etc. Similarly, the presence of smokers is another important factor. Tobacco smoke is very harmful because it contains no less than 4,000 fine, gaseous particles.
Poor indoor air quality is bad for your health
Poor indoor air quality can have adverse health consequences. Symptoms are often vague at first and impair daily well-being: you don’t feel well in your skin, you feel more stressed, you have difficulty concentrating, you lack energy...
But poor air quality can also lead to more pronounced problems:
- prolonged flu-like symptoms
- irritation of the nose, throat and eyes
- breathing difficulties
- worsening of asthma
This may even lead to chronic symptoms and chronic conditions. Indoor air pollution causes more discomfort in certain groups, such as small children, older people, people with sensitive airways and patients with chronic heart disease.
Air that is too humid is also harmful and leads to condensation, unpleasant odours and mould. The need for ventilation is not always noticeable or visible. Even if there is no moisture or mould, there may be more harmful substances, CO2 and bacteria than suspected.
Ventilation is crucial
It is therefore very important to always keep your home well ventilated. In older houses, there is often “natural ventilation” due to gaps. In new homes, the insulation is so good that the polluted air is hardly able to escape. Opening the windows every day for 10 minutes in the morning and evening is already a good start. But it only displaces the air, which only partially improves humidity or air quality. It is not, therefore, an effective measure to combat mould in small recesses.
The ventilation should preferably be continuous. Without regular ventilation, polluted indoor air cannot escape, especially if there are significant levels of outdoor pollution. A ventilation system is not a frivolous luxury.
Daikin offers various heat pump solutions that, in addition to heating and cooling the rooms efficiently, humidify, dehumidify and sanitize the air.