Air is one of the most essential elements we need to live and yet we fail to recognize the importance of clean air in indoor environments.
It has an impact on people’s health and performance at work, or on their everyday life activities. The more contaminated the air indoors is, the quicker people succumb to illnesses, allergies and rising stress levels. Even when the concentration of pollutants in a room is very subtle.
Enclosed environments significantly contribute to air pollution exposure, as people spend almost 90% of their time indoors. In addition, indoor air is usually 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air, mainly due to the lack of proper air exchange.
Especially since the pandemic, it has become clear how important air exchange is as it helps dilute or even bring contaminant concentrations down to zero in enclosed spaces.
Natural ventilation vs. Mechanical ventilation
Ventilation should always be guaranteed in indoor environments as it helps to address all the above-mentioned issues related to poor indoor air quality.
What are the available options to ensure proper ventilation in a building, though?
One is usually natural ventilation: introducing outdoor air in enclosed spaces by removing barriers such as opening windows or doors. It allows fresh indoor air to replace exhaust air naturally. While it might seem an easy and simple way to make air exchange in enclosed environments happen, it also has its downsides.
Among them there are:
- thermal dissipation;
- no filtration of the newly introduced air indoors;
- higher energy consumption;
- no active or direct control over air exchange.
In fact, while air exchange might be easily guaranteed to some extent with natural ventilation, the thermal conditions of the environment being ventilated are inevitably going to change. When air is introduced at a different temperature than the indoor environment, the space will not be able to retain warmth during fall and winter and coolness in spring and summer. This forces climate control systems to work harder to achieve the target indoor temperature which in turn consumes more energy.
Secondly, there is the aspect related to the lack of filtration. With natural ventilation, the newly introduced air that replaces the exhaust air might not be clean enough and contain pollutants such as pollen and other contaminants.
On the contrary, mechanical ventilation ensures perfect thermal control and no thermal dissipation thanks to energy recovery technology. It can transfer heat and moisture from the airflow being extracted to the airflow being introduced in the premises.
And finally, mechanical ventilation systems can ensure high levels of air filtration, making sure that only clean air is introduced in buildings.
Mechanical ventilation in existing buildings
It is a fact that mechanical ventilation contributes greatly to high indoor quality levels in indoor environments.
While it’s mostly a standard in Northern European countries, where buildings are usually designed to be thermally insulated with minimal energy consumption, mechanical ventilation is not overly present in the rest of the European building stock.
Most of the existing buildings (schools, public offices, light-commercial buildings or even residential buildings) were built decades ago without proper ventilation systems and can nowadays not even accommodate a new installation due to structural restrictions.
Luckily, technology is constantly evolving and the air conditioning sector is now able to offer compact solutions to make installation in existing buildings possible and easy. With this vision in mind, Daikin is about to launch a design that gives customers the possibility to upgrade their building with a modern system, an all-in-one solution able to provide ventilation, cooling, heating and dehumidification. This will help raise indoor air quality levels in existing buildings and make them a healthy environment for occupant.
Air is essential to our existence. It has always been Daikin’s mission to make the air we breathe and live in the best possible. Our innovative products and solutions are designed to improve people’s health and well-being and reduce the environmental impact of heating and cooling. By 2050 Daikin aims to be carbon neutral throughout the full value chain and the full life cycle of its products and solutions.
Daikin Europe N.V.
Daikin Europe N.V. is a subsidiary of Daikin Industries Ltd. and the leading provider of heating, cooling, ventilation, air purification and refrigeration technology. The company designs, manufactures and brings to market a broad portfolio of equipment, as well as tailored-made solutions for residential, commercial and industrial purposes in Europe, Middle East and Africa. To date Daikin Europe N.V. has over 12 000 employees across more than 24 EMEA affiliates. It has 12 major manufacturing facilities based in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Austria and the UK. The headquarters of the Daikin Europe Group are in Belgium, Ostend. The company was established in 1972, production in Europe started in 1973.
Total Solution provider for heating, cooling, ventilation and refrigeration
Daikin Europe can rely on a strong network of installers and partners across its regions thanks to nearly 50 years of innovative and energy efficient air conditioning systems business development.
To date, Daikin Europe is also market leader for Heat Pumps in Europe and well known for the Daikin Altherma hydronic heat pumps for private heating applications, which it pioneered in 2006. With high demand for low carbon heating in Europe, these heat pumps are made in the Belgian, Czech and Germany factories in Europe.
In recent years, Daikin Europe has added total solutions for the cold chain to its lines of business. Next to own refrigeration innovations, the company expanded its portfolio and network through several acquisitions. In 2016 Daikin Europe N.V. acquired Zanotti, Italian manufacturer of industrial and transport refrigeration. In 2017, Hubbard (UK) was integrated into the group, shortly followed by Tewis Smart Systems (Spain). The most recent acquisition to reinforce the full line up for retail cold chain was the global refrigeration group AHT Cooling Systems GmbH, headquartered in Austria.
About Daikin Industries Ltd.
Daikin Industries Ltd. based in Osaka, Japan, employs around 89,000 people worldwide and achieved sales of € 23.7 billion in financial year 2021 (1 April 21 – 31 March 22). The company is the global market leader for heat pump and air conditioning systems, as well as air filtration. Daikin Industries Ltd. is the only air conditioning manufacturer in the world that develops and produces all important components such as refrigerants, compressors and electronics in-house.