What you need to know about good ventilation in your home and workplace - thumbnail image

What you need to know about good ventilation in your home and workplace

Between Covid-19 guidelines and government guidance already in place, it feels like we don’t know what ventilation requirements we’re meant to work towards at the moment. It’s hard to know what systems we can and can’t use, especially with all of the myths that float around.

In this blog, we are going to break down the new requirements and explain exactly what you need to know to be sure you’re fulfilling them.

In the workplace

It is a government requirement that all workplaces need an adequate supply of fresh air. This could be as simple as opening a door or a window, or a more complex approach like a general ventilation system could be required. Incoming air has to be uncontaminated from flues, chimneys or similar outlets, as well as being circulated through all rooms where staff work.

These days, ventilation is also considered a measure used to control the spread of coronavirus. An adequate system reduces how much virus is in the air and will reduce the risk of transmission. Strategies that meet the standards set out will only need minor adjustments, though employers should review the arrangements within their premises, especially as more and more people are making the return to the office.

What’s the best pandemic option?

With the addition of Covid-19 guidelines, choosing the right unit can be more complicated. We have already mentioned natural ventilation as a viable option, as well as mechanical ventilation. Mechanical ventilation is more controllable than natural ventilation, as you can extend the operating time of the system and change the CO2 point manually. Air conditioning units can be used, as long as they have a HEPA filter installed. If they do not draw in fresh air, they can be used in conjunction with a natural ventilation option.

Good ventilation at home

Adequate ventilation is essential to maintaining a healthy environment in the home, and is achieved in the home in two ways; controlled and uncontrolled ventilation. A document approved by The Building Regulations in 2010, stipulated that all new dwellings must be built airtight, in order to conserve fuel and power usage. In the UK, best practice is 3 m3/hr/m2 of air loss, with a maximum of 7 ms/hr/m2 being considered good practice.

Uncontrolled ventilation, such as draughts, air bricks and trickle vents, are cheap to install, comply with Building Regulations and are understood by most builders. You should have these naturally built in round the home by your external wall insulation installer. If you need external wall insulation in Gateshead or elsewhere across the North East, Thrift would be more than happy to fit it on your behalf.

Controlled systems provide uniform ventilation throughout a house. These systems use fans and duct systems to exhaust stale air and supply fresh air to the house. Depending on the kind of system installed, some homes might be able to filter the air coming in, pre-heat it and even recycle the warm air already in the house, to remove moisture, smells and other substances.

We hope this information has helped you wrap your head around exactly what ventilation measures need to be in place at work and at home, as well as giving you some confidence in the ventilation strategy you have used to combat Covid-19.

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