Why Better Ventilation Should be a Priority During and After the Covid-19 Pandemic

Posted On Thursday, 18 June 2020 21:17

Sick building syndrome is when occupants of a particular building collectively feel a variety of mysterious symptoms that are not related to any physical illness. The people affected will often report issues like headaches, a blocked or runny nose, rashes, or trouble concentrating among other things. Sick building syndrome is taking a whole different connotation right now, and is being brought back to the forefront by the recent pandemic. 

A sick building is no longer an abstract problem or nuisance, and could make a significant impact on not only the spread, but the mortality of airborne diseases like Covid-19. Let’s take a look at why healthy buildings may need to become the norm, and what steps can be taken to make buildings and residences healthier.

The Correlation Between Air Quality and the Spread of Pandemics

While many experts are still debating on how the coronavirus is spread and what the most potent mode of transmission is, there’s one virus that we know and understand very well that can give us an indication of how much of an impact ventilation has on transmission: measles. 

One particular study found that the transmission rate was reduced by 50% when air filtration and ventilation was elevated to above industry standards and additional equipment like portable air purifiers were added to increase air quality. There have also been countless studies on the effects of outdoor air filtration and ventilation and how it could help reduce risks associated with viruses like tuberculosis, rhinovirus, Sars, and influenza.

Increasing Air Quality is Much Simpler than it Seems

Improving filtration and ventilation in most houses and buildings is much easier than many may imagine, however. Those who already have a mechanical ventilation system in place, for instance, can simply increase the rate of outside air being brought in. They can also upgrade their filters, as many filters only capture a small portion of virus sized particles.

Those who don’t have a mechanical ventilation system or are still hesitant about the idea would be wise to consider the option. MVHR combined with an effective filtration system could not only significantly reduce infection risks in residences, but help improve general comfort and atmospheric conditions. 

If you’re in Ireland and have any questions about MVHR or mechanical ventilation in general, we strongly suggest you consult expert teams such as BPC Ventilation Ireland. They will also be able to tell you if your home is eligible, and introduce you to a variety of other filtration and ventilation options as well.

Controlling Airflow Between Rooms is Capital

One of the biggest issues with air ventilation during a pandemic is to make sure that contaminated air is not recirculated inside the house. This is why MVHR systems are so powerful, as they rely on a constant flow of air coming in and out to make heat exchange possible. 

In one particular Sars outbreak that infected 187 people, it was found that plumes of infected air travelled from a restroom to the entire building. This is why air replacement is just as important as ventilation and should be a priority now moving forward.

Proper ventilation plays an extremely crucial role in this fight against the coronavirus. Thankfully, there are some solutions that virtually anyone can apply to reduce the risks and improve indoor air quality in the process.

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