Air Quality, Blogs & Articles

Living well in a high pollution environment

Most of us understand the harm that air pollution does to our bodies and to our well-being, but we feel helpless and accept an environment that is very harmful to our health and compromises our standard of living.

Even for those suffering from obvious, immediate effects of bad air quality such as asthma, allergies, COPD, coughing, congestion and other discomforts, we don’t recognise that while we can’t change the outside environment, we can take measures to improve the situation indoors and improve our life!

So what can we do to actively to improve things?

Understand your environment
Things start by really recognising the extent of the overall problem and the conditions on any given day.

To get a better understanding of what Air Quality really means, please see our blog post “What does Good or Bad Air Quality really mean?”.

Protection Outdoors
If you know what the air quality is like on a given day or time, you can avoid the worst times where possible and where it is essential to go out while outdoor pollution is high, you can protect yourself with a pollution mask. These days, with COVID being a major health risk, masks are advisable when in close proximity to people, but we are not habituated to the the use of masks for protection from air pollution.

Interiex is also planning to introduce car air filtration systems shortly to ensure clean air in vehicles.

Protection Indoors
Internationally, in the industry, there is a term to define the issues of inadequately ventilated spaces and it is called the “Sick Building Syndrome”! It very clearly and succinctly makes the point that inadequately ventilated spaces are the equivalent of an ailment.

At Home
Good health guidance shows that above certain levels of air pollution, windows should be kept closed. By instinct we equate keeping windows open as being better for health because of “fresh air”, specially in a warm country like ours where during the summer, air conditioning is used widely.

Good air quality guidelines require that your home is ventilated with fresh air at least every 3 hours (or between 1-3 hours).

The problem is:
How to get fresh air without the accompanying pollution and cooling loss (if you use air conditioning)?

The answer is an Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) system. These systems allow you to keep your windows closed but bring fresh air into your whole residence continuously via air filters ensuring clean air. These machines also exhaust air from your residence to ensure proper air circulation and remove stale air and odours. They are also equipped with capabilities to largely retain the cooling/heating of your space.

Air Purifiers are also effective for cleaning indoor air but don’t provide any fresh air so on their own, they can’t solve the complete problem.

For specific cases where medical grade clean air is needed e.g. for a severe COPD patient, the solution is a whole residence ERV and a supplementary medical grade air purifier where needed. This scenario provides clean fresh air in the whole residence and further purified air for example in the bedroom of the person(s) needing higher medical grade clean air.

At Work
Most offices in Bangladesh are air conditioned & operate with closed windows through the summer. During winter, the windows are still closed because it’s cold outside! The reality that we have all experienced is headaches in the work place (caused by high CO2 levels due to no fresh air) and one person coming to the office with a cold or flu, setting off a chain of illnesses through the team! This situation is compounded by an order of magnitude with COVID-19.

Good ventilation is the key to increased work force productivity & fewer absences. Studies have shown a clear improvement in productivity in well ventilated offices.

A properly calibrated Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) system makes all the difference in changing your workplace into a better, healthier & more productive environment.

In larger buildings and spaces, ERV systems may also be used in conjunction with air purifiers to achieve both adequate clean, fresh air and sufficient internal air purification for an optimum, balanced result.

Talk to our team for a free consultation if you would like to know more about how you can improve your environment & your quality of life!

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