What effects can condensation have on your health?
A lack of ventilation caused by airtight homes can cause large amounts of indoor pollutants that can lead to problems such as mould, damp and condensation in the home. These pollutants may trigger serious health implications such as asthma. Asthma is a respiratory condition that is caused by spasms in the bronchi of the lungs which can cause difficultly breathing and is usually connected to allergies and hypersensitivity. Asthma is most likely to begin in childhood, but with indoor air quality becoming increasingly worse more people are at risk of developing asthma.
Research shows homes that experience damp and mould can lead to the development of a first asthma attack in young children. A study from Dr Caroline Shorter from the department of medicine in the University of Otago outlines:
We have known for a long time that damp and mould will make asthma worse if you already have it… But this is one of the first studies to show that mould may be actually causing asthma to develop.
-Dr Caroline Shorter
This study also found that the more presence of mould there was, the more cases of asthma were present. Read more about the study here.
Can condensation cause asthma?
It is believed that mould, more than any other allergen, may be responsible for triggering severe asthma. Dr Shorter’s study investigated the homes of 150 children who had recently visited their GP for their first asthma medication. The study then compared the results to the homes of 300 other children who had never shown symptoms of asthma. They found that there was more likely to be mould and damp in the homes of the children who had recently visited their GP for asthma related symptoms. It was obvious that the more mould present, the greater the risk the children were at from developing asthma for the first time.
Problems such as damp, moisture and mould can not only cause asthma, but may also cause other respiratory problems such as allergies, bronchitis and even lung disease. Some people may develop asthma, or it may be made worse by damp or mould. This happens by mould spores entering your nose which can cause allergy symptoms such as sneezing and coughing, if the mould spores enter your lungs this is what can trigger asthma. Some people may develop a more serious illness known as allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis – this is when someone has both an allergic and inflammatory response to mould spores, the symptoms of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis are similar to that of asthma including wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.
It is important to remember that mould and damp is not good for us in any amount whether it is in small amounts and not creating any problems, but this may lead to future problems that are first unnoticed. Although we know that asthma can be initially trigged by damp and mould, we should be aware that for those who may already have asthma and respiratory problems that it can make their symptoms and conditions worse.
What affects does pollution have?
Poor air quality is killing 428,000 Europeans per year. In 2014 unclean polluted air was killing nearly half a million people in Europe prematurely. According to the European Environment Agency, most people living in European cities are exposed to poor air quality. The EEA’s air quality report in 2017 showed that pollution continues to have significant impacts on the health of the European population, particularly in urban areas. It also has considerable economic impacts, cutting lives short, increasing medical costs and reducing productivity through working days lost across the economy. However, the report also highlighted that the air quality in Europe is slowing improving. This is thanks to recent and current policies that are in place by governments to reduce pollution as well as advances in new technologies. However, there are still high concentration levels of air pollution that are having an impact on the health of European citizens.
High levels of nitrogen dioxide, ozone and particle matter are all contributing to high pollution levels that can affect us outside the home, this is also why it is important to have a good indoor air quality, so these pollutants don’t enter or linger in your home. Areas of damp and moisture in the home are the perfect breading grounds for mould spores and bacteria to multiply. Ensuring that your home is ventilated and that it has an optimum thermal comfort will help to prevent issues such as mould, damp and condensation.
How to improve condensation and indoor air quality?
If you already have a ventilation system installed in your home, it is important that you regularly maintain your system to ensure that it is running correctly. It is important to check and clean or replace your filters to ensure that your system is working to the best of its ability!
There are many options for eliminating mould and damp in the home with the most effective being a heat recovery system (MVHR) that will extract the contaminated air and replace with fresh filtered pre-warmed air.
Another popular option we recommend is the Vent Axia Lo-Carbon Pozidry Pro Positive Ventilation Unit (PIV). It is the perfect solution to eliminate mould and condensation in the home while improving your indoor air quality and preventing moisture build up within your home! A PIV unit works by drawing in fresh air from the atmosphere, filtering the air and then pushing it through the building. Any old or stale air is forced out through natural forms of ventilation such as trickle vents or extractor fans, it works by removing any excess damp and moisture that could potentially lead to mould growth.
The Pozidry Pro is available with and without a heater, and also comes in a compact version which is also available with or without a heater. The Pozidry Pro model is suitable for floor areas up to 150m2 and the compact version is ideal for flat and apartments up to 100m2.
Extractor fans are an ideal solution to help reduce any mould, damp or condensation in areas such as bathrooms, wet rooms, kitchens or utility rooms. We have a large range of fans from leading manufactures including Vent Axia and Xpelair! These fans include shower fans, bathroom fans and fans like Vent Axia like the Quadra Kitchen/Bathroom fan that is very unobtrusive, discrete and with low noise levels it extracts moist and humid air.
See our new fan range for commercial premises– see the new range of Domus D Series Fans!
If you would like more information on damp and mould cures in the home or would like more information on ventilating your home, please contact us on 028 2827 5150 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.