Health Benefits of Ventilation and Air Pollution Risks at Home

The benefits of good ventilation not only make rumah feels more comfortable, but also makes the occupants healthier. Houses that do not have ventilation ducts can increase the risk of respiratory infections and the spread of diseases suffered by the occupants of the house.

World Health Organization (WHO) states that poor indoor air quality is thought to be one of the main causes of the increasing spread of infectious diseases and deaths in developing countries. Children and housewives are the most at risk. Therefore, good ventilation can be one solution to this often unnoticed and neglected condition.

Know the Benefits Good Ventilation for Health

In general, ventilation functions to circulate air from outside into the room and vice versa, so that there is an exchange of healthy air to breathe. Along with the release of air from inside, ventilation is also a channel for the exit of pollution from inside the house.

This air circulation aims to create the availability of clean air that is low in pollution with the aim of maintaining a comfortable humidity and temperature for occupants in the building. Good ventilation is an important factor that can have an impact, not only on the productivity and activities of the occupants, but can also reduce the spread of respiratory tract infections.

There are several things to consider when building ventilation:

  • The volume and quality of outside air that can enter through the vents. Good ventilation can not only circulate, but should be able to filter the air as well.
  • The direction of air movement, as much as possible from a clean area to a dirty area.
  • Air from outside must be able to enter each room, replacing dirty air and pollution that occurs in the house.

Generally there are two types of ventilation, namely natural ventilation and mechanical ventilation. Natural ventilation usually takes advantage of the wind coming in through windows, doors, and vents above the door or window. While mechanical ventilation uses fans that are placed in the room or mounted on the wall to let air out and enter the room.

Various Health Risks Due to Air Pollution at Home

Many people do not realize that the source of pollution does not only come from outside, but also from inside the house. Examples of indoor pollution are cigarette smoke, bacteria and fungi, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, the smell of house cleaners, machines printer, pesticides, and pollution from motorized vehicles parked inside the house.

Here are some details that need to be considered to know the important role of ventilation:

  • The stove emits one of the most dangerous gases when inhaled by humans, namely nitrogen dioxide. This gas can cause wheezing, even if the person who inhales it does not have asthma.
  • When cleaning your house, you can actually worsen the air quality in your home if the cleaner you use contains substances that are harmful and can be inhaled. Some cleaners contain ammonia, chlorine, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which then evaporate into the air as gases. This material can also be contained in wall paint.
  • Pets living in the house, especially in the bedroom, can have an impact on the air quality in the room. Even though you really care about them, their presence may bring with them air pollutants, such as dust mites that can cause allergies. These dust mites can be found on objects in the house, such as carpets and pillows.
  • Occupants who smoke indoors are at risk of bringing harm, such as asthma, bronchitis, and lung cancer, to passive smokers who live with them. Smoke trapped inside a house or building is also at risk of causing sore throats and headaches. Toxic residues in cigarettes can stick to some objects in the house for a long time. For example on pillows, clothes, or carpets.
  • Poor air quality has the risk of causing various health problems, such as coughing, sore throat, watery eyes, or shortness of breath. An asthma sufferer may have an asthma attack. In the long run, poor air quality can cause householders to experience persistent colds, bronchitis, recurring headaches, and recurring asthma.
  • Houses that are too humid cause mold growth, and even in the long term can cause damage to the house.
  • WHO states that smoke from burning indoors, such as stoves for cooking, causes at least four million people to die each year. This burning produces harmful chemical compounds, such as carbon monoxide, which can lower the immune system and increase the risk of respiratory diseases, including pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Supporting Factors for Good Ventilation

To minimize the adverse risks above, the placement of ventilation needs to be accompanied by the following steps:

  • The windows are wide open to let air into the room. But this window also allows pollution from outside to enter the house, such as motor vehicle fumes, factory fumes, and dust from the highway. A better solution is a window with a filter, such as a screen that can let air in, but can prevent dust from entering the house.
  • Turn on the air conditioner to keep the room from getting damp.
  • To reduce the risk of harmful gases, choose cleaning agents and paints that say 'no VOCs'. The type of cleaner in the form of a spray will trigger the release of harmful gases into the air. Therefore, it is better to use a product in the form of a liquid or a paste.
  • Houses that are too humid are often the result of uncontrolled water flow. Cover places where water leaks, drips, or seeps, such as sheds, attics, or garages. Check and repair immediately if there is a leaking roof. As much as possible, dry clothes outside.
  • To prevent gas from the stove from getting trapped in the kitchen, turn on a fan or make sure to open windows around the kitchen. In addition, service and clean your hob regularly to reduce the risk of producing harmful gases.
  • Dust mites usually breed in damp rooms. Increasing ventilation and turning on the air conditioner can keep the room dry. As much as possible do not need to cover the floor or walls with carpet because there is a risk of becoming a place for dust mites to live. Clean the dust on the furniture regularly with vacuum cleaner and wipes.
  • The main step to free the house from cigarette smoke is to make all residents stop smoking. But if that's not possible, you can at least ask smokers to smoke outside the house.
  • As much as possible, keep the kitchen and bathroom vents directly connected to the outside air. These two rooms are the main source of high humidity levels in the air in the house.

Health really starts at home. Check that the place where you live or work meets health standards, including good ventilation standards. If you are looking for a new place to live, be sure to check the proper air ducts to better ensure a healthy living environment for the family.