The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recently issued draft guidelines relating to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) which will be of particular interest to UK social housing landlords. In the consultation document NICE encourages landlords to be aware of the air quality in their residents’ homes, a subject that is becoming an increasingly vital issue in the UK. The final NICE document is scheduled for publication in December but the need for improved IAQ in the home is clear.
Within the draft NICE document individuals, local authorities and landlords are being urged to reduce exposure to indoor pollutants in an effort to protect their health. NICE advises people to ensure rooms are well ventilated by extractor fans or by opening windows when cooking, or drying clothes inside, using household sprays or solvents and paints.
The guidance also recommends that it is important landlords adopt a new IAQ strategy as part of a wider strategy to improve their residents’ health. With this in mind another vital consideration flagged up in the guidance is the importance of taking a balanced approach to insulation and ventilation within a household to avoid problems that result from damp and condensation. A good way to control this is to use background ventilation and mechanical ventilation while ensuring trickle vents are operating efficiently and without blockages.
In addition, the NICE document advises that damp and condensation are likely to occur when residents undertake certain everyday activities such as cooking, drying clothes indoors, showering, bathing, burning candles, using free-standing gas heaters and using cleaning products, household sprays or aerosols and paints. This is when effective ventilation is critically important and it’s a good idea to advise residents of this.
“Condensation and mould are a major problem in many social housing properties. This not only damages the property itself but is one of the main causes of poor IAQ, which can have health consequences for households” said Jeremy Cleeter at Airtech. “At Airtech we have 30 years of experience helping landlords combat condensation and mould while helping improve IAQ for residents. We have a range of solutions to tackle this problem and help landlords avoid disrepair cases or combat them with ventilation solutions.”
In a bid to prevent poor IAQ the NICE document also recommends local inspection protocols should be used to identify poor IAQ within households. In addition, it encourages local authorities to work with housing officers, environmental health professionals, midwives, social workers and care workers to use existing home visits to offer advice and identify the cause of poor IAQ.
Meanwhile, the guidance advises social housing landlords should ensure ventilation is adequate and works efficiently. Trickle vents should not be blocked or damaged and extractor fans in the kitchen or bathroom should be working efficiently. If necessary, repairs should be undertaken, including improvements to heating or removal of residual moisture following any water damage.
With other 30 years’ experience helping landlords tackle condensation and mould Airtech is well placed to offer advice and solutions to help landlords make changes to their indoor air quality strategy. Airtech has range of services and solutions to help landlords avoid disrepair cases and improve IAQ.
For expert advice Airtech’s mould surveys and treatment offer three simple steps that can solve the problem of condensation and mould: comprehensive property surveys to identify condensation, damp and mould problems and recommendations to solve the issues; mould removal treatment and redecoration; and full installation of adequate ventilation equipment to ensure condensation and mould won’t return. The treatment and mould removal is backed by a unique three-year guarantee that the mould will not return.
Meanwhile, Airtech’s data downloads service is a unique offering, with Airtech the only company in the social housing market that provides such a depth of detail when it comes to ventilation data. In disrepair or complaint cases, detailed record keeping is a must since records are essential to defending these cases. However, the inbuilt datalogger in Airtech’s fans records details of the home environment, such as humidity and temperature levels, to allow the landlord or contractor to track and analyse the correlation of these variables together on one graph. Data is stored over a 5-week or a 15-month period depending on the model of the ventilation fan. Airtech’s sophisticated data logging allows landlords to monitor all ‘on/off’ occurrences and map them in relation to the temperature and humidity readings, giving a clear indication of whether the fan has been running as intended.
Airtech’s patented market-leading ventilation technology provides resident comfort and efficient ventilation that reduces the dangerous effects of damp and condensation in a property offering landlords the correct solution for individual properties. This can range from the Air+ Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) to the environment sensing bathroom and kitchen fans, such as the SA25 SELV, the SA60 Mains and SELV, and the SA64, and data gathering fans, such as the DA25, DA60 and DA64, as well as a range of products designed to reduce radon gas levels.
For, more information, training details or for a free survey call: 01823 690 292 email: info(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)airtechsolutions.co.uk or visit Airtech’s new website www.airtechsolutions.co.uk which offers landlords a guided route to find their individual ventilation solution.