Ventilation is the process of providing clean air to a closed room filled with stale air. The replacement of stale indoor air with clean air can be done naturally, mechanically, or using hybrid ventilation.
Natural ventilation is the supply of fresh air and removal of stale air from an indoor space without using any machines. Natural ventilation is of two types, wind-driven ventilation, and buoyancy-driven ventilation. Natural ventilation is the use of the structure of the building to allow the maximum inflow and outflow of air.
It is the method that uses machines, like fans, to ventilate an enclosed area. There are two kinds of mechanical ventilation, one is positive pressure ventilation, and the other is negative pressure ventilation.
Hybrid or Mixed Ventilation
Hybrid ventilation uses a combination of natural and mechanical ventilation. The desired flow rate of air is maintained using both natural and mechanical variants of ventilation. An example of a hybrid ventilation system is the installation of exhaust fans. Exhaust fans help in removing stale air from the room and providing clean (outdoor) air.
Most of us work in corporate workspaces where there is a centralized air conditioner. There are no fans or exhaust fans installed to remove the stale air from the closed space. We breathe in the carbon dioxide released by other people working in the same room. Intake of large amounts of dirty air can lead to respiratory diseases. It is vital to have good ventilation at home and in our workplace.
There are many advantages of working and living in a well-ventilated space:
- Removes impurities: A well-ventilated room is more likely to have fewer air-borne impurities than a closed room. The ventilation allows a continuous exchange of air. The stale air is pushed out and replaced by clean air. Too many people working in a closed space can be a cause of unpleasant odors. A well-ventilated room is free of such odors.
- Prevents growth of molds: everyday activities like cooking, breathing, bathing, and others create moisture. Not venting out the humid air can lead to poor quality of indoor air. Excessive humidity encourages the growth of fungus and molds. In places that use air conditioners, the air conditioners pull in humid air from outside and pollute the indoor air. The air conditioners should have dehumidifiers to minimize the humidity in the room. It is recommended to have the best ventilation system in place to avoid nasty molds from growing on your favorite furniture and walls. Damp conditions can lead to a lot of health problems like allergies, and other respiratory problems.
- Helps in reducing the room’s temperature: Too many people in confined places can make the temperature in a room rise. All of us breathe out warm air, thereby increasing the temperature of the room. A well-ventilated room pulls in cold air from the outside and replaces the stale hot air ensuring a drop in the room’s temperature.
- Increases productivity at places of work: People are more likely to make good and fast decisions in a well-ventilated room. A stuffy and hot room can irritate the employees leading to a fall in productive work. A well-ventilated room is comfortable and has higher levels of oxygen which enable the brain to work efficiently. Even in the house, a well-ventilated room helps in ensuring that you are able to lead a comfortable time at home irrespective of the weather.
- Creates a positive environment for customers and clients: Nobody likes to stay too long in places that are damp and stuffy. A well-ventilated space is more inviting to the employees as well as the clients. The customers are more likely to spend more time shopping in rooms with clean air than a closed room with no ventilation.
- Health Benefits: Breathing clean air has a good impact on the overall health of a person. The bad quality of the indoor air can cause several health problems like eye irritation, headaches, breathlessness, etc.
The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of well-ventilated spaces. The virus spreads through the respiratory system. Breathing in the air expelled by an infected person can cause the spread of the virus. Closed spaces with less or no ventilation are a free pass for the spread of the virus. Our homes and place of work must be well ventilated to avoid the spread of the deadly virus and other diseases.