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Vent-Axia welcomes indoor air quality guidance from NICE

Ventilation manufacturer Vent-Axia has welcomed the publication of guidance on Indoor Air Quality at Home from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Following on from draft guidance published in July 2019, the document provides detailed information and advice on how to reduce exposure to indoor pollutants and help protect health. The publication of this guidance sets in stone the importance of good indoor air quality (IAQ), highlighting the significant part effective ventilation plays in helping combat indoor air pollution in the home 

Indoor Air Quality at Home offers advice for action to local authorities, healthcare professionals, architects, designers and building developers, as well as the general public, aiming to reduce the lives lost due to air pollution. 

The guidance advises people to ensure rooms are well ventilated by extractor fans, trickle vents, cooker hoods or by opening windows, especially when undertaking activities that lead to poor IAQ. 

Another key recommendation within the document is to reduce damp and condensation in the home. Within the guidance, NICE recommends using background ventilation; using mechanical ventilation where possible; opening windows where possible and safe to provide temporary increased ventilation; avoiding moisture producing activities, such as drying clothes inside; repairing sources of water damage; and removing any residual moisture when it forms.

For architects, designers and builders, the NICE guidance recommends adopting a whole house approach to heating and ventilation. The aim is to help ensure IAQ is maintained to minimise household exposure to particulate matter, while achieving energy use standards. When designing heating and ventilation systems, the guidance advises to include provision for removing indoor air pollutants through ventilation, including kitchen extractor fans or cooker hoods.  

The guidance advises that any new dwellings should be built to minimise IAQ problems. Ventilation systems should also be designed to help avoid exposure to outdoor air pollution, including fitting mechanical ventilation with filtration. For refurbishments, permanent effective ventilation must be included alongside energy efficiency measures. Correct installation and commissioning of ventilation, as well as ensuring accessibility for regular maintenance, are also highlighted as important factors. 

For local authorities, the NICE guidance advises prioritising IAQ and embedding plans for improving it into an existing plan or strategy. It also emphasises the need for a balanced approach to ventilation, insulation and heating to achieve good IAQ. Landlords are also given guidance on how to ensure their properties have good IAQ and are advised to undertake maintenance programmes for ventilation.  

“At Vent-Axia we are committed to improving indoor air quality and so public health,” explained Jenny Smith, head of marketing at Vent-Axia. “Currently a staggering 65% of UK homes suffer from poor IAQ as a result of inadequate ventilation which has serious health implications for inhabitants. We are delighted to see that this latest guidance from NICE emphasises the crucial role good ventilation plays in improving IAQ and providing a healthy home environment.” 

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