Ventilation has been around for far longer than we think. In term of the word, we are mistaken in believing that it has been introduced to our homes in the last few decades. When we take a look back, we can see that this has been around for far longer. Ventilation has allowed us to live in hot parts of the planet – and has been an integral part of keeping us safe too. With the coronavirus pandemic, ventilation has become a hot topic. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the history and development of ventilation in terms of fresh air and cleanliness too.
Ventilation Through The Ages
It has been thousands of years since humans understood the need for effective ventilation in their homes. At pretty much the same time as the discovery of fire, we realized that we needed an efficient way of allowing the smoke and other effects of fire to leave the home in a safe manner. And hence, ventilation was born. In those days, and the centuries that followed, there was a trial-and-error method to home ventilation. But in more recent times, this morphed into something more standardized.
As far back as 1631, King Charles I of England learned that there were health issues with indoor fires and other heating systems. His response was to issue a regal decree that homes in the country should have ceilings at least 10 feet tall and that windows should be taller than they are wide to aid ventilation.
Early 19th Century
The Houses of Parliament in London, England were rebuilt in 1835 – and ventilation was considered an important part of the new design. Outside air was channelled into the building’s heating chamber and flow through a duct system that is still operational today.
Late 19th Century
In 1895, the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers or ASHVE adopted a minimum ventilation per occupant recommendation. At least 30 cfm (cubic feet per minute) of ventilation per occupant was required, but 60 cfm was better. In order to achieve such figures, mechanical ventilation systems were developed. These are the forebearers of today’s ventilation systems.
The recommendations above turned into law. By 1925, these rates had been put into the statute books by 22 states across America. This is when we saw ventilation as a vital part of any building – paving the way for standardized ventilation systems that look after all of us.
We have taken ventilation systems to the next level in the past few decades. We now have effective ventilation systems to remove humid air from kitchens and bathrooms as well as systems that intake fresh air while removing stale air from buildings. And the future looks pretty interesting too. Companies such as ACLIV have developed air filters that can eliminate COVID from the air in homes, commercial buildings, aircraft and public transportation.
Ventilation And Coronavirus
We have learned from public health advice that good ventilation is an effective part of reducing the risk of contracting coronavirus. Air flow allows the droplets of moisture that contain COVID to pass safely out of the home. We have been told to open windows and leave doors open too. But there are more effective ways of vastly reducing the risk of transmission through ventilation.
Coronavirus is spread much more easily indoors. It has been estimated that the majority of cases were contacted indoors. And when further estimates show that up to 40% of cases are asymptomatic, we obviously need some way of managing the air we breathe. We can’t rely on symptoms informing us of when to stay clear of others. We could be carrying COVID without even knowing it – even those who are double vaccinated.
And that’s where adequate ventilation systems come into place and find a role in managing the spread of the virus. Masks are one part of the control measures. But they don’t give one hundred percent protection – plus the use of masks is dropping now as public belief is that the pandemic has slowed.
Once a virus enters an indoor space, you have two options on how to deal with it –
- Bring in more fresh air from outside
- Remove the virus from the indoor space
And we’re sure you can already see; good quality ventilation systems can do both of these things. Bringing fresh outdoor air indoors is ideal. The more fresh air we breathe, the better. And this doesn’t just go for COVID-19. It is true for influenza, the common cold and many other diseases and viruses. Estimates suggest that we should replace the air in a room between six and nine times per hour.
How Do We Manage This Air?
Home ventilation systems are commonplace in many parts of the world, especially where they have to deal with highs in temperature. Many systems are what is known as HVAC, which stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. Running these systems is a great way of managing the safety of the air we all breathe. In common places such as schools, restaurants, hospitals, offices and public transport, the use of effective ventilation systems can transform the safety of the space.
Safe systems are part of the fight against infectious diseases. They don’t work in isolation, but as a component of an effective plan, they can make a significant addition to winning the war against COVID and many other illnesses. Taking time outside every hour or so will help you personally. But this isn’t always possible – especially if you’re at work. So, ventilation becomes even more significant.
But a system is only as good as the filters it uses. An antiviral filter is the best way to get the most protection from a ventilation system. If you’re looking for a high quality, certified antiviral filter then please get in touch. We have developed effective filters designed to keep you and your people safe.