When it comes to home life safety, you can never be too careful; in this article, we are compiling some of the best home life safety tips from Aico to keep you safe at home. Read the questions, answers, and tips below in order to be safe at home regarding electrical and fire safety. Tips on home life safety (by Aico)Fire alarms and CO alarms FAQCarbon Monoxide: dangers and symptomsTips to reduce damp and mold at homeHome Life Safety Tips by AicoMake sure your alarms work!First of all, in regards to your fire alarms and CO alarms, you need to make sure that your alarms work properly! It is essential to protect your home by having working smoke alarms installed throughout. Smoke alarms are the first responder in the event of a fire, so it is vital that you have adequate protection that is working properly. Check your electrical appliances!With technology and electrical devices now playing a large part in our lives, our homes are more at risk from electrical fires. Please mind the fire safety advice. Plan an escape route!Establishing a clear fire escape plan is important, so you know how to evacuate your home in the event of a fire. Make sure that you keep all exits clear. Cook safelyAround half of house fires are caused by cooking accidents. Cooking can be a pleasant and fun activity, but you need to make sure you cook safely. Which alarm where?It is good to know where to install the alarms and which ones should be where. Smoke alarms are suitable for hallways, landing, living room, dining room, and bedroom. Heat alarms are ideal for kitchens, as they are activated by heat from a fire, not smoke. Carbon monoxide alarms are suitable for rooms with fuel-burning appliances, main living areas, and bedrooms. Fire Alarms and CO Alarms: FAQWith regard to the fire alarms, smoke alarms, heat alarms, and carbon monoxide alarms, there are a few questions everyone has. Here are the most frequently asked questions regarding fire alarms and CO alarms at home. When do I test my alarm? The fire alarms, smoke alarms, heat alarms, and CO alarms should be tested once a month to make sure they are working correctly. It is sometimes good to set up a monthly reminder at a time you know you're home in order to make sure the testing is done. How do I test my alarm? This is a very good question. First, you need to check that the green light on the alarm is on; this means that the alarm can be tested. Then, press the "Test" button for 10 seconds. The alarm will sound loudly so that you know that it is functioning. Why is my alarm beeping? If your alarm is beeping, you should not ignore it. Many times it is a warning sign of either a danger in the home (such as high levels of smoke, heat, or Carbon Monoxide levels being detected) or that the alarm needs maintenance. How do I clean my alarm? Before you can clean the alarm, it is best to turn off the mains power to the alarm, and the green light should go out. Then, with the thin nozzle attachment, vacuum around the vents of the alarm. Using a damp cloth, clean the cover of the alarm, then dry it with a lint-free cloth. You can then turn on the main power and ensure that the green light is on. Carbon Monoxide - know the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide (CO)Do you know the dangers of Carbon Monoxide (CO), also called "the silent killer"? Carbon monoxide is an extremely poisonous gas that is tasteless, odourless, and colourless. The incomplete burning of fossil fuels, such as gas, wood, and coal produces CO. The best way to stay protected from CO poisoning is with a Carbon Monoxide Alarm. At Sparks, we sell a wide range of Carbon Monoxide Alarms here. The 6 Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide PoisoningIt is good to know what are the six main symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. You do not see, taste, or smell the carbon monoxide, but if you have the following symptoms, there is a high chance you experience Carbon Monoxide poisoning. UnconsciousnessCollapseDizzinessBreathlessnessHeadacheNauseaWhat do do in the event of a Carbon Monoxide Emergency?In the event of a Carbon Monoxide emergency, you need to do the following:Open all nearby windows and doors to allow fresh air to ventilate the property. Evacuate your home and leave all the windows and doors open.If safe to do so, turn off all fuel-burning appliances.Alert the National Gas Service and call 0800 111 999.Tips to Reduce Damp and Mould at HomeEspecially during the wet months of the year and when it is cold outside, it is easy to just close the windows and not ventilate, and therefore dampness and mould can appear. Dampness cannot be avoided, but mould can and should be avoided at all times. Here are some tips to reduce damp and mould at home:Provide ventilation when possible, opening windows even for short periods can have a big effect. Open the window or use an extractor fan while showering to let out the steam and increase airflow. Cover pots and pans with lids whilst cooking to help contain the steam. Turn on the extractor fan or the oven hood while cooking in order to extract and eliminate some of the steam, vapours, and smell.If possible, use a tumble dryer or heated rack when drying clothes inside, in order to reduce moisture. Try to maintain a constant indoor temperature in the home, since rapid changes in temperatures can cause condensation. The above guide and tips can be found via Aico's Home Life Safety Tips Pocket Guide, to be downloaded via their website. At Sparks, we sell a wide range of Aico Domestic alarms, and via Ventilation, you can find a good selection of bathroom extractor fans and whole-home ventilation solutions.
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When it comes to domestic ventilation, we all need help; thanks to Manrose, we now have a guide on, How to Choose a Ventilation Fan at Home. We read their guide and we would like to present the main points recommended by this ventilation fans manufacturer as it relates to ventilation at home. Ventilation is absolutely necessary, and it is good to know the following matters related to ventilation at home:What are the Problems caused by Poor or No Ventilation?What do Regulations say about Ventilation at Home?Where should we Install a Ventilation Fan at home?What Ventilation Fan is Required for the Minimum Air Changes Required per Hour?How to Choose the Right Ventilation Fan at HomeWhat options are there for Ventilation at Home?What are the Problems caused by Poor or No Ventilation?If the ventilation fans are not working or nonexistent, or if there is poor ventilation in a home, there are a few problems that may arise. First, there is the stale air which we all hate. Stale air can be caused by things such as cooking smells, odours remaining in the bathroom, a general lack of ventilation around the house, smoking, and a damp atmosphere. Stale air is not good for health and is very unpleasant to breathe.Stale air can cause a certain level of discomfort and poses a risk of respiratory illness and general poor health. Condensation is another problem caused by poor ventilation at home. When the steam from the kitchen or the bathroom spreads in the house and finds cooler surfaces around the house, there is condensation. We may try to conserve heat by sealing the windows and keeping them closed, therefore reducing natural ventilation; this causes more condensation. The consequences of condensation in a home include mould growth, peeling wallpaper, and even severe structural damage such as wood rot or dampness. What do Regulations say about Ventilation at Home?According to the Building Regulations Document F1 (2006 Edition), we know the importance of ventilation. Furthermore, these regulations stipulate that mechanical ventilation must be installed in kitchens, bathrooms (or showers), and toilets. The ventilation fans installed need to meet or exceed the current Building Regulations so that humidity is removed at the source before it can reach the cooler part of the dwelling. In particular, what is recommended and even required by the Building Regs are as follows:Intermittent fans - they operate on an "as required" basis and are turned on or off with the light switch or via other control (such as a pull cord switch). These are the regular fans installed on the wall or ceiling that provide high extraction for a short period of time when turned on. In the bathroom or shower room, the regulations require a fan capable of extracting min. 15 litres per second when installed. In a toilet, separate from a bathroom, the regulations require a fan capable of extracting a minimum of 6 litres per second when installed. In the kitchen, the regulations require a fan capable of extracting min. 60 litres per second when installed. And in the utility rooms, the regulations require a fan capable of extracting min. 30 litres per second when installed. Continuous Fans - they work all the time to extract excess moisture and stale air at low extraction rates throughout the day, and they have a boost function when humidity levels rise. They are becoming more common, for they ensure better indoor air quality while using less energy than intermittent fans, thus being more cost-effective to run. The Regulations regarding these in terms of air extraction rates are as follows: in the bathroom or shower room - min. 8 litres per second, in the toilet (separate from a bathroom) min. 6 litres per second, in the kitchen - min. 13 litres per second, and in utility rooms - max. 8 litres per second.Where should we Install a Ventilation Fan at home?The location of the ventilation fan is very important; it is of utmost importance to site the fan correctly. A ventilation fan needs to be always sited in the furthest window or wall from the main source of air replacement in order to avoid short-circuiting the airflow. Also, it needs to be located as high as possible in the window or wall nearest to smells or steam, but not directly above eye-level grills or cooker hoods. If a room in the house contains a gas boiler or any other fuel-burning device with a non-balanced flue, it is imperative that there's enough replacement air to prevent fumes from being drawn down the flue when the fan is extracting to its utmost capacity. Furthermore, according to the IEE Regulations in the UK, conventional mains voltage fans in a bathroom or shower must be located in places where they cannot be touched by a person using the bath or the shower, as well as away from any water spray. SELV fans (Safety Extra Low Voltage Fans, 12V fans) are specifically designed for safe ventilation of toilets, bathrooms, and shower rooms. They can be fitted within the area with splashing water (see their full specs) without any risk of electric shock. What Ventilation Fan is Required for the Minimum Air Changes Required per Hour?When considering where and what fan to install in a particular room at home, we need to know what is the minimum air changes required per hour. In order to calculate the correct air changes required for a room, you need to know the room volume in cubic metres, which is basically the length x width x height of the room, which needs to be multiplied by the number of air changes required. According to the current Building Regulations, here are the minimum air changes required per hour:Bathroom & Shower Rooms - 3 air changes/hBedrooms - 2 air changes/hCafés - 10 air changes/hCanteens - 8 air changes/hCellars - 3 air changes/hChanging Rooms with Showers - 15 air changes/hConference Rooms - 8 air changes/hGarages - 6 air changes/hHairdressing Salons - 10 air changes/hHalls & Landings - 3 air changes/hHospital Rooms - 4 air changes/hLaundries & Launderettes - 10 air changes/hLiving & Other Domestic Rooms - 3 air changes/hMeeting Rooms - 4 air changes/hOffices - 6 air changes/hRestaurants & Bars - 6 air changes/hSchool Rooms - 2 air changes/hShops - 8 air changes/hSports Facilities - 6 air changes/hStore Room - 3 air changes/hToilets – Domestic - 3 air changes/hToilets – Public - 10 air changes/hUtility Rooms - 15 air changes/hWorkshops - 6 air changes/hHow to Choose the Right Ventilation Fan at HomeIn light of all the requirements and specifications above, we need to find out in particular how to choose the right ventilation fan at home. When we choose the right ventilation fan, we need to bear in mind the types of air extractor fans and the types of switching/turning on for the fans available. Type of Air Extractor Fan for HomeAxial Fans - the axial fans are designed to move air over short distances of up to 2m ducting. For example, you need an axial fan if you install it on the wall, the window, or the ceiling and the exit is straight through or the ducting is under 2m long. The axial fans come in 4-inch (100mm, the most popular ones), 5-inch (125mm), 6-inch (150mm), and larger sizes.Centrifugal Fans - these are designed to move air over longer distances, performing well against the pressure caused by longer lengths of ducting and resistance by grilles. They are not as popular as the axial fans but sometimes are recommended to use. When ducting vertically, it is recommended that a condensation trap is used. Type of Switching On/off for the Ventilation FansStandard ventilation fans: the standard model fans are wired to the wall switch for remote switching through either a wall light or a separate switch. They are the most common ones. Timer ventilation fans: the timer models have a built-in adjustable time delay operated by the light switch. The time delay can be adjusted at installation, and these are suitable for locations where you need some extra ventilation even after the light is turned off. Pull-cord ventilation fans: the pull-cord fans have a pull-cord switch to be turned on/off when needed via this means. Humidity ventilation fans: the humidity models with built-in adjustable sensor turns the fan on when a certain threshold of humidity is sensed. They are automatically turned ON or OFF when the humidity sensor detects the humidity levels. PIR or Microwave Sensor ventilation fans: the PIR models are sensitive to movement. When someone enters the room, the fan turns on, and when presence is not detected, it is turned off.What options are there for Ventilation at Home?On our website, we have a wide range of ventilation systems available, and the three main manufacturers we distribute are Airflow, Manrose, and Envirovent. For further information concerning what ventilation fan you require at home, do not hesitate to contact us. You can also visit the dedicated sections for Airflow Extractor Fans, Manrose Extractor Fans, and Envirovent Extractor Fans.
It is very important to have correct ventilation for social housing in particular. The UK’s social housing stock will be crucial in the nation’s ambitious target to reduce its carbon emissions by 80% for 2050. This makes the push toward energy efficiency a high priority on the agenda for landlords and homeowners. Many of us have blocked our chimneys, insulated and draught-proofed our rooms, and double glazed our windows. While this may reflect well on our energy bills, it also means that we have essentially blocked off the inlet of fresh air to our houses. In this article, Sparks will examine attempts made to improve the safety of social housing with ventilation, and whether these have been successful (based on a study and interview with Airflow Developments). The 2018 Government Social Housing Green Paper The 2018 Green Paper reviewed the established Decent Homes Standard and asked questions about whether the legislation was being properly enacted. The Decent Homes Standard originated in 2004 and set a minimum standard for the quality of UK housing. It stated that all houses must be in an adequate state of repair and have reasonably modern services and facilities. The 2018 paper aimed to update these vague standards and give social housing owners real targets to aim for. This Paper set the ambitious target of breaking down inequalities in the social housing sector and turning them into communities. The previous standards had to be updated as there is set to be a massive increase in the amount of UK social housing. The government has committed to delivering more than 300,000 homes per year by the mid-2020s. The Green Paper aims to empower the residents of social housing. They will be given the right advice if they need to make a complaint - and have it resolved quickly and effectively. Empowering tenants has two great social benefits. It will make them feel less marginalised and happy with where they live, and will also increase the levels of safety and decency of their homes. Improvements in social housing - have we swapped efficiency for safety? The 2004 Decent Homes Standard Act improved social housing tenants living standards to a reasonable degree. Many social housing owners invested heavily in insulation and higher quality windows in order to implement higher living standards for their tenants. The Green Paper found that progress was still being made on this front and that the number of ‘non-decent’ homes had dropped down from 20% in 2010 to 13% in 2016. However, there have been underlying problems with these ‘upgrades’. Whilst many have benefited tenants’ thermal comfort and reduced fuel bills, these homes are also becoming increasingly airtight. If ventilation is not duly considered, then this can negatively impact indoor air quality and leave social housing more prone to damp and mould. Without effective ventilation, the very fabric of a building may deteriorate, which results in time-consuming and costly remedial work for social housing providers. Airborne pollutants also come about as a result of tightly insulated homes, and dry humid indoor air. There is a range of pollutants found in British homes, including Carbon Monoxide, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which pose a real risk to occupant health. They can aggravate or cause major conditions such as cancer, asthma, heart disease and even obesity. All these have been linked to poor air quality, which can be tackled with proper ventilation. A case study in PIV ventilation for social housing: Havebury Housing Havebury Housing Partnership embarked on a refurbishment programme endeavour, using Envirovent’s PIV system. They combined upgrades such as double-glazing, cavity wall and loft insulation with Envirovent’s PIV units. Envirovent provides a whole range of efficient ventilation solutions, which can improve the indoor air quality of social housing or any housing stock. While we do not have the PIV ventilation systems from Envirovent on our website, we can bring them in provided there’s an interest in them (you can simply leave a comment or send us an email about your project and needs). Utilising Envirovent’s PIV system, Havebury has achieved a carbon emission reduction of 56% over the last 16 years, decisively preventing the spread of mould and condensation. Getting the right type of ventilation for your housing stock It would be wise to remember that preventing condensation and mould problems is far easier, quicker and cheaper than curing them. Ventilation for social housing should never be an afterthought. Condensation and mould can seriously take their toll on the health of those living in the affected property, which is why clean air matters so much. Airflow Developments also make the popular iCONstant dMEV fans, suitable for any wet room in the home. It helps eliminate the problems of condensation and mould growth by continuously extracting the damp, moist air that is the source of the problem. Envirovent's PIV Units have proven to be very popular amongst housing stock across the nation. This is thanks to their eco-friendly characteristics and the company’s proven track record in providing eco-efficient ventilation.
Ventilation plays a huge part in all of our lives, keeping the air in our homes safe to breathe and free from contaminants. There is no question of whether you should have a quality ventilation system installed, but the big question is which one and what ventilation fans should be installed where? Airflow has sought to answer this question with a variety of fans that all comply with Building Regulation laws. These regulations state that a minimum flow rate is needed from an extractor fan when installed in a ‘wet room’ of any kind. The term ‘wet room’ covers toilets, bathrooms, utility rooms and kitchens as these rooms all use water frequently. There is no ‘one size fits all’ ventilation fan solution, so it is important that you purchase the right fan for the job in question. In this article, we would like to inform you of which ventilation fan should be placed in which wet room of your home, to prevent damp and other contaminants. The importance of minimum airflow rates in wet rooms Airflow rates are recorded in litres per second (l/sec). Here are the following minimum airflow rates for each kind of wet room: Toilets = 6 l/sec Bathrooms = 15 l/sec Utility rooms = 30 l/sec Kitchens = 60 l/sec (30 l/sec in kitchens where the fan is placed adjacent to the hob. This is also the minimum flow rate expected from a ducted cooker hood). Why is it so important that airflow rates meet these minimum levels in each of these rooms? The primary reason is that insufficient airflow results in condensation, damp and eventually mould if it goes untreated. However, if you ensure the fan that you have installed performs at the correct airflow rate, then the excess moisture will be eliminated. This means there will be no risk of the growth of mould in your wet rooms. What are the different ventilation fan types and their features? Axial fans Axial fans are a type of fan that causes the air to flow in an ‘axis’ motion, which runs parallel to the shaft where the blades rotate. This creates a pressure difference which causes airflow through the fan. They provide high performance and volume levels, considering their small profile - and they are very unobtrusive. We at Sparks sell some excellent axial fans with very slim proportions. For instance, Envirovent’s Silent Extractor Fan is only 146.5mm in diameter and provides an impressive 78l/s. This makes it highly suitable for kitchens where it will operate with minimal fuss: silent and discreet. Axial fans must overcome a limited amount of ‘backpressure’ (which is caused by internal components). This means it should not be used on longer duct runs - 1.5 metres and over - and on ducts with a minimum of two 90 degree bends. Centrifugal Fans Centrifugal fans extract air at a right angle to the fan’s intake and spins the air outwards by using centrifugal force. The impeller rotates, causing air to enter the fan near the shaft and move in a straight line to the opening in the fan casing. This allows the fan to produce more pressure for a certain air volume, and is therefore able to push the extracted air along far longer duct runs. Centrifugal fans are often more expensive than their axial counterparts, and are sometimes larger to accommodate their greater power. However, this is not the case with some newer, sleek models which look very alike to axial fans. Mixed Flow fans Mixed Flow fans combine some of the high-volume flow aspects of the axial fan with the pressure delivery of the backward curved centrifugal fan. These fans come highly recommended from the trusted site Professional Electrician, as they are able to combine convenient size and strong performance. For example, the Airflow Aventa is slim, 6 inches long, and provides two fans in parallel for double the flow - producing an exceptional 552m3/hr. They are very popular in kitchens and bathrooms, as they produce high airflow rates needed for kitchens. Furthermore, they are ideal for short to medium duct runs - in toilets and smaller utility rooms for instance. Which ventilation fan type should go where? As stated before, there is no uniform solution of where to place your ventilation fan. You must consider a variety of factors, such as the length of a duct and the number of bends in it. These things will create a resistance to the fan’s airflow that it must overcome to reach its ‘operational performance’. With axial fans, the use of an axial impeller is ideal for bathrooms, toilets and smaller rooms, where the fan is to be ducted straight through the wall or installed in a window. Axial fans are suited for fitting through the wall or ceiling, as well as along short runs of ducting applications. The powerful centrifugal fans are often found in kitchens or very large utility rooms. They are frequently placed in rooms which do not have exterior walls. This is because such rooms do not have natural ventilation, and this means they require a long duct run to reach the outside of the building. Meanwhile, mixed flow fans are seen to bring the best of both centrifugal and axial fans together, with both power and discreteness. They are a perfect choice to bridge the performance gap between axial and centrifugal fans.
On the 21st of June this year there was the annual Clean Air Day, and the people at Global Action Plan have launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the problem of indoor air pollution inside UK homes. Whether we sense this or not, there's a "cocktail of toxic air pollution" inside our homes unless there is proper ventilation, and we all are encouraged to take steps to improve the air we breathe indoors. It really helps to open the windows and leave them open regularly to eliminate some of the pollution and condensation, but at the same time there has to be proper ventilation inside the homes. The quality of the indoor air can be very low when there are gas stoves, wood burners, nail varnish being used, deodorant being sprayed, candles being burned, cleaning products used around the house, and soft furnishings. Since we spend quite a lot of time indoor, it is good to make sure the quality of the air is good, and for this ventilation is a must! Indoor Air Pollution and its Impact on our HealthThe research conducted in advance of Clean Air Day has found some astounding and shocking results, and the impact of air pollution on our health is worrying. Furthermore, based on the study of the RCPCH (Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health) and RCP (Royal College of Physicians) on the potentially harmful impact of indoor air pollution, there are some findings that we also list below. Less than 40% of adults are aware of the effects of indoor air pollution on their health; most UK adults are familiar with the effects of the outdoor air pollution, but not so many know of the indoor air pollution. 60% of people are not aware of the actions they can take to reduce indoor air pollution. Improving the ambiance of our homes includes such things as burning candles and using air fresheners, which are a source of air pollution. 15% of the surveyed people identified smelly food as the key source of indoor air pollution. Many do not realize the effects of hairspray and fake tans on our health due to the air pollution. Indoor air pollution is affecting our lives, our pets, our family, our children, our health, and our well-being. Children spend 80% of their time indoors and, with the increasing desire to "conserve heat" with the "sealing of homes", pollution exposure indoors is becoming a major issue for children's health and development. More than two million healthy life years are being lost across the EU annually, and there are over 9000 deaths a year due to indoor air pollution. In England, the proportion of households living in a dwelling with damp is three times higher for those in the lowest income group, compared with those in the highest income group. The impact of indoor air pollution on our health is not as well researched and documented as the impact of the outdoor air pollution on our health. Because many people spend 90% of their time indoors - many times in poorly ventilated homes - they are exposed to a wide range of air pollutants such as formaldehyde and a cocktail of volatile organic compounds (as per Prof. Stephen Holgate, Medical Research Council, Professor at the University of Southampton, see reference link below). The poor air quality in the homes all across the UK can also cause or amplify illnesses and conditions such asthma, thus having a negative impact on our quality of life. Tips for Improving your Indoor Air Quality As this is an ongoing issue with much research and study being done in the UK and around the world, the tips and steps to improve indoor air quality are small and seemingly insignificant, but once they are implemented, our air quality indoor is improved and our quality of life is elevated. Here are some tips for reducing air pollution indoors: Open your windows when you are cooking or when you are using cleaning products. This helps ventilate the house and avoid air pollution in the home, and it also helps avoid the build-up of air polluting moulds too. Service your boiler regularly, for the CO (Carbon Monoxide) emanated from faulty boilers and heaters can be fatal. Consider how you clean your home. Keep the dust levels low, use naturally scented and even fragrance-free products, and avoid aerosols. When burning fuels or wood on the barbecue or stove, burn smokeless fuels or dry, well-seasoned wood, for the pollution from burning fuels damages the air in your home and to those who live nearby. Reduce the consumption of energy to reduce air pollution! Gas and electricity are big contributors to air pollution, for gas creates fumes and electricity has the same result. It is best to do things to conserve energy (switch off the lights, fill the kettle only with the amount of water needed, run the dishwasher or washing machine only when it's full, etc) and thus reduce electricity and gas bills, while at the same time reducing indoor air pollution. Choose renewable energy-saving tariffs for your home supply, even if this means switching energy suppliers, so that you may reduce the pollution produced by power stations. Recycle compostable and save the wood-burning for rough winters. Instead of burning your garden waste, why not compost it and turn it into food for the plants. Instead of burning wood in the stove, use it only when the winter is tough, to reduce air pollution. Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate! Make sure you have a bathroom ventilation fan, a kitchen fan, and even a whole house ventilation system, so that the air in the home may circulate, the vapors may be removed, the pollutants may be eliminated, and the air quality may be improved. Eat properly and exercise properly. Our health is not determined merely by the quality of air indoors but especially by the food we eat, the amount of exercise we do, the sleep we have, and many other items. As much as it depends on us, it is good to eat a healthy diet and have adequate physical exercise to improve our quality of life, and be aware of the indoor air quality to improve it. On our website we offer a wide range of Envirovent, Airflow, and Manrose kitchen fans, bathroom ventilation fans, whole house ventilation systems, and heat saving systems. Here are some further references to this article, where you can find out more on how to reduce pollution at home and improve air quality in the home: Improve your indoor air quality with Airflow Clean Air raises awareness of indoor air pollution (via Envirovent) There's a cocktail of toxic air pollutants inside the homes (via CleanAirDay) A major study was done to look at indoor air pollution (via, Air Quality News) Asthma Deaths Rise 25% amid growing air pollution crisis (via the Guardian) Protect children from toxic fumes with ‘keep clear’ signs at our bus stops, says father (via, Evening Standard)
We have recently encountered this problem and there was a question from many of our customers: do I need a bathroom fan with a humidistat function, or will a fan with a timer do? You could say that it all depends on what you need the fan for, what are the conditions the bathroom is in, what is the weather, what you use the bathroom for, etc. But in general, for the majority of people, a bathroom fan with a timer is more recommended than a fan with a humidistat. Unless there are special conditions with extreme humidity being constantly in the bathroom, all you need is a timer fan. Let us explain why. How Does a Humidistat Fan Work? What does this "humidistat module" do in a ventilation fan? Whether it is from Manrose, Vent-Axia, Envirovent, or Airflow, most of the bathroom fans come both in a basic version and in the version with a timer, humidistat, or even with timer and humidistat together (of course, the price is also higher). A humidistat is a sensor within a certain module in the fan that detects the level of humidity in the air, and then switches ON or OFF the fan. The humidistat can be set and adjusted as needed so that when there's a lot of humidity in the air, the fan will automatically be ON until the humidity is eliminated. How Does a Timer Fan Work? A timer bathroom fan is pretty straightforward and simple: you can set the time delay for the fan to continue to run once someone has used the bathroom and left (switching off the light). In other words, the fan will continue running for a period of 30 seconds - 3-4 minutes (according to your settings) after someone has taken a shower or has used the bathroom for more than 2-3 minutes. This is the most common use of the bathroom fan, and most bathrooms are not completely and properly ventilated unless a ventilation fan with a timer is installed. Why are the Timer Fans Better? Airflow Quietair 100 with a humidistat sensor incorporated Again, we don't prefer or replace a humidistat fan with a timer fan, but in general use, people rather need a bathroom fan with a timer than one with a humidistat. If your bathroom is in an area with a lot of humidity, it is good to get a humidity timer and set it on a not-so-sensitive setting. If the humidity level in your bathroom is always up and ventilation is needed all the time, a fan with humidistat is a must. But if you don't have huge problems with the humidity and all you need is a fan that would ventilate the air and make sure you have fresh air while the humidity and odors are eliminated a regular timer fan is the best solution. If you are planning to leave your house for a while and you know that the humidity can be up while away, you definitely need a bathroom fan with a humidistat. But if you're at home or your family is regularly using the bathroom during the day, you don't need a humidistat fan but a fan with a timer. Tip: Don't Fiddle Too Much with the Humidistat A humidistat is a very sensitive module within the fan, and not everyone understands how it works. The mere fact that you see that the humidistat doesn't turn the fan ON when you think that the humidity is high doesn't mean that you need to regulate it and adjust it all the time. Unless there are special humidity conditions in the bathroom, setting your humidistat on 60% or so should solve all the problems (see the manufacturer's specs and ask your electrician for more precise advice). But tinkering with the humidistat may cause it to be damaged - you simply have to "trust it", that it will work whenever the level of humidity is higher! Do You Have a Similar Experience? Did you install a humidistat fan? What is your experience with it? Maybe you want to share something you've learned while setting up, using, maintaining, and taking care of your humidistat fan (or timer fan) - please do so in the comments. You can read more technical details on how the humidistat works here, here, and here. To purchase bathroom fans with a timer, please visit the Ventilation Systems at Sparks Direct.
In our > 20 years of experience in selling electrical products for both domestic and commercial use, we have encountered a lot of questions from our customers both online and in our shop. Many of these questions are related to the choosing of the right bathroom ventilation fan. What does one need to know about the bathroom fan which he needs to install at home? What features he needs to make sure it has, so that he would have the latest in technology and in aspect? We asked our consultants on the counter here in our showroom in Archway and we checked the questions you have asked us online, and we compiled a list of such questions below. The Size of the Bathroom Fan The size of the bathroom or toilet fan matters. In general, for the domestic use people need mainly the 4 inch fan, 100 mm diameter (the extracting diameter / duct). The front lid / the grill is in general max. 158 x 158 mm - small, not taking too much space in the bathroom. The Fan Must have a Timer Many times we forget to turn off the light in the bathroom, and it is the same with the fan - it is better to make sure that the bathroom fan turns itself off in 2-3 minutes after you leave the bathroom. The timer module is many times incorporated into the fan, and it can be set up to the time lag desired. How Quiet is the Fan? It is very important to have a quiet fan, so quiet that you cannot even hear it! Some fans are so loud that you hate being in the bathroom with them running in the background :( while others like Airflow QT100T and Envirovent SIL100T are as quiet as 26.5dB(A) at 3m - you can barely hear the fan extracting the air! How Far is the Ducting? If the ducting needs to be longer than 3 meters, you will need a different fan with a stronger power of extraction. But in general, for domestic or regular office bathroom/toilet needs with ducting up to 3m (the length of the ducting until the outside / the central ventilation system). Ducting can also be purchased via Sparks. What is the Cheapest 100mm Toilet Fan? Many customers ask this question, and on our website, we have the PRO100T from Envirovent (100mm diameter, with a timer included). It is not the quietest among them all, but it is definitely the cheapest and most popular one! For those who are looking to invest in a quiet fan with a stylish look, the SIL100T and QT100T are the first choices. Extra: Dust Free Grill Dust tends to accumulate on the grill of the fan, and with time and use the fan needs to be gently wiped with a clean cloth (see the instructions included in the package). If you are looking for a fan that has a dust-free grill (no dust accumulating as time goes by) check out the Envirovent SILD10TW. It always stays clean! Was the above information useful? Do you have any other questions regarding the Bathroom Fans? Let us know in the comments.
Domestic ventilation is a big deal. Roughly speaking, ventilation is required for: bringing in fresh air from outdoors the dilution and removal of airborne pollutants such as mould and odour ensuring that the humidity levels in a space don't get too high In October 2010, the building regulations were updated to include the latest version of "Part F," which covers the ventilation requirements for new and existing properties. They are hard to decode, but we can offer some help in the form of electrical products. What Does Part F Specify? If you were wondering what does Part F of Building Regulations specify, here it is in a nutshell: a ventilation system needs to be supplied in order to reduce mould and other pollutants that could prove hazardous to the health of the building's inhabitants. Basically, a ventilation system needs to: extract pollutants and water vapour before those things are generally widespread rapidly dilute those things when necessary make available over long periods a minimum supply of outdoor air be installed in such a way that aids later maintenance In addition, Part F mandates that dwellings must be airtight (to a certain degree) to reduce domestic emissions. The specifications for new and existing buildings can be found in the Approved Document. They are complicated, and include guidelines on concepts like Specific Fan Power and trickle ventilation, but there is an easy way to meet these standards! Airflow's Loovent Eco Extractor Fans The Loovent Eco series exceeds these requirements. These are dMEV (Domestic Mechanical Extract Ventilation) fans for whole house ventilation (also known as background ventilation), but also feature a "boost mode" to provide extra ventilation when it is needed. These fans are high-powered enough to meet the specifications set out in Part F: in bathrooms, a 7 or 9 litres-per-second mode can be set, or in kitchens a 13 litre/sec speed may be more appropriate. The boost function offers up to 30 litre/sec. Loovent Eco fans have a specific fan power (the electric power needed to drive a fan relative to the amount of air that is circulated through it) of just 0.3 w/l/s, less than the required 0.5 w/l/s. What's more, we offer models in our online store that include a adjustable humidistat, timer, and/or a PIR motion sensor for energy-saving purposes in line with Part L of those same building regulations. These models are compact, easy to install, and dare we say... stylish? Practically noiseless and highly efficient, the Loovent Eco series of dMEV fans are the clear choice for domestic whole-house ventilation for Part F-compliant buildings.
Recently, Beijing citizens have been advised to stay indoors as the air pollution breaks all known records. In light of this, we thought it was high time to talk about air pollution inside the house - which is often overlooked in favour of what happens outdoors. In fact, studies have shown that the air quality in the kitchen can be up to [three times more noxious] than a traffic-lined street, so there's a clear need to keep the indoor air quality (IAQ) at a breathable standard. What is Indoor Air Pollution? Because IAQ is so often overlooked, you might not be completely aware of what the term "indoor air pollution" means, exactly. It's a mixture of pollutants from inside the building with those that come into the building through windows and other sources of ventilation. Cooking appliances and tobacco smoke are among the worst offenders, as you might have already guessed, but there are other, more surprising sources of air pollution inside the average UK house: Pollutant Sources Nitrogen Dioxide (NO?) Heating and cooking appliances Carbon Monoxide (CO) Heating and cooking appliances Particulate matter Cooking and aerosols Radon Natural ground gases Environmental tobacco smoke Cigarettes, cigars, pipes Allergens Moulds and house dust mites Volatile organic compounds and ozone Cleaning products, paints, and printers With a list this long, it might seem as though there is nothing to be done - after all, if natural ground gases are a hazard, what can we do about that? Achieving Good Indoor Air Quality A good IAQ rating can be achieved through demand-controlled ventilation, among other things such as air-filtering plants and, well, only smoking outdoors (which, we understand, is one of the greatest joys a smoker can have in a world that increasingly shuts them out). Simply fitting an extractor fan in the most problematic areas of the house will ensure a constant air turnover: the replacement of interior air with exterior air. Pollutants vary from room to room: allergens and moulds tend to build up in the bathroom, whereas tobacco smoke is more common in living rooms and bedrooms, for example. This means that some rooms will require more ventilation or a more rapid airflow exchange. Generally, there's a "trade-off" between airtightness and energy efficiency: very energy-efficient houses tend not to be very well-ventilated, and houses with a lot of ventilation are not very airtight. That said, there are a number of low-energy extractor fans in the Sparks Direct store, including models with incorporated motion sensors. If you're concerned about the air quality of your home, speak with an HVAC contractor about extraction fans, or take a look through our store. Better yet: why not ask one of our staff at our Archway showroom? Header image via How Stuff Works