There is lots of evidence that fresh air is important to health. From My Health My Home
“Toxic Home Syndrome occurs when individuals and families are exposed to a potent mix of airborne pollutants within the home arising from poor ventilation, causing respiratory and skin diseases to occur more frequently.
I have had many patients come to me with serious respiratory conditions due to pollutants within the home. With respect to asthma, mould allergy is recognised to be associated with worse asthma and poorer asthma control. The presence of moulds within the home is a reflection of poor ventilation and increased humidity. Homes with mould are also likely to have higher house dust mite allergen levels and this may worsen both respiratory and skin conditions. The lack of adequate ventilation within the home can also be associated with the build up of non-allergenic noxious fumes which are detrimental to health.”
The site also provides a link to an excellent article by Professor Hazim Awbi of Reading University which concludes (in summary):
- Existing building regulations have the potential to increase indoor pollutant levels equivalent to the upper end of (and in some cases well above) World Health Organisation recommended limits.
- There should be a legal requirement for new homes, and guidance for retrofitted homes, to have an air exchange rate of at least 0.5/hour, to help protect human health.
- The standardised fitting of effective continuous mechanical ventilation, preferably with heat recovery (MVHR), is the most cost-effective solution for achieving this exchange rate whilst satisfying energy efficiency requirements
- Any future building regulations to reduce carbon emissions should be accompanied by government regulation to ensure effective and efficient design, installation, maintenance and operation of MVHR systems to reduce the impact upon human health.
The issue from our point of view is how many air changes per hour do we have in our little flats. This is not easy to measure. I will look into it. A point not made here is the effect of air changes on heating needs. I will get back on that, also.