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Throughout the decades we have been responsible for tackling climate change and reducing our dependency on fossil fuels, so what’s next? Something that concerns us all – clean air and improving working and schooling conditions for millions!

Tackling air pollution will be one of our generation’s biggest challenges. Due to increased urbanisation, road, sea, and air congestion, along with the ever-increasing demand for power, means that air handling in the UK has never been more necessary. Ventilating indoor areas is vital in reducing transmission of infectious diseases such as Covid-19 and the spread of flu and viruses. Effective ventilation can aid the removal of air-borne pathogens and improve air quality. 

Nowhere requires clean air more than in education. Children are particularly prone to the effects of poor air quality and education is crucial for the young to improve their chances in life. It is imperative they are given every opportunity to succeed and are not held back by issues out of their control, of which, unclean air is a major one. It is more important now than ever before that the quality of the air we breathe in is of a sufficiently high enough level.

Clean air in classrooms is a simple way to reduce the spread of sickness. Schools have a high occupancy density, with children sitting close to each other. By the time parents realise their children are sick and take them out of school, it’s generally too late – viruses have spread.

School Ventilation Solutions

There are numerous ways in which our schools can dramatically reduce air pollution and improve ventilation. Below we discuss simple ways we can help improve IAQ for our children and young people:

1. Keep it clean!

Keeping areas clean might sound like common sense but its effectiveness is often understated. Vacuum cleaners that use specialised filters can be particularly effective, getting rid of concentrations of lead, toxins like brominated fire-retardant chemicals, and allergens such as pollen, pet dander and dust mites.

2. Humidity vs ventilation

Moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria, mould, and dust.  Humidity at around 30%-50% will keep them under control. A dehumidifier and air conditioner during warmer months reduces moisture and helps control allergens. Many school kitchens have cooking appliances that have fan ventilation, it is important to ensure they are maintained and in top working order but also ensure windows are open while cooking.

Ventilation systems and air conditioning units can guarantee the controlled circulation of fresh air using ducts and fans, rather than relying on airflow through cracks in a building’s walls or windows. By doing so it ensures the overall airflow direction in a building, meaning no uncomfortable draughts.

3. Nature

Houseplants are also a great way to purify the air in space facilities. Research has demonstrated several plants that filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours. Nature’s lungs are known to recycle water and air. Enzymes in plant leaves work together with the roots to break down toxic chemicals into non-toxic components that can be used by the plant while foliage plants are incredibly effective at removing dust from work and home environments.

At Woodhouse Environmental our top household plant recommendations include: The aloe, Spider plant, Gerbera daisy and snake plant are all accepted as being excellent filters for indoor pollution. Why not check out our ventilation page for more information on how we can help you improve your air quality. Our expert ventilation team are experts in the installation and maintenance of ventilation and filtration solutions. Contact us today!

If you missed our previous blog on Environmental: How is Plastic Production Linked to the Climate Crisis? check it out.