The importance of subfloor ventilation in Melbourne

Zephyr Ventilation are your ventilation experts and are here to explain the importance of having good ventilation and air quality within your house. First of all, people these days are very prone to illness whether by influenza or simply by living with bacteria or any other microbes such as mould.

What are some of the reasons we could have poor air quality within our homes?

  • People can produce high humidity simply by giving off body heat while you sleep or breathe. This high humidity will provide condensation to the surfaces within the property which in turn is also a food source for mould growth.
  • Due to the type of houses built in Melbourne & Sydney there might be a subfloor area under your house that has insufficient airflow which means any bacteria or mould spores can potentially rise up through the floor and contaminate the livable area of the house. One of the reasons mould develops in the subfloor area is due to ground seepage that flows through the ground. This is a food source for mould growth that will always develop unless you can stop the ground seepage. One way to do this is to dig a rubble drain around the perimeter of the house to capture the ground water before if can get in under the house.
  • The occupants may not be able to ventilate properly due to weather conditions.
  • Missing exhaust fans or exhaust fans not connected or ducted to the outside of the property

What system can be installed in the subfloor area under your house?

Zephyr Ventilation can supply and install a mechanical subfloor ventilation system which consists of generally a 200mm in-line fan that is connected with flexi duct to strategically placed ducts to two things. One of the benefits of this system is to create better air flow under the house which will assist in drying out the subfloor area under the house and the other benefit is to suck out any airborne contaminants that could potentially rise up through the floor and contaminate the house. When Zephyr Ventilation installs your subfloor ventilation system it will be set up to run on a timer so the owner or tenant doesn’t have to turn it on or off. When installing these ventilation systems they can be set up to place the subfloor area under negative, neutral or positive pressure.

Don’t hesitate to contact Zephyr Ventilation to book in your ventilation assessment and quote for your new subfloor ventilation system.

Why it is important to have good indoor air quality for children

Everyone understands outdoor air pollution and the effects that smoke, smog and dust can have on our respiratory systems – but there is also harm in the effects of indoor pollution that can be just as bad for our health, and especially for the health of our children.

Children are more vulnerable to poor air quality indoors. Some examples of pollutants within our four walls include that of cleaning products, paints, chemicals within furniture, particulate matter from wood burners and open fireplaces, as well as dreaded mould spores.

When a home has a lack of efficient ventilation, poor indoor air quality can lead to headaches, dizziness, coughing and sneezing, runny noses, suffering with difficulty breathing, dry skin, throat and eyes. It may be more difficult to spot these early symptoms in small children, especially infants. But, over time, air pollution can be extremely harmful to health, leading to breathing issues, allergies, asthma and chronic lung disease.

How does indoor air pollution affect a child’s health?

Air pollution even has an impact on pregnancy and on the health of the baby. The developing lungs of the unborn baby are susceptible to the effects of air pollutants and it is possible to cause health issues for the baby once it is born. If you have noticed that you feel unwell when you’re inside your home, you should have your home tested for air pollutants and the overall air quality.

When a premature baby is born, it is usually more at risk of respiratory issues than a child who was born full term, as its lungs are likely under-developed. Good indoor air quality is even more important to these little babies. Polluted air can also cause respiratory problems such as croup, which can also be harmful to young children and babies; which quite often results in trips to the hospital emergency room.

When children are exposed to toxins in the air through poor ventilation over a long period of time, they can develop respiratory issues such as asthma or bronchitis. Children who contract bronchitis regularly are more likely to suffer from asthma as they grow up.

What about mould?

One of the telltale signs of ineffective ventilation is condensation on your windows. Excessive moisture and dampness within the home can lead to mould growth. Not only is mould ugly, smells putrid, and damages soft furnishings, it is also a leading cause of respiratory and skin conditions, such as asthma and eczema, and very harmful to a child’s health. The impact of mould spores on health is significant and this is why the air quality and ventilation inside a house should be checked.

How can I improve the air quality and reduce toxins within my home?

Check what ingredients are contained within cleaning products before you buy them. It is better to use products that are scented with essential oils rather than chemicals. Scented candles, unless scented naturally and similar items, such as wax melts can also be problematic. Sourcing cleaning products which are environmentally-friendly is the way to go. These will work in exactly the same way as regular cleaning products, but without causing damage to a person’s health.

When drying washing indoors, ensure your machine is ducted to vent the hot moist air outside. Otherwise condensation can build up and cause humidity levels to rise due to excess moisture. Bathrooms should also be well ventilated for an efficient ventilation system in order to remove hot moist air when showering.

It is a good idea to have the air quality of your home tested, even more importantly if you have children. You can do this yourself with an air quality monitor or you can have a professional do a survey. It is also a great idea to have a professional such as Zephyr Ventilations do a ventilation assessment of your home. Our team can work out the right systems for your individual property and family needs. An effective ventilation system will improve air quality and prevent future mould infestation through keeping condensation and air moisture under control

Many homes suffer with problems caused by condensation and mould and may not realise the harm this is doing to themselves, their children and even their pets! Good quality indoor air is giving your family the best chance of improving their health. A competent effective ventilation system will reduce the concentration of VOC levels, moisture and mould, with many positive health benefits.

6 good reasons to install a ventilation system in your home

There are many benefits to be gained by installing a ventilation system in your home. Home ventilation refers to the process of moving air around, so that it is changed or replaced in different spaces, improving the quality of the air inside your home. Almost every home in Australia will have some form of ventilation, even if this is just in the form of air ducts in your bricks, which are often neglected, covered up, or are not adequate to cope with everyday living. Modern ventilation systems often use mechanical elements and offer a whole home approach.

These home ventilation systems can help to:

1.Reduce asthma and other conditions

According to Asthma Australia, there are around 1.9 million people who have asthma in Australia. This is equivalent to one in 9 people. Some have mild symptoms, but severe asthma can be debilitating, and even fatal. In 2014, (which is the most recent data available) 419 people died from asthma. There are many different triggers for asthma, but the mould associated with damp, pollution, cigarette smoke, house dust mites, and other things that enter the air in the home, can all trigger attacks or make an existing problem worse. A well-ventilated home will not cure asthma, but it can help to reduce the symptoms and make asthma attacks less common.

2. Reduce home condensation

Condensation is a common problem in many Australian homes. It is a leading cause of dampness and, if it is left unattended, condensation can result in mould growth.

Condensation forms on internal surfaces when the air outside falls sufficiently below the temperature of the moist air inside the property. Moisture in the air then condenses into liquid droplets, leading to damp patches or resulting in the familiar ‘streaming’ on windows. It is more common in the colder months when the difference between the heat inside and outside is most noticeable. A good home ventilation system not only improves the air quality within your home, but it can also help to prevent an increase in moisture levels within a property which can lead to condensation and mould issues over time.

3. Keep the air in your rooms fresh

The importance of ventilation to your physical health cannot be overstated, but, whatever the design and layout of your home, a good ventilation system can also help to keep it fresh, pleasant, and relaxing, helping to prevent the build-up of any stale, musty, or bad odours.

4. Reduce hay fever symptoms

Although it is not as immense health risk as asthma, hay fever can still cause grief, and can also increase asthma symptoms for those who suffer from both. Hay fever is caused by an allergic reaction to plant pollen. While you may think that you would be better off staying inside of your home, you will still need a fresh flow of air indoors, and a specialised ventilation system can prevent the buildup of pollen, as well as reducing the need to open your windows and doors. Some units also have filters that can help to reduce the amount of pollen in the air.

5. Lessen the impact of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are another reason why home ventilation is so important. These gases can build up from many different sources, including cosmetics, air fresheners, and some cleaning products. One way to lessen the impact of VOCs is to reduce the use of these products; the other option is to control the levels via a ventilation system, the build-up of VOCs in a confined space can also contribute to several health problems.

6. Reduce the risk of rising damp with subfloor ventilation

Rising damp is essentially a flow of water from the ground up into a wall structure. The water essentially seeps into the pores of the wall. Rising damp is common in older buildings, but can also occur in more modern buildings if your damp-proof course has been damaged. Distinctive features are discolouration that make it look like the bottom section of your wall is wet, or bumps and peeling on the wall that resembles prolonged water damage. Though it may cause unsightly aesthetic damage, rising damp can also cause a buildings structure to be compromised, and cause you much more trouble in the future.

One of the ways to combat the risk of rising damp is to install a sub floor ventilation system in your Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney home. By extracting air from a subfloor crawl space we are actually stopping that moist, damp, mouldy air from pushing up into your home. The extraction process is actually pulling fresh air from outside in through the vents on the walls of your subfloor. The airflow being created then promotes drying. Zephyr Ventilation design our subfloor ventilation systems to the specific property but the aim is to achieve cross ventilation through every part of the sub floor area.

If you are interested in having your home assessed for efficient ventilation, give us a call and our home ventilation specialists will come and survey your property to give specific advice on the best system to suit your needs.

Different types of home ventilation to consider for your property

Roof Ventilation

In summer your roof can reach temperatures exceeding 50 degrees Celsius. If you are using your air conditioning system to combat the heat of summer it will be fighting this heat build up. By installing a roof ventilation system we can expel this air and the immediate impact is in reducing the amount of air conditioning your property will require which means you will spend less money and help the environment while keeping cool and comfortable.

Roof ventilation is a great way to reduce the heat in your home during the summer months and removes moisture during the winter months, which is the main cause of mould. During the winter months we all lock down our houses to keep the warmth in our homes but this also means we keep in the moisture content that we produce. The average person creates over 20 litres of moisture and as the moisture and heat rises into the space between the ceiling and roof, it creates the perfect environment for mould to form. Mould can be extremely dangerous, especially to young children and the elderly and the majority of people who have roof ventilation installed notice an immediate benefit once installation is complete.

Why does a roof space become so hot and humid?

The air in your roof space is a build up of not just the natural ventilation occurring throughout your home but also air extracted from your bathroom, shower and kitchen – especially range hoods or extractor fans over your cooker.

A variety of highly efficient roof ventilation fans and ‘whirlybirds’ can be used to extract the hot or moisture rich air from your roof space and create natural ventilation throughout your property and there are significant advantages in doing this. Hot, humid air in your roof space provides the perfect environment for mould as previously stated so removing this has measurable health benefits. Additionally, it can cause damage to the structure of your home by speeding up decay of the building materials. Both timber and metals are susceptible to decay or corrosion from this type of environment and adequate roof ventilation will help protect the longevity of your home, meaning you save money on expensive repairs later on down the line.

Sub floor Ventilation

Mould lives in dark moist environments with no air flow. A sub floor ventilation system in your Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney home is a great way to combat this situation. By extracting air from a subfloor crawl space we are actually preventing that moist, damp, mouldy air from penetrating upwards into your home. The extraction process is actually pulling fresh air from outside in through the vents on the walls of your subfloor. The airflow being created then promotes drying. At Zephyr, we design our sub floor ventilation systems on a case by case situation with the aim is to achieve cross ventilation through every part of the sub floor area.

Bathroom Ventilation

Bathrooms and laundries need to be well ventilated. Showers, clothes dryers and washing machines all add moisture to the atmosphere in your home. If this moisture is not expelled it will have a direct impact on the air quality in your home.

It’s important to understand that baths, showers, washing machines and clothes dryers produce large volumes of moisture that if left without efficient ventilation would create hot humid air in your home which would quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria and mould. We’ve all seen homes that have been affected in this way and you should aim for preventative rather than corrective measures.

Mould can be extremely dangerous, especially to the elderly or young children and if you already have mould in your home you should immediately call our sister company Mouldpro for your mould removal and it’s important you don’t try and dry out the area before the mould is removed as you could spread it further throughout your home. One of our company’s most common callouts is for removal of mould from bathroom ceilings or walls. It’s far better to make sure you have the right ventilation for your bathroom in the first place.

Laundry and bathroom ventilation, for Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney homes, usually consists of extractor fans, ducts and external louvres. It’s important that you have a system that can cope with the amount of moisture that your home produces. If after being used your bathroom represents a steam room there’s a good chance that you don’t have the right type of ventilation system for your home and your needs.

Heat Recovery and Energy Recovery Ventilation

A heat recovery ventilation system exchanges fresh air from outside your property and uses the heat of the indoor air to heat the outside air as it comes in. Great during winter, though during the summer you would need the heat to be exchanged the other way around. An Energy Recovery Ventilation system does exactly this.

Once installed an Energy Recovery Ventilation unit can introduce fresh air from outside into your home. At the same time these ventilators expel the stale indoor air. With its inbuilt, highly efficient heat exchanger, it can recover 70% of the heat from the outgoing air and transfer it to the incoming fresh air. This means you get the benefits of security, no windows open, don’t lose heat and you still get fresh air into your home. Units can be ceiling or wall mounted and with inner air filters that are professionally designed to remove the pollutants of the incoming air, you will receive fresh and clean air at all times.

Which ventilation system is right for your property?

At Zephyr Ventilation we begin by examining your home and then making the appropriate recommendations for the design of a ventilation system to meet all of your specific ventilation needs. Give us a call today.

Signs that your home does not have effective ventilation

We all know that good ventilation throughout the home is important for both the health of your family and your actual building itself.

Have you ever wondered if your home has effective ventilation? Here are some signs below that may help you to decide whether you need a helping hand with your home ventilation.

Condensation

You wake up every morning and there is condensation dotted around the place on window sills, window coverings, windows themselves and on your benches. This means that the air is damp and not flowing properly allowing for condensation to easily evaporate.

Does your bathroom completely dry out after showers? Does your laundry turn into a sauna when you use the dryer? These are other areas where condensation builds up and then….

Mould

What happens when condensation and damp air continues to build up? Yes, Mould growth. Mould thrives in a damp environment. If you start to notice a dank musty smell and your clothes and furniture are starting to look and feel somewhat “dusty” it is likely you could have a hidden mould problem. Of course there may be obvious signs of black or green sprinklings of mould within your home also.

Rising Damp

Rising damp occurs when excess moisture from the ground absorbs up into porous building materials such as stone, brick, earth, mortar and into the structure of the building. The moisture evaporates from either face of the wall, allowing more to be drawn from below. Rising damp is common in older buildings, but can also occur in more modern buildings if your damp-proof course has been damaged.

Though rising damp may cause unsightly aesthetic damage, it can also cause the structure of the building to be compromised and cause you bigger problems in the future. Damp walls also encourage mould growth as mentioned, which can then lead to health problems for the occupants of your home.

Having sufficient subfloor ventilation under your home will assist in preventing rising damp.

Sickness and Allergies

Does it ever feel like sickness just “lives” in your home? Well it could be due to insufficient ventilation. Not only do the viruses that enter your home continue to circulate, but having a damp environment contributes to mould, which contributes to allergies, which contributes to an unhappy household.

Extreme Temperatures

Do you find your home is too hot? It could be that your home could benefit from a good roof ventilation system. The air in your roof space is a build up of not just the natural ventilation occurring throughout your home but also air extracted from your bathroom, shower and kitchen – especially range hoods or extractor fans over your cooker.

Hot, humid air in your roof space provides the perfect environment for mould as previously stated so removing this has measurable health benefits. Additionally, it can cause damage to the structure of your home by speeding up decay of the building materials. Both timber and metals are susceptible to decay or corrosion from this type of environment and adequate roof ventilation will help protect the longevity of your home, meaning you save money on expensive repairs later on down the line.

During the summer good roof ventilation keeps your roof space cool, which means less requirement for air conditioning, you have a naturally cooler house and your electricity is much less. Having efficient roof ventilation enables you to remove all the moisture from your roof space. This means you remove the conditions necessary for dangerous mould to form, as well as protecting the materials your home is constructed from.

If your home is too cold you may benefit from a heat recovery ventilation system. A heat recovery ventilation system exchanges fresh air from outside your property and uses the heat of the indoor air to heat the outside air as it comes in.

Either way – We can help! Give us a call at Zephyr Ventilation for specialist advice on effective ventilation for your property.