A Ventilation Fan Can Protect You from the Permanent Damages of Haze – and 5 Tips to Up the Protection Further.
In between monsoon rains and roaring thunderstorms, the period between July to October would also mean the season of haze in Southeast Asia – a phenomenon that is unwelcomed but anticipated nearly every year as we inherited environmental and transboundary air pollution issues.
It’s no secret that keeping your home or office environment clean and tidy is crucial to maintaining a healthy and safe living or working space. However, one often overlooked aspect of this is the cleaning and maintenance of your fan. Not only can a dirty or poorly maintained fan reduce its effectiveness in keeping you cool or ventilated, but it can also pose a safety hazard if left unaddressed.
Today, the haze season is back in Malaysia – and *worsening in 2023 than the previous years as the industrial trade and activities regained back their momentum post-Covid 19 pandemic. Our guards (and masks) are once again up as we check the Air Pollution Index (API) gingerly to monitor our daily air quality in the city. It is no secret that the haze is hazardous and harms by causing permanent damage when exposed to it – its effects can be felt with lasting impact on human health and the planet’s environment.
Contemplating the short–term and long-term adverse effects of haze.
How does the haze affect us?
In the short term, haze can cause chronic health effects – ones such as irritated and watery eyes, runny noses, and headaches as well as dizziness and fatigue. These health effects can be acute, depending on the individual that experiences them, however they usually subside, and the symptoms disappear when you limit your exposure to haze by staying indoors.
It can be more detrimental to our health when we are exposed to the haze for the long term. 94% of haze particles are very minute; they are likely to be 30 times smaller than the width of human hair, and because these particles are very fine, they can travel very far by air or stay longer being airborne. When inhaled by humans, these tiny particles became toxic to us as they can penetrate deep into our lungs’ tissues and be carried in our bloodstreams to bind with other compounds such as LDL or “bad” cholesterol – causing adverse effects like inflammation in the body. Haze has also been shown, in some studies, to reduce the white matter of the human brain – which causes the brain to age faster. Apart from this, haze may also cause liver fibrosis or scarring; increasing the chances of liver dysfunction and other metabolic diseases.
Certain groups in the population are more susceptible to the harmful effects of haze, such as children, the elderly, asthma and heart patients, as well as smokers.
Can the application of a ventilation system mitigate the haze situation today?
Thankfully, the answer is yes.
How does a ventilation fan do so?
A ventilation system or fan that is installed works by replacing stale indoor air with outdoor air. It can help to dilute the concentration of pollutants and airborne microorganisms to reduce transmission risks within a designated space. Most of the time, a ventilation fan can be mounted on a surface such as a window, and with the proper positioning of the ventilation fan to blow the air (including fine particles of haze) out the window, this can promote an increase of air exchange and ultimately help to improve indoor air quality. It should be reminded that the ventilation fan should be operated at full capacity to expel air indoors optimally. With a properly installed ventilation fan at your premise, your chances of being exposed to radical adverse effects from the haze can be significantly reduced – but why not do more with some tips on how to improve your indoor air circulation to benefit better from a ventilation fan system?
5 practical tips to improve your air circulation indoors to reduce the effects of haze.
Install window-mounted ventilation fan for enhanced ventilation.
Aligning the air supply and exhaust fan in a singular, uni-directional airflow can improve the circulation in poorly ventilated areas. For example, HOUM’s GE and DE ventilation fan series are glass-mounted and wall-mounted respectively – making them best suited for kitchens, washrooms and even altar rooms as they promote effective air circulation.
Get ventilation fan with dual functions that can be used when needed.
This caters to situations whereby the ventilation fan can draw air in when cool and expel poor quality air outdoors – such as during the season of haze; one such example is the HOUM’s DE ventilation fan series with dual airflow functions.
Install ventilation fans as high as possible from the ground.
Ventilation fans that are installed high up from the floor help to circulate air more efficiently, as they are powerhouses of performance. HOUM’s range of SV ventilation fan series that are ceiling-mounted does just that with a remarkable turbine fan, built-in hose, and a louvre covering that is aesthetically suitable for any type of ceiling – be it plaster or concrete ceiling.
Keep your indoor spaces clean.
By regularly cleaning your spaces, you reduce the accumulation of dust or other pollutants indoors, which can include haze particles. Always dust surfaces, vacuum carpets, and mop floors to prevent these fine pollutants from settling or circulating your indoor air.
Minimize the sources of indoor air pollution.
Some indoor activities, such as smoking, can be the source of indoor air pollution as they bring fine particles that can be airborne. If you must smoke, opt to clean the area regularly with natural cleaning products, and keep the area free from smoke as much as possible.
Although the haze may still be around or come back next year, the application of these preventive and precautionary steps can still help to cushion its impact on us. So, don’t leave it to chance – or the haze – to live the healthier lifestyle that you deserve today.
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