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Springtime: What does this mean for IAQ?

Many of us associate the colder months with indoor heating, closed windows and doors, and the resulting falls in indoor air quality.

Springtime changes a lot of the contributing factors for that, better weather, warmer temperatures and COVID-19 aside; general falls in the so-called ‘winter viruses’.

However, springtime is also a time when indoor air quality (IAQ) can be at its worst for several reasons.

Rising pollen counts:

With the onset of spring and the increases in sunlight and daytime temperatures also comes an abundance of plant life. 

Pollen is produced as part of a plant’s reproductive process, and for those with pollen allergies, indoor air quality can make all the difference.

For pollen allergy sufferers, their immune systems mistake pollen as a harmful intruder and chemicals are produced to combat the allergen. The symptoms, such as itchy, watery eyes, constant sneezing and a stuffy nose, can be both irritating and inhibiting.

Airborne pollutants:

Air pollution is typically at its worst on days that are warm, sunny and cloud-free; spring is a time when those three combining factors are on the rise. 

In busy towns and cities especially, those conditions allow ground-level ozone to interact with heat and sunlight and combine with other particulate pollution to create significant problems with air quality. 

At a time of year when many people make the most of spring by opening workplace and office windows, this can have a notable effect on employee wellbeing and those with pre-existing health conditions.

Rising ammonia Levels

However, poor air quality is not just experienced by those in towns and cities, as this study undertaken by Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics has proven. 

Springtime is a busy time for farming, and the widespread use of fertilisers for spring crops, slurry spreading across farmland and animals released from their winter housing combine to cause significantly higher atmospheric ammonia levels in the UK than at any other time of the year.

Ammonia combines with factory emissions and traffic exhausts in springtime to create conditions wherein air pollution levels regularly reach the top level of the UK government’s 10-point scale.

These springtime levels can have profound implications, with as many as 600 deaths in 2014 attributed to atmospheric particulate matter across the UK in the spring of that year.

The issue of IAQ is one that never really goes away as various contributing factors rise and fall throughout the year. Springtime poses several genuine problems; the one thing they all have in common is the need for good-quality air filtration, and that’s where we can help.

If you would like to learn more about making indoor air quality safer for your home, business or service, get in touch today.

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