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  • Writer's pictureMillines Herman

Understanding Ventilation in the Caribbean Perspective

Many indoor air quality issues within both commercial and residential spaces can be linked to poor ventilation. This is more prevalent throughout the Caribbean as a myriad of reasons inclusive of lack of knowledge and cost implications have resulted in poor ventilation in majority of the buildings where occupants exhibit sick building syndrome (SBS).

Research has shown that effective ventilation reduces the spread of not only COVID-19 but many upper respiratory infections as well. Effective ventilation can be natural or mechanical. Natural ventilation occurs through operable windows and temperature and pressure difference via the mechanisms of wind, pressure and stack and/or vent effects. Mechanical ventilation is a method of introducing fresh air indoors and removal of used air to the outdoors via a system called a Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning System (HVAC). In the Caribbean region the heating component is not required and as such a Ventilation and Air conditioning system is employed.

Natural and Mechanical ventilation systems function to do the following:

  • Ventilating to dilute or exhaust the pollutants.

  • Filtering or air cleaning

  • Reducing or removing sources of contaminates and emissions

Within the region however, split air conditioning units are installed in majority of the indoor environments with non-operable windows. These units only cool the air within a space, and are unable to properly ventilate the indoor environment. As a result, toxic gas pollutants such as Carbon Dioxide and volatile organic compounds build up indoors and high humidity and dirt and debris accumulation results in mold, dust mites and bacterial growth.

It is therefore imperative to assess the ventilation indoors to help solve indoor air quality issues.

H&L Environmental Services Ltd can help. Call us today 452-0594

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