What is Good Ventilation?

What is Good Ventilation?

30 November 2022
One of the Atmostherm ventilation systems-an example of it

Ventilation is required in workplaces by law, but it also provides a lot of benefits to your business.

Proper ventilation can improve concentration, productivity, and reduce illness.

We discuss why ventilation is important, how to assess your ventilation, and tips on improving ventilation in your workplace.


What does ventilation mean?

Ventilation means moving outdoor air into your building and then distributing it through the room or building.


What is the difference between air con and ventilation?

Ventilation means bringing air from the outside in and the air can be pre-heated.

Air conditioning is when there is no external source, it uses the air in the room and runs it through the system to cool it before pushing it back into the room.


Why is ventilation important in buildings?

Without proper ventilation in your home, it can affect sleep quality.

In your business, a lack of proper ventilation can lead to higher carbon dioxide levels which causes decreased performance. The body needs a certain amount of oxygen to function properly and in an environment with more carbon dioxide it decreases productivity.

Ventilation is also important to get rid of bacteria. Without this, it can lead to more infections which cause a high percentage of sickness absence and an average of 30.4 days lost in productivity.

In Switzerland, the Lindt chocolate factory had a defect in their cooling ventilation system for their cocoa nibs. This led to a light dusting of chocolate snow falling on the nearby town.

Thankfully this was harmless, and the factory offered to pay for the cleaning of cars impacted, but what if it hadn’t been chocolate?


3 elements of ventilation

There are 3 elements to ventilation which need to be measured to ensure it is efficient.

The 3 basic elements are:

  1. Ventilation rate

This is the amount of outdoor air that is brought in and also the quality of that air.

  1. Airflow direction

The direction of the air is important because if dirty air is moved through clean air areas, then it can cause cross-contamination.

  1. Air distribution

The external air needs to be distributed through the space in a way that removes airborne pollutants.


3 methods of ventilation

There are different ventilation types including natural, mechanical, and hybrid.


Natural ventilation

This means bringing external air inside through windows and doors. While this is a low-cost way of providing ventilation, in a workplace it is often not enough.


Mechanical ventilation

This is the use of systems to bring in outside air such as ventilation fans.

It’s important to get your ventilation system serviced at least once a year to make sure it is running efficiently to give you the best value for money. This is in terms of helping your system to last longer but also in terms of reducing sickness pay.



A hybrid system is using both natural and mechanical means to provide ventilation.


How to assess your ventilation

If you’re not sure whether the ventilation in your workplace or home is adequate, then check the following:

Is the ventilation at the required rate?

Is there contamination from clean zones to dirty zones?

Does it remove airborne pollutants?

Does it provide enough outdoor air to each area?


If you are unsure of any of these, you can use a tool to assess your ventilation such as the Breathe Freely ventilation tool or contact us at Atmostherm Ltd for assistance assessing your ventilation.

The World Health Organisation also has WHO ventilation guidelines and a ventilation roadmap on how to assess and measure your ventilation.


Ventilation regulations

It is not only beneficial for you to have good ventilation but as a business it is a requirement.

The law states, under regulation 6 of the Workplace Health, Safety, and Welfare Regulations, that employers must ensure that every enclosed workplace is ventilated by a sufficient quantity of fresh or purified air.

The Health and Safety Executive also state that all workplaces need an adequate supply of fresh air from natural ventilation or fans.

And it must be easy for workers to use, and it should capture harmful substances. Once the air is filtered, it should be discharged to a safe place.

Employers must also ensure the system is maintained and undertake tests to ensure it is working.


Benefits of ventilation to your business

While it is law to ensure your workplace has proper ventilation, it also provides a lot of advantages to your business.


Better concentration

With proper ventilation, participants in a study, were able to concentrate better and their performance on a test about logical thinking improved.


Reduced illness

Ventilation can reduce air pollutants which means lower respiratory illnesses in buildings with higher ventilation rates.

When there was higher ventilation rates in schools, there was also lower sickness absence.

This protects workers, pupils, and customers, but it also saves you money on sick pay.


Less damp

When there is better ventilation, there are less issues with damp and mould. Not only can damp and mould look bad and destroy items, but it is also bad for your lungs or anyone with asthma or allergies.


Improved productivity

When areas are well ventilated, there is more oxygen, and it therefore improves productivity.

This not only helps people feel better, but it means they get a lot more done.


World ventilation day

This year saw the first world ventilation day. It took place on 8th November 2022 and included in person and online events around the world.

WorldVentil8Day was launched by a coalition of scientists, engineering bodies, environmental activists, and was spearheaded by the University of Leeds.

The coalition wanted to highlight how important ventilation in buildings is and how to improve your ventilation.

They wanted to show that you can have ventilation without having a high energy consumption or increasing your carbon footprint.


How to improve ventilation

There are lots of things you can do in your workplace to improve ventilation such as:

  • Open windows
  • Use filtration systems
  • Use a co2 monitor to check ventilation
  • Maintain your air conditioning or invest in a new one
  • Adjust your HVAC system to draw in more air
  • Get advice from experts.


How Atmostherm can help with your ventilation

We are experts in ventilation and can help you ensure your workplace has adequate ventilation.

We provide ventilation installation, service, and repair air con systems, ventilation heat recovery systems, improve boiler house ventilation, advise on fume extraction and fire and smoke extraction.

If you’d like advice on ventilation, contact us.