Why Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation is Important

Tailored Solutions from a Leading HVAC Supplier and Manufacturer.

At Pacific Ventilation, we're more than just a subsidiary of the world-renowned Systemair AB Group; we're a global family of innovators united by a shared purpose – to provide products that produce fresh, clean, and regulated air for optimal indoor health and comfort, while prioritising environmental sustainability, and in fact, we’ve even made it our mission statement “We create better air, every day, worldwide”.

With nearly five decades of experience, more than 250 engineers spread out across 23 Development Groups in 18 countries, indoor air quality development isn’t something we do because we should, it is everything that we stand for. Guided by legal requirements, customer requests, employee ideas, and the latest academic research, our global teams all pursue a single goal: delivering better air quality with the lowest possible energy demands, and the lowest impact on the environment and we’re at the forefront of delivering innovative, energy-efficient HVAC products and solutions that cater to the unique ventilation needs of various sectors, such as hospitality, education, healthcare, infrastructure, residential, industrial, and commercial.

Understanding Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Its Impact:

The impact of indoor air quality is aligned with the recommendations found in the April 2023 publication of the parliamentary inquiry into long COVID report. The report advised the Australian government to create and allocate funding for a diverse advisory team consisting of experts in ventilation, architecture, aerosol science, building codes, and public health. Their primary objective would be to spearhead the formulation of national standards for indoor air quality within Australia.

Additionally, the report stressed the importance of conducting a thorough cost-benefit analysis. This analysis would involve comparing the expenses associated with the various negative effects of poor indoor air quality against the costs of implementing improvements. According to data from 1998, CSIRO approximated the economic toll of inadequate indoor air quality to be around $12 billion annually. However, due to the dated nature of these figures, an updated assessment is required, and efforts are currently being made in this regard.

Brisbane professor Lidia Morawska has been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world for helping highlight the airborne spread of COVID-19 has emphasized the necessity for interdisciplinary cooperation in addressing indoor air quality concerns. She also highlighted the ongoing collaboration facilitated by the ARC-funded THRIVE program, which promotes cross-disciplinary efforts in this domain.

Effective ventilation strategies are pivotal to curbing the impact of these indoor and outdoor pollutants in our environment and through consistent investments in the Pacific Ventilation Research and Development departments and we are empowered to provide HVAC solutions that are not only highly energy-efficient and sustainable but also incredibly user-friendly and able to share this knowledge with our clients.

Furthermore, our continuous partnerships with institutions of higher education serve as a means to proactively embrace emerging trends. This approach ensures our swift adoption of novel techniques and technologies, seamlessly incorporating them into our operational practices.

As an example, Pacific Ventilation demonstrated unwavering commitment in collaborating closely with the principal consultant of the Bondi Pavilion renovation, a project of significant historical and cultural importance in Sydney. This partnership was instrumental in upholding impeccable indoor air quality and ventilation standards throughout the restoration process for the historical building. Negotiating the intricacies of a heritage site, the Pacific Ventilation team adeptly navigated unique challenges.

Mike Fleet, Senior Mechanical Engineer at WSP, highlights their remarkable achievements, stating, "We were tasked with the restoration of a heritage building, where stringent installation tolerances and demanding acoustic prerequisites were paramount. Pacific Ventilation's efforts ensured the successful preservation of these critical aspects”

With growing international awareness and attention towards the importance of energy efficiency and good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), stakeholders need to speak the same technical language to collaborate more effectively towards shared sustainability goals. For Evgeny Gorelkov, Product Area Director, AHU, Systemair AB Group, this is especially true when it comes to the ventilation sector.

Importance of Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality Assessment:

Ventilation serves several crucial purposes in maintaining indoor air quality:

  • Ensuring a fresh air supply for respiration and combustion processes

  • Removing emissions from materials and people

  • Eliminating dangerous contaminants

  • Controlling temperature and humidity

Of paramount significance, the government has now evidently shifted its focus towards addressing the imperative task of enhancing indoor air quality (IAQ) in Australia. This newfound commitment is underscored by notable developments.

Firstly, the parliamentary inquiry into long COVID has yielded recommendations that specifically emphasize the significance of ventilation in this context. Additionally, the recent unveiling of Australia's inaugural wellbeing framework introduces indicators that surpass conventional economic metrics like GDP and employment; notably, air quality stands as one of these pivotal indicators.

Highlighting the magnitude of this movement, Dr. Mike Freelander and Dr. Helen Haines orchestrated a significant milestone – a Clean Indoor Air Roundtable at Parliament House.

During this event, stakeholders from diverse fields, including HVAC&R, united in a collective call for heightened indoor air quality standards. Noteworthy is the attendance of parliament members from opposing sides, signaling a unified interest in the issue's gravity and far-reaching implications.

Pacific Ventilation is pleased to see Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) has gained significant attention in recent years, especially with the spotlight on the importance of fresh air ventilation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Adequate ventilation is critical to achieving good IAQ, and among the factors that are closely monitored, carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations play a central role. CO2 concentrations are directly tied to conversations surrounding perceived indoor air quality, ventilation rates, and demand control ventilation. Proper ventilation, along with adherence to IAQ standards, creates healthier living and working environments, enhancing productivity and overall well-being.

Our participation in conferences, like the AIRAH-organized Indoor Air Quality event in Brisbane, keeps us at the forefront of industry developments. This allows us to provide tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of projects like the iconic Bondi Pavilion restoration.

Pacific Ventilation is proud to hold certifications such as the BSI Kitemark, Eurovent Certified Performance, and AMCA International Inc. These accolades reflect our dedication to delivering products that meet high standards of performance and efficiency. 

The Role of Commercial Ventilation and Fans within Maintaining High-Quality Indoor Air Quality:

As a leading HVAC supplier and manufacturer, Pacific Ventilation understands the significance of commercial ventilation and air handling units in maintaining excellent indoor air quality standards Australia-wide. Our range of commercial and residential fans and exhaust systems are engineered to ensure efficient air exchange whilst minimising the buildup of indoor air pollution. Through our expertise, we empower businesses to create spaces where occupants can breathe easy.

Proper mechanical ventilation systems, including air handling units, are essential for achieving and maintaining indoor air quality. A well-designed air handling unit equipped with filtration, heat recovery, and heating/cooling functions is pivotal. The air distribution system must consider sound levels, air velocities, and air volume requirements in different rooms. An energy-efficient mechanical ventilation system with energy recovery is the most efficient way to achieve an excellent indoor air climate while maintaining a focus on sustainability.

Designing Effective Ventilation Systems:

Pacific Ventilation firmly upholds the belief that high-quality products must undergo rigorous testing procedures to guarantee optimal performance while minimising energy consumption.

One of the cornerstones of Pacific Ventilations commitment to quality is its adherence to Eurovent and Green Ventilation certifications.

These certifications serve as a testament to our unwavering dedication to delivering solutions that not only promote healthy indoor air but also maximise energy efficiency.

By prioritising these certifications, Pacific Ventilation ensures that their products not only meet but exceed the highest industry standards, ultimately contributing to improved air quality and sustainable ventilation solutions for their customers.

The Green Ventilation label reflects the company's highest internal standards and aims to guide customers towards the most sustainable products within the Group's portfolio based on clear and tangible benchmarks.

In simpler terms, Juan Manuel Fernández, Product Manager, Systemair AB Group, describes the Green Ventilation mark, how it relates to Systemair AB Group’s Air Handling Units (AHUs), as 'the cross-section where good IAQ meets proper energy consumption'. "Everyone agrees that good indoor air quality is key to a healthy and productive life," says Fernández.

Eurovent Certified products with A+ energy class represent units that meet the most stringent technical benchmarks, as only a small portion of products in the market can fulfil the requirements at this level. It is also a vital touchstone as an independent body certifies the performance data through audits of the selection software and manufacturing process and real-unit tests in accredited, third-party laboratories. This ensures that the high performance asserted is not merely a result of self-declaration.