Evaporative air conditioning helps Sick Building Syndrome

November 6, 2023

Sick Building Syndrome

What is Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)?

Sick Building Syndrome is a term given to describe situations where building occupants experience acute health and comfort issues, linked to time spent in the building.

For more than 20 years, the World Health Organisation has recognised that Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is associated with allergenic and respiratory problems affecting people in poorly ventilated buildings. That’s not good news for a large portion of the worlds population including Australia, Europe and America, who are estimated to spend 90% or more of their time indoors. It’s little wonder that plenty of people can’t explain why they feel sick or tired when at home or in the workplace but feel better when they leave.

What are the common symptoms of SBS?

People normally experience a range of symptoms associated with acute discomfort, and include headaches, eye, nose, or throat irritation, a dry cough; dry or itchy skin, dizziness and nausea, difficulty in concentrating; fatigue, and sensitivity to odours.

What is the cause?

Inadequate ventilation and poor air quality are generally accepted as being two primary culprits for SBS. Not only can poor indoor air quality impact on our health and environment, the CSIRO estimates that the cost of poor indoor air quality in Australia may be as high as * 1 $12 billion per year. In recent years, studies performed by the US EPA and its Science Advisory Board have consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health.

Broadly speaking, indoor air contaminants fall into two categories:

  • Chemical – found in products used to clean homes and offices, the synthetic fabrics of
    furniture, carpets and insulation.
  • Biological – which can include bacteria, molds, pollens, dander (the microscopic scales that fall off animals),
    dust mites and mold.

How can evaporative air conditioning help?

Improving ventilation means improved indoor air quality and is a critical step in avoiding or eliminating SBS. Evaporative air conditioning provides 100% fresh air, which means people can enjoy healthy indoor air quality, and enjoys the added convenience of having windows and doors open even on the hottest days.

Evaporative cooling remains one of the most beneficial forms of climate control. The ability of evaporative air conditioning to supply 100% fresh, cool, outside air makes it the cooling option of choice in evaporative vs refrigerated air conditioning considerations and offers relief to those plagued by SBS.

When it comes to healthy living at home, work or play, everyone deserves the best – and evaporative air conditioning will let you breathe a well-deserved sigh of relief.

Learn more about ventilation and indoor air quality

What else can you do?

  • Check and clean all the filters in your home regularly. Air conditioning vents and filters are the obvious ones, but don’t forget vacuum cleaners, washers and driers, kitchen and bathroom exhausts.
  • Regularly clean carpets and rugs. The fibers are perfect for trapping dust and other particles.
  • Decorate with indoor plants. They are nature’s natural air filters and can do wonders to improve the indoor air quality in your home while enhancing your home décor.
  • Don’t forget those harder to reach places in your cleaning routine. These can include the top of doors, picture frames and fans, or behind larger appliances, where dust easily collects.