Is your home a haven for bac­te­ria?

Belfast Telegraph - Homefinder - - Home Finder -

AS flu sea­son sets in there are mea­sures we can take to en­sure our homes and of­fices don’t be­come a breed­ing ground for bac­te­ria and viruses.

Ac­cord­ing to Sally Fok, co-founder and MD of Ecoair, ex­cess mois­ture in our homes can en­cour­age bugs to thrive.

And she has pro­vided Home Fin­der with some top tips on how to re­store hu­mid­ity to op­ti­mum lev­els in or­der to en­sure a health­ier win­ter this year.

“Air­borne micro­organ­isms thrive in hu­mid con­di­tions” says Sally. “The sur­vival and breed rate of bac­te­ria and viruses will es­ca­late as soon as hu­mid­ity lev­els rise above 60% and this level of hu­mid­ity is not at all un­com­mon in our homes dur­ing the colder wet­ter win­ter months, es­pe­cially in kitchens, bath­rooms, laun­dry rooms, base­ments, or garages.

“By turn­ing on the heat­ing and clos­ing doors and win­dows dur­ing win­ter, we sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce air cir­cu­la­tion, caus­ing mois­ture gen­er­ated in­side to be­come trapped in­doors.

“Mois­ture from rain and melt­ing snow can also en­ter our home through win­dows, floors or walls – par­tic­u­larly in older build­ings.

“In the mean­time, con­den­sa­tion of mois­ture on cold sur­faces such as win­dows, ceil­ings, floor­boards and walls, due to the dif­fer­ence be­tween in­door and out­door tem­per­a­tures, is a ma­jor cause of trapped ex­cess mois­ture in all homes through­out the win­ter.”

The most es­sen­tial mea­sure we can take to re­duce hu­mid­ity in the home, ac­cord­ing to Sally is to en­sure it re­mains ven­ti­lated.

This is as sim­ple as open­ing win­dows and us­ing vent fans when cook­ing and wash­ing as this al­lows the air to cir­cu­late is a quick way to re­lease trapped hu­mid­ity.

De­hu­mid­i­fiers can also suc­cess­fully re­store and main­tain the cor­rect mois­ture lev­els in the home.

They work by ex­tract­ing mois­ture from the air, there­fore pre­vent­ing the growth of mi­crobes.

Once hu­mid­ity lev­els in the home are brought down to be­low 60%, air­borne bac­te­ria and viruses will not only stop breed­ing, but will strug­gle to sur­vive.

To con­trol heav­ier cases of con­den­sa­tion on win­dows, it is ad­vis­able to bring the hu­mid­ity down to 40% dur­ing the win­ter months.

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