As the evidence around the health impacts of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) continues to build, experts from across the ventilation sector have come together to drive awareness amongst installers and the wider public that the Green Homes Grant can cover ventilation improvements alongside insulation installations.
Green Homes Grant scheme
The UK Government scheme, which launched back in September 2020, aims to support improvements to energy efficiency and indoor air quality (IAQ). The scheme highlights certain energy-efficiency measures, including insulation and double glazing, which make homes and buildings more airtight, leading to an increased risk of being exposed to indoor air pollution, which can significantly impact health and wellbeing.
As a consequence of this potential harm to occupants, the Government’s scheme provides for ‘repairing and improving controlled ventilation’ alongside insulation measures, which presents a critical opportunity to tackle poor IAQ and maintain healthy homes.4-5 With increased awareness, more people will be asking for ventilation improvements and installers will be ensuring that this is achieved.
Importance of ventilation installations
It is essential that ventilation installations extract poor indoor air at the correct levels
It is essential that ventilation installations extract poor indoor air at the correct levels and that these are installed alongside insulation measures to ensure the safety of occupants, as well as complying with building regulations. To help homeowners and installers identify which products meet these standards, the ventilation sector has established the ‘Green Homes Compliance Scheme’, which identifies those products that meet certain performance standards.
As the UK enters another lockdown, the scheme comes at a poignant time given the growing evidence of the airborne transmission of COVID-19. This month, the World Health Organization (WHO) released information on the importance of ventilation in reducing the spread of COVID-19, and a Paper published in October 2020 by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and Environmental and Modelling Group (EMG) advocated for the important role played by ventilation.
Enhancing ventilation and improving IAQ
The Green Homes Grant and the new Green Homes Compliance Scheme offers a prime opportunity for improving ventilation and potentially opening the door to healthy and safe indoor environments in a post-COVID world.
Commenting on the situation, Colin Timmins, Head of the My Health My Home campaign and Director of Member Services at BEAMA , stated “There is no doubting the potential value of the Green Homes Grant, however it is essential that installers and the public are aware that the vouchers can cover ventilation improvements alongside insulation installations.”
Colin adds, “With the growing evidence-base around the health impacts of poor indoor air quality, this represents a key opportunity to drive ventilation standards and protect people’s health. The Green Homes Compliance Scheme seeks to facilitate this.”