Humidification can help prevent infection — VentHeat
The Pichler LB250 humidification system, available in Ireland via VentHeat.

Humidification can help prevent infection — VentHeat

Irish heating and ventilation supplier VentHeat has launched two new humidification systems to the Irish market, both of which are designed to help stop the spread of bacteria and viruses within buildings.

This article was originally published in issue 33 of Passive House Plus magazine. Want immediate access to all back issues and exclusive extra content? Click here to subscribe for as little as €10, or click here to receive the next issue free of charge

The Pichler LBE 250 and Pichler LB5 500 units are designed for installation in conjunction with Pichler’s PKOM 4 compact heat pump and its heat recovery ventilation systems. They can also be retrofitted onto other HRV systems.

The units both humidify air to ensure an optimal relative humidity, which users can adjust between 40% and 60%. The Pichler systems are suitable for dwellings and schools but will be particularly applicable in hospitals and nursing homes, where stopping the spread of infection is most paramount.

During winter months indoor relative humidity can drop to levels below 30%, which increases the spread of flu and respiratory infections. Low relative humidity can lead to the drying up of mucous membranes, increasing the susceptibility to infectious colds, as dry air has a negative impact on the cleaning function of the inner surfaces of the airways.

A relative humidity of between 40% and 60%, meanwhile, reduces the concentration of respirable dust in the air, activates the skin’s defences against microbes, lowers the life expectancy of bacteria and viruses, reduces unpleasant odours and prevents the troublesome build-up of electrostatic charges. Equally, humidity exceeding 70% is also perceived as uncomfortable, and provides conditions where dust mites and mould spores thrive. Cold, damp air appears to increase the incidence of rheumatic disorders, and of course, can cause dampness and mould.

The patented Pichler LB250 and LB500 humidification units operate according to the principle of natural evaporation, employing inbuilt water battery heaters to evaporate air and increase humidity when required.

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