Since most of us spend all our time inside, it is essential to consider the air quality in our houses. Contemporary kitchen renovations have the potential to bring hazardous substances into your home. There are several practical short terms, and long-term work practises that you should employ to assist limit or preventing indoor air and other indoor environmental concerns.
What is the Effect of Poor Indoor Air Quality?
Poor indoor air quality can cause a variety of health impacts, ranging from minor and often non-specific symptoms like headaches, weariness, or lethargy to more severe effects, including allergen sensitisation and worsening of asthma and allergic reactions. Poor indoor air quality in your house can aggravate pre-existing problems or create new ones.
Whether an air pollutant source produces an interior air quality concern is determined by:
- the kind of air pollutant,
- the amount and pace at which it is discharged from its source,
- the degree of ventilation available in the home to remove it from indoors,
- the leakiness of your home, if the pollution source is outside,
- the homeowner’s sensitivity, and any pre-existing issues.
In general, the more pollutant (exposure) there is, the more significant the health impact. The length of exposure is also crucial; if low-level exposure happens over a long period (perhaps several years), the total dose may be high.
Therefore, it is crucial to never underestimate the power of a well-ventilated kitchen, as various health advantages are often connected with well-ventilated kitchens. So always consider the following when planning your snazzy new kitchen designs.
Consider the Materials Used
New kitchen joinery, furnishings, fittings, and materials are chosen for a contemporary kitchen renovation will significantly influence the amount of potentially hazardous chemicals you bring in.
Take special note of the wood and board items utilised in building your new kitchen design cabinets. They are manufactured entirely or partially of plywood, particleboard, or medium-density fibreboard (MDF). The resins in these products can produce off-gas formaldehyde for many years after installation.
Low formaldehyde emission LFE (E1) or LFE (E0) goods are manufactured in Australia, and product quality assurance systems verify their emissions. Some imported items may have significant amounts of emissions. Check with your store about the origin and emission class, or contact the Australian Wood Panels Association.
Consider the Paints
When selecting paints and varnishes, it’s vital to remember that there are always safer and healthier options.The following tips apply to both interior and outdoor painting; however, reducing VOCs is especially critical when painting indoors.
Choose paints with no or low VOC levels. Ventilate the house thoroughly before, during, and after painting indoors.
The majority of the possible health problems emerge during the renovation of older dwellings. Rubbing existing paint using abrasive sandpaper generates many small particles during the preparation step. This poses a health danger when the particles are in the air (where they can be breathed) and when they land on a surface (where children or pets may swallow them).
Contractors should take care to wipe up residues and trap dust before it travels any distance through or into your house. If you conduct the task yourself, use a well-fitted face mask and wipe up well afterwards.
Take extra precautions if you have an older house. Lead paint is most likely present in residences constructed before 1970. Prior to 1950, paints containing up to 50% lead were routinely used on the interior and exterior of dwellings. Until the late 1960s, paint with more than 1% lead was still used. Lead levels in paint have been decreased to 0.1 per cent due to regulations.
Consider Window Location
A well-designed and oriented home can enable breezes and convection currents to move stale air out and cleaner air in. Fixed wall vents can guarantee appropriate ventilation if windows are closed for security or noise concerns.
When installing new furniture or resurfacing walls and floors, ensure the rooms are thoroughly aired until the odour is much reduced or gone. When possible, leave doors and windows open.
Consider Kitchen Ventilation
Since gas stoves may be a significant source of indoor air pollution, placing a robust and powerful extractor fan above the stove is critical in combating this. Good indoor air quality needs enough airflow, and rangehoods are the finest alternative for bringing outside air into your home via a filter, increasing ventilation and removing stagnant air.
Even benchtop appliances that cook, such as a Thermomix, should ideally be placed under rangehoods when in use.
However, rangehoods are the noisiest fixed appliance in the contemporary kitchen. Generally speaking, the more powerful the rangehood (e.g. bigger motors or more motors), the better the extracting ability will be, but it will be noisier.
Manufacturers can reduce the noise of rangehoods through clever design and better material selection. Consider the following two rangehoods for efficient and quiet operation.
Cassette rangehoods are ceiling mounted, with ventilation channelled via the roof cavity and hidden in the ceiling hollow. This luxurious style is ideal for contemporary kitchens with cooktops on island countertops and is frequently selected by those who wish to create more open space in their kitchen.
The finest feature of this sort of luxury rangehood is its inconspicuous motor. The motor is often the loudest component of a rangehood; having the mechanism located farther inside the roof area or even outside on the roof gives a calmer cooking experience.
The downside of a cassette rangehood, on the other hand, is that the vent is situated so far away from the cooktop. Cooking gases may escape the reach of the rangehood and disperse into adjacent rooms.
The downdraft design, one of the few ventilation solutions available for kitchen islands, is the newest addition to the luxury rangehood portfolio. It is often constructed beneath the stove and into the centre of a kitchen island. The downdraft design is a completely ducted system that sucks smoke and pollutants from the cooktop through ductwork beneath the floor and then outdoors.
However, the efficiency of downdraft range hoods is restricted because the mechanics fight against the natural dynamics of hot air, making the system work harder than an overhead or updraft system.
The one-of-a-kind downdraft design is an ideal space-saving option for contemporary kitchens with limited space. In an open concept new kitchen design, where cooktops are typically found in island and peninsula layouts, this provides an unobstructed view and streamlines aesthetic.
Maintain The Safety of Your Family Throughout a Contemporary Kitchen Renovation
Maintaining clean indoor air quality is critical to keeping your family and pets safe throughout a contemporary kitchen remodelling project. Pollutants in the air can pose a considerable health risk, ranging from allergies to asthma and other respiratory issues.
Hopefully, by following these guidelines and suggestions, you will be able to preserve excellent air inside your house throughout and, especially, after remodelling without having to wait a few weeks or months.