With a blaze of Autumn glory and the arrival of colder weather, comes the shutting of windows and doors, the switching on of the central heating and more time spent indoors.
We spend around 90% of our time indoors, yet indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outside. Indoor air is made up of a concoction of particles including dust, mould, smoke, bacteria, viruses, VOCs and pet dander. Other indoor activities, such as cooking and cleaning with chemicals, contribute to poor indoor air quality along with outdoor pollution from transport that makes its ways inside. This causes a build-up of pollutants indoors, taking much longer to disperse than outdoor air pollution due to poor ventilation.
Experts have found that clothes put on drying frames or draped over warm radiators raise moisture levels in our homes by up to 30 per cent, creating ideal breeding conditions for mould spores – and one in particular called aspergillus fumigatus, which can cause potentially fatal lung infections.
Getting fresh air in your home can reduce asthma symptoms, eliminate harmful airborne chemicals and neutralise unpleasant odours. Air purifiers, which have become increasingly popular during the pandemic, help reduce air pollution and keep your home cleaner.
A good dehumidifier will help to normalise a room’s humidity levels, making the air more comfortable and reduce moisture levels and the signs and odours of dampness.
But air purifiers and dehumidifiers can also create a lot of noise. "Sound from both these types of appliances originates in two key areas: the motor and the fan. A high quality product should “blend” the sound of the fan and motor, eliminating noises like chopping through the air or an accompanying, annoying pitch", explains Poppy Szkiler, CEO and Co-Founder of Quiet Mark, the independent global certification programme associated with the UK Noise Abatement Society charitable foundation (est.1959).
Through scientific testing and assessment Quiet Mark identifies the quietest products in multiple categories spanning many sectors, including: home appliances and technology, building sector materials and commercial sector products. Their mission is to make it easier for consumers to find the quietest products to reduce unwnted noise.
They have conducted a brand new 2021 survey, taking a deep dive into the UK’s attitudes towards noise in their home, in the wake of an increased ‘work from home’ culture.
Over half (57%) of Brits would like their home to be quieter, with a further 62% noting that they are drawn towards quieter appliances. This is stronger amongst those aged 18-34 (66%) compared to those aged 55+ (54%). This love for quieter appliances transfers to the cost Brits are willing to pay, with 46% of Brits willing to pay more for quieter appliances. Again, this is stronger amongst those aged 18-34 with almost two thirds (63%) willing to pay more for quieter appliances compared to only three in ten (30%) of those aged 55+.
"We measure all products by the same criteria, but specifically tests air purifiers by listening to all available modes, including the ‘Sleep’ function, which most models equip", explains Poppy. The most common sound metric is decibels — and while Quiet Mark takes decibel level into consideration while reviewing a product,they also consider it just one aspect of the product’s “sound".
And while no air purifier or dehumidifier is completely silent, the goal is to help shoppers find a model that releases a pleasant or non-intrusive sound, one that can easily fade into the background and won’t cause distraction. For example, while two purifiers could have the same decibel levels, one could emit a more irritating sound — which wouldn’t pass certification.
”Our Assessment Teams also test sound quality, including tonalities and frequencies, and use jury testing to get direct consumer feedback. Only between 10% to 20% of the quietest best performing products are awarded Quiet Mark certification".
The survey, carried over 2,000 UK adults, also revealed that almost four fifths (79%) of Brits say that it matters how loud an appliance is when purchasing one for their home, with three in five (70%) more likely to purchase an appliance labelled as quiet over one with no reference, when faced with two appliances of the same performance.
Water stains on walls or ceilings, high humidity in rooms with poor ventilation, condensation on windows, black spots of mould spores on bathroom walls, and a general musty smell throughout a space are all signs that you might need a dehumidifier.
A good dehumidifier will help to normalise a room’s humidity levels, making the air more comfortable and reduce the signs and odours of dampness. Other potential benefits can be both financial and health related.
Less moisture damage to buildings and furnishings will prolong any need for repair or replacement. Also, a less humid environment in your home helps clothing dry faster, breads and cereals will remain fresh longer before going stale, and it will prevent the build-up of rust or corrosion on metal objects like computer equipment, electronics, and tools.
Clean air helps to promote deep sleep, and people who live in areas with higher levels of air pollution are 60% more likely to sleep poorly than those living in areas with cleaner air, according to a YouGov survey looking into global perceptions of air quality, commissioned by Blueair, whose HEPASilent™ range of Air Purifiers are Quiet Mark certified.
Since we spend around a third of our lives sleeping it is important to place an air purifier in the bedroom to ensure we experience the full effects of what an air purifier can offer. The YouGov survey found that silence followed by clean air are perceived as the most important factors for a good night’s sleep so make sure to buy an air purifier that doesn’t make noise.
Quiet Mark certified air purifiers and dehumidifiers are quiet enough to sleep next to one without the worry of it making any noise. They also come in a variety of sizes so be sure to choose one that is the right size for your room.