How can quiet fans affect the indoor environmental quality (IEQ), safeguard people’s health, and reduce global CO2 emissions? Here’s a report from the cutting edge of fan research.
Today most people spend the majority of their time indoors. The indoor environmental quality (IEQ) has become more and more important. When considering IEQ we usually think about temperature, CO2 level, and humidity. However, it has been established that sound quality is an important factor for good comfort in the indoor environment. Noise can directly damage health by causing loss of hearing and tinnitus but also indirectly through annoyance, sleep disturbance and stress. All of these will affect performance and well-being.
Studies have shown that noise has a detrimental effect on reading and writing and that the cognitive development in children is affected by chronic exposure to noise.
How can we assess sound quality?
Today’s demands regulate the noise level in the building, a normal value is 30 dB(A). But how does 30 dB(A) sound? The sound characteristics are connected to tonal frequencies, which means that you can have tonal noise with low frequency, high frequency, or only have broadband noise that fulfills the 30 dB(A) requirement. This subject was studied in a project at the Swedish research institute, RISE. Different heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems were set up and measured with the requirement that each of them must fulfill the 30 dB(A) demand.
Here you can listen to 3 different setups with different sound characteristics:
They all fulfill the 30 dB(A) requirement but sound quite different. Perhaps it is time to change the demands, to also include the sound characteristics. For deeper knowledge read more here
The health of millions of people are impacted by noise-related diseases. Lifestyle diseases are normally related to stress, unhealthy food, and a non-active lifestyle but, it has been shown in a WHO study that long term exposure to tonal noise can affect the autonomous and hormonal systems in the human body, leading to symptoms such as cardiac arrest, high blood pressure, hearing loss, and mental disorders.
For more information how to eliminate all monotonous noise in your building click here.
Why is this important then?
With the knowledge built from this research we have the possibility develop our fans further and bring new products to the market, offering better sound characteristics that help improve the indoor environment quality, creating comfortable and healthy indoor spaces. And by cancelling the noise directly at the source, we do this without adding additional noise attenuators – saving fan energy and CO2 emissions in the process.