Indoor environment in bedrooms in 79 Greenlandic households

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Abstract

The climate in Greenland is cold which means that living inside the heated space requires quite some energy. To avoid large heat losses and cold discomfort, building envelopes are often sealed, which reduces natural infiltration. The combination of reduced infiltration and lack of mechanical ventilation results in low air change and thus elevated concentrations of indoor pollutants. In cold Arctic regions where people spend most of their time during long winters indoors is the effect of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) on occupants' health and comfort considerable. A cross sectional study in 79 dwellings was performed in the town of Sisimiut. The aim was to investigate the indoor climate in Greenlandic dwellings. Temperature, relative humidity (RH) and CO2 concentration were measured in several rooms in each dwelling. This paper presents the results from measurements in bedrooms. CO2 concentrations above 1000 ppm and difference in absolute humidity between indoor and outdoor air above 2.5 g/kg as indicators of insufficient ventilation were found in 73% of the bedrooms. The situation was significantly worse dwellings build after 1990. Although the average winter additional moisture was higher than 2.5 g/kg, the RH was low (mean RH = 26%). In summer, 19% of all bedroom temperatures were above 26 °C despite the low outside temperatures. To avoid possible escalation of health problems related to IAQ in the future and to increase comfort of the occupants, properly designed ventilation systems should be introduced in Greenland.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume81
Pages (from-to)29-36
Number of pages8
ISSN0360-1323
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Indoor air quality
  • Cold climates
  • Ventilation
  • Humidity
  • Dwellings

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