20 May 2016
Getting ventilation right in your pool hall
One of the most important factors in keeping your indoor pool safe, comfortable, and easy to use is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). This refers to the level of pollutants contained within the air indoors, and must be carefully regulated to ensure there are no short or long-term health risks associated with the use of your pool.
Your pool water requires a number of chemicals in order to stay clean and safe for use. This is a normal part of healthy pool performance and is vital to stop the build-up of algae or scaling.
However, those chemicals have to go somewhere. If proper ventilation or dehumidification is not in place in your pool hall, humidity levels could rise dramatically, causing the number of pollutants (what were once safe chemicals in your pool water) to increase and air quality to deteriorate. Not only that, but a humid pool room can become uncomfortable to use and cause condensation indoors, which can damage both your finish and your belongings. A poorly-ventilated, humid pool room environment can also be very uncomfortable and too hot for use.
Whether you are building a new pool or your current pool hall just feels a little bit too hot, let’s look at what you need to get right in order to ensure your pool hall ventilation is efficient and working properly. Many of these steps are preventative, and if followed, should minimise the need for new ventilation fittings.
Know your humidity levels
Simply put, humidity is the level of water vapour in the air, and healthy levels of humidity in a pool room should be maintained at around 50% to 60% relative humidity (or the ratio of moisture to the moisture capacity of the air). Keeping these levels stable is a must.
You can measure humidity using a device known as a hygrometer. There are a variety of types of hygrometers, including analogue (simple and straightforward to use), digital (more accurate than analogue), and sophisticated humidity sensors powered by wireless sensors and smartphone technology. Once you know what kind of humidity you are dealing with, you can take action.
Know the five factors
The five key factors determining the air quality of your pool room are:
● Water chemistry
● Air distribution
● Air change rate
● Outdoor air ventilation
● Exhaust air
Four out of five of these factors are under the control of your pool designer/builder. One is not, and that’s water chemistry. Due to the need for regular chemical treatment, the chemistry of your pool water can change rapidly if the wrong levels are added. Too many chemicals in the water and the air could become unsafe once the level of moisture in the air increases. There are two easy solutions: Make sure you are using the exact measurements of treatment chemicals. You can double check this by testing the pH levels of your water regularly.
Alternatively, you can reduce the number of chemicals in your pool through regular shocking and cleaning, changing filters, or upgrading pump mechanisms. The panacea is to have weekly or fortnightly pool servicing to ensure that the water chemistry is 100% accurate.
Getting outdoor air ventilation right
If you own or are planning to build an indoor pool, it will require careful and comprehensive outdoor air ventilation. This is to ensure humidity levels do not rise too high indoors and cause condensation, and that fresh air continues to circulate within the room.
There are a variety of ventilation solutions that you can discuss with your pool designer. What is important to bear in mind, though, is how air is flowing through your pool room. Any ventilation or dehumidification system must be designed to ensure that air is not distributed across the surface of the pool, as this can speed up evaporation and cause humidity to increase faster. Air must, therefore, be evenly distributed over the outer walls.
You also need to ensure that the pool deck is draining water properly. Lack of drains leads to puddles, which contribute to evaporation. There is a wide range of subtle, carefully designed drainage solutions which can solve this issue without ruining the aesthetic of your pool hall. Humidity can also be dramatically reduced through installing an automatic pool cover. These are versatile fittings which can reduce evaporation by up to 50%, and there are many solutions out there such as ‘hidden floor’ covers which will ensure your pool continues to look great when not in use. Talk to your pool designer to explore your options further.
London Swimming Pool Company operates a servicing, repair and refurbishment schedule for air handling units, heat recovery and air conditioning systems for indoor pools.
At London Swimming Pool Company we specialise in swimming pool maintenance, servicing and refurbishment, so if you have a pool that’s in need of regular maintenance or a facelift, contact us for an initial discussion – there’s no substitute for expert advice. If you have an older swimming pool that needs upgrading, we suggest planning your refurbishment for the autumn, so all the work is done and dusted before the next swimming season.
Photos © Berndorf Bäderbau stainless steel private pool - see more stainless steel pools.