Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Prevent air pollution

Preventing air pollution


Air pollution from your activities can harm the environment by contributing to climate change and damaging land, water and wildlife. Most air pollution is in the form of gasses, including smoke, odours, solvents and other vapours.

If you are installing a boiler or stove make sure the gasses or smoke do not cause a nuisance to neighbours. Consider the position of flues and chimneys to prevent problems.

If you install extractor fans, again think of the effects they might have on neighbouring properties. It might be necessary to install filters, or to choose a different location for the equipment.

Check with neighbours before installing the equipment to avoid problems later. Read the section on Nuisances in this guideline.



Internal air condition can be affected by a number of factors.

Printers can release ozone, paints can contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), aerosol sprays can contain propellants and chemicals, furniture and furnishings can contain formaldehyde, electrical equipment and furniture contain fire retardants.

Good ventilation is important to maintain good air quality indoors. To reduce heat loss from ventilation use heat exchangers - they use the warm internal air to heat fresh outside air that is introduced to maintain a healthy indoor environment.

Some activities will be covered by regulations, health and safety for example when working with certain harmful chemicals such as solvents. Businesses that use chemicals that give off vapours or carry out activities that produce dust should check on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE or HSENI) website.

Read PPG 1: A general guide to preventing pollution


NetRegs: preventing air pollution


Refrigeration and air conditioning

If you have an air-conditioning system, you should keep it maintained to ensure that it does not use too much energy.

Air conditioning and refrigeration units contain f-gases (old equipment might still contain Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS)). ODS were banned in order to protect the ozone layer and f-gases, although not a danger to the ozone layer, are potent greenhouse gases. It is important to regularly maintain equipment and prevent leaks.

Work should only be done on these systems by properly qualified persons who hold the correct industry certificates.

Read our NetRegs guidance on refrigeration and air conditioning


NetRegs: Refrigeration and air conditioning

See our e-learning tool:

A general guide to preventing pollution

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