In order to ensure the appropriateness and adequacy of an indoor air quality improvement project many factors need to be understood during both the planning and implementing stages. These factors include not only physical factors such as available materials for constructing an improved stove, but also non-physical aspects such as the reasons foods are cooked in certain cultural manners. The following figure shows the main factors that need to be considered when deciding which method should be used to improve indoor air quality. Each area is then explained in more detail.

Fig: Factors that affect indoor air quality improvement

Click for More details on: Fuel Information, Household Technology, Household Data, Education/Health, Social/Cultural Norms and Cooking Practices

Fuel Information consists of...

  1. Type of fuel:  biomass, fossil fuel, solar etc.
  2. Quality of fuel:  how well does the wood burn?
  3. Quantity of fuel required:  both what is actually needed to accomplish cooking tasks, and what is actually used.
  4. Maintenance of fuel supply: is the wood kept dry? are containers kept free of contamination?
  5. Price and availability of fuel
  6. Labor: Who collects the fuel and how is it collected?    

Household Technologies consists of...

  1. Type of cooking device:  stove, open pit, improved stove
  2. Other stove specifications
  3. Other cooking implements
  4. Conditions of devices and technologies
  5. Existence and conditions of chimneys, flues and ventilation other than household openings
  6. Proper use of current technologies
  7. Temperature of cooking fire
  8. Labor involved in implementing new technologies

Education and Health Information consist of...

  1. Level of awareness of indoor air pollution and its health affects, awareness of specific problems
  2. Technical knowledge of cooking devices, ventilation devices and principles of solving air quality problems
  3. Level of awareness of other effects of indoor air pollution such as diminished visibility etc.
  4. Childcare practices and health precautions

Household Data consists of...

  1. Number of rooms, purpose of each
  2. Dimensions and shape of each room
  3. Layout of furniture in household
  4. Number of people, age, health, sex
  5. Use of household, times of day, numbers of people during different times
  6. Location of home particularly in respect to wind
  7. Moisture levels in the household
  8. Natural ventilation in the household

Social/Cultural Norms Regulating Cooking and/or Fires consist of...

  1. Private versus public meal taking and preparation
  2. Religious/cultural significance of fire use and special purification practices
  3. Where do and can individuals eat?
  4. Gender roles

Current Cooking Practices consist of...

  1. Types and quantities of foods that require cooking
  2. Required cooking times and time thought to be required for cooking
  3. Required cooking heats
  4. Purpose of cooking: disinfection, taste, drying, smoking
  5. Eating in same area as cooking
  6. Activities and location of others in or around the cooking area during meal preparation
  7. Use of insulated containers, lids, pre-soaking,
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