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Understanding the Basics of Home Ventilation

photo of an air vent mounted on the ceiling We breathe in the air every day. Do you know what’s actually in the air that you’re breathing? Pollutants in the air can lead to many health conditions and considering that people spend most of their time indoors, it’s important to have fresh air to keep us healthy and happy.

Proper ventilation is critical to home comfort. Ventilation moves outdoor air inside and distributes the air within an area to provide healthy air for breathing.

If your home is not properly ventilated, you could be breathing in pollutants causing respiratory issues, asthma, bronchitis, allergies, and even problems with digestion. Unpleasant odors from cooking, smoking, rotting food, trash, mold, or a musty gym-like smell, can all be contributing factors.

Air must travel freely in and out of your home. Differences in air pressure control the way air moves from place to place. Proper ventilation throughout the home will remove unpleasant odors and prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Proper ventilation also can help regulate temperature and control moisture levels, protecting you and your home, so take the correct steps to achieve fresh air.

Signs of Poor Ventilation Include

  • Lingering smells
  • Moisture on windows and window sills
  • Insect infestation
  • Peeling paint
  • Damp insulation on walls, ceilings, and floors. Carpet, wallpaper, electronic equipment, furniture and etc. can be damaged by excess moisture, which is a result of poor ventilation.

Ways to ventilate your home include natural ventilation, spot airflow or mechanical ventilation. Natural ventilation is achieved by opening doors and windows. Spot airflow is done through the use of fans, while mechanical airflow is attained by installing air ducts.

Here are some ways you can improve the ventilation in your home: 

  • Check the vents inside and outside your home. Make sure they are not blocked.
  • Increase the airflow in your home by opening doors and windows.
  • Use fans to increase the natural airflow throughout your home. It never hurts to install a fan above your stove to help absorb any cooking odors. Fans installed in a bathroom can help reduce condensation after showers.
  • Proper insulation throughout your home also helps with airflow. You can leak a lot of air through an attic or basement, so it’s always a great idea to add insulation in these areas.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors and radon detectors in your home. The presence of carbon monoxide or radon can lead to even more serious health issues for you or your family members.

When in doubt, call in a professional to inspect your home. Professionals can find blockages, leaks, cracks and etc. that may be the cause of poor ventilation.

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