There’s nothing pleasant about a poorly ventilated, stuffy home. But did you know that this unpleasantness can have serious consequences? Poor ventilation in the home can cause a wide range of health problems relating to the development of moulds and the buildup of allergens, and in some cases can also lead to serious property damage. Luckily, you don’t always have to install expensive air conditioning units or dehumidifiers to improve ventilation as there are a range of affordable (and even free) natural home ventilation solutions you can try today.
How to optimise natural home ventilation
If your home already has access to plenty of fresh air, but still feels stuffy and poorly ventilated then you may have sub-optimal air circulation. This can be caused by a host of factors ranging from the layout of your property to the surfaces air is exposed to as it passes through your home. Below we look at some measures you can take to further optimise your air circulation and achieve better natural home ventilation.
Cover concrete and other artificial surfaces with greenery. This could mean planting a lawn over paving or adding more potted plants. This reduces the amount of heat that is transferred into the air, meaning cooler air and also less disturbance to air currents caused by hot air rising up.
Indoor water elements
Water is a fantastic natural cooling mechanism able to cool the air as it moves by drawing out and transferring heat. By placing water features or elements near openings where air enters a room it can be cooled before it circulates around the home.
Add plants to the interior
Not only do indoor plants further help in cooling the air that enters your home, but because they absorb Carbon Dioxide and release Oxygen they also function as a natural air filter, further purifying the air.
Creating crosswinds through doors or windows
The secret to adequate natural ventilation is the concept of cross ventilation. To put it simply, opening a window on one side of your house won’t help ventilate it. Instead, you will need to create airflow from one side to the other. Air moves from areas of high pressure into areas of low pressure, so opening a window on the windward and leeward side of your building will help air flow naturally through the building.
Affordable home ventilation solutions to do today
Once you are sure that the conditions are optimal for natural ventilation to occur, you can look at how better to achieve this in your property. As we have mentioned this doesn’t have to be a costly exercise, and instead is more about understanding the principles of thermodynamics that allow air to flow. Below we look at some home ventilation solutions you can do today, without costing you an arm and a leg.
Keep your windows open
Often the best solutions are the simplest. Simply open your windows to get the air moving through your home. However, it is important to open the right windows to ensure there is enough natural cross ventilation to ensure a constant supply of fresh air. It is also important to keep your windows open for as long as possible each day. One of the best ways to do this is with a lockable window latch such as LockLatch or MiniLatch. These devices feature adjustable arms, which can be fitted onto any type of window, and allow you to keep the window open permanently, but securely locked in place. Installing two of these devices on windows on opposite sides of your home will help ensure consistent and effective ventilation.
Sometimes, the layout of a room or building can make achieving cross ventilation impossible. In these types of scenarios you will need to turn to artificial ways of stimulating airflow. Electric fans are cost effective ways of doing this as their portable nature means they can be placed exactly where they’re needed to either move air in or out of a room.
Just like the smaller electrical fans, ceiling fans are a great way to artificially improve airflow and keep a room well ventilated. Besides circulating air mechanically, ceiling fans also help cool the air, which creates changes in air pressure further optimising natural airflow.
Keep doors open
Doors can be an excellent source of ventilation, especially in smaller homes or apartments where the door may be the only source of fresh air on one side of a room or building. However, it can be difficult to keep a door open for extended periods of time as this often poses a security risk. Luckily, LockLatch and MiniLatch provide the perfect solution in these cases, as with these devices installed the door can be left slightly ajar, and the C-304 stainless steel arm is so robust and secure that each device comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Reduce clutter to create airflow
Air moves in a straight line until it hits an obstruction at which point it diverges along the path of least resistance. This means that a little feng shui can go a long way to improving natural airflow in your home. Reducing the amount of obstructions in the path between windows will mean air can move optimally from one side of the room to the other.
Air conditioning systems
Now we start moving from affordable to slightly more costly solutions. Depending on which type you choose, air conditioners can be quite expensive, but if your home isn’t equipped to allow for natural ventilation, then you may have to turn to one of these units.
Advantages of natural home ventilation
Natural home ventilation has a number of advantages that can have huge long-term benefits for you and your family. From improving general health to helping the environment these small improvements can yield great rewards.
Natural home ventilation allows you to eschew expensive cooling units or dehumidifiers, which can greatly increase your energy bills.
Air quality improvement
They say you can live for three weeks without food, three days without water, but only three minutes without air, and this should demonstrate how important a consistent supply of fresh air is to your general health and wellbeing.
Removal of indoor air toxins
Poorly ventilated homes can develop a build up of toxic substances, ranging from moulds to airborne allergens, and even toxins given off by cleaning products. Natural ventilation helps rid your home of these toxins.
Creates a safer environment against viruses
Thanks to Covid-19 we are all far more aware of the fact that poorly ventilated areas can contribute to the transmission of viruses. Ventilation helps reduce the concentration of airborne viruses in a room, and consequently reduce your chance of catching them
Temperature and humidity regulation
Rooms that are too hot or humid can lead to the formation of mould and mildew in the home, which can have serious health consequences if you or your family come into contact with them. Natural ventilation is one of the best ways to avoid the establishment of mould colonies, as it reduces concentration of spores in the air, and prevents the humidity levels required for these colonies to form.
Improve air quality using specified devices
Sometimes natural ventilation isn’t enough. Certain rooms may not have the right openings to allow for cross ventilation or airflow may be otherwise hindered. In these cases you may want to turn to artificial means of ventilation.
Bathroom extractor fan
Bathrooms are particularly hard to ventilate. Not only are they prone to the build up of humidity because of steam, but they are often equipped with smaller windows that don’t open adequately. A bathroom extractor fan is a great way to draw the moist warm air out of this room and allow clean, fresh air to take its place.
Kitchen extractor fan
Kitchens are similar to bathrooms in the sense that they are also often poorly ventilated. Not only do extractor fans in these rooms help remove the hot stuffy air, but they can also assist in removing food smells, which may become unpleasant over time.
Air purifiers are special filters designed to remove impurities from the air. These devices can remove anything from pollen to smoke particles meaning that the air moving through your home is cleaner and more oxygen rich.
Using a HEPA filter on your vacuum
A HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter is also a device that removes bad particles from the air. Placing one of these devices on your vacuum cleaner prevents these bad particles from being recirculated in your home after you clean.
Get started on improving your home’s ventilation with LockLatch for your windows and doors today!
A LockLatch or MiniLatch fitted onto opposite doors or windows is one of the simplest ways to ensure cross ventilation in your home. Why not start breathing easier, by installing a LockLatch today.