Home ventilation might seem like more of a concern for the summer or the spring, but ensuring the circulation of fresh air should be a priority all year round. When it’s cold outside our first instinct is to shut out the outside world to keep heat in your home and cold air outside. And while the thought of an icy breeze coming through your kitchen or living room might send shivers down your spine, having fresh air all year round is an important part of maintaining your day to day health and wellbeing.
There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, an unventilated home can lead to excessive moisture build up. Damp Air in your home can be very bad, as it can quickly turn mouldy, which can not only damage your property, but can have serious health implications such as nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, skin irritation and in extreme cases can lead to more serious health complications. According to uk.gov approximately one million UK households have a serious mould problem in at least one room of their house. The second big reason why you need to keep your home ventilated is because of the build-up of toxins. What do we mean by toxins? Well the list is almost endless, but includes organic compounds, dust, smoke, gasses such as Carbon Monoxide and radon, viruses, mould spores and bacteria. These are things we may breathe in everyday, but when they become concentrated in a small area, like an unventilated room, they can be a cause for concern.
There is even a name for this medical condition Sick Building Syndrome. This is when multiple occupants of a building exhibit similar health symptoms without a root illness being discovered. Now that we understand why we need to ventilate, the next question becomes how to do it all year round without getting frostbite during those winter months. Luckily, you only need to really ventilate your home for 15 – 20 minutes a day to circulate fresh air – although it is important to have a draught moving through your home to get the air flowing. It is also very important to ventilate your home for a few minutes after you switch off your heating unit as this allow the excess build up of condensation to dissipate.
USE A FAN FOR HOME VENTILATION
There are a number of different types of fans, but they all serve the same purpose, to create an artificial air circulation system in your home. This isn’t only important for cool air in the summer, during the winter a fan can greatly improve air circulation and help clean the air in your home.
This is especially important for mould hotspots in your home. These include areas that get warmer or are harder for fresh air to reach including basements, bathrooms or laundry rooms. In fact, in these problem areas it is best to take preventative measures such as cleaning them with anti mould treatments to stop bacteria and mould build up before it happens.
OPEN A DOOR OR WINDOW
The simplest solution is often the best, and there is no easier or more cost effective way to get fresh air into your home than opening a door or window. However, in cold months this can pose a problem as cold air gets in and heat escapes.
This is the exact problem the MiniLatch from LockLatch was designed to answer. It allows you to leave a door or window slightly ajar, but locked in place. This allows for constant ventilation as fresh air can flow slowly in, but because of the small size of the gap you won’t experience cold winds or lose much heat. The MiniLatch has been designed to fit on any type of door or window from aluminium through to wood and can be easily unlocked to close the opening completely when the conditions demand it.
GET AN HRV
Another, more expensive solution, is a heat recovery ventilator. These devices use the heat in the outgoing stale air to warm up the fresh air as it flows into your home. This means that the fresh air coming into your home is already warmer, but free of the moisture and toxicity of the outgoing air. While heat recovery ventilators can be costly with some models costing ₤300 per unit without factoring in installation costs (and this is really something you want done by a professional). Installation varies greatly depending on the size and layout of your home.
We hope that you found this article to be a helpful primer on home ventilation. If you are having trouble getting fresh air into your home, or are experiencing health problems as a result of mould or toxins it is never too soon to find a solution.
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