Worldwide, at least 4 million people die every year from conditions related to household air pollution.

While many of these folk reside in underdeveloped countries, US citizens are far from immune to the negative effects of poor home ventilation.

Ventilation means the exchange of outdoor and indoor air. Without proper ventilation, excess moisture, and harmful pollutants like carbon monoxide become trapped indoors where they can cause untold harm.

Let’s find out just how dangerous poor ventilation is for your home and what you can do about it.

The Dangers of Poor Home Ventilation

Ordinary daily activities like cooking can cause problems in the home unless your house has sufficient ventilation. Combustion appliances like fireplaces and stoves release small amounts of toxic gases when you use them.

These can quickly accumulate and lead to unpleasant consequences for your home and everyone in it. The most common problems associated with poor ventilation are:

Health Issues

Poor air quality causes biological and chemical contaminants to build up inside your home. One of these is radon, which can cause lung cancer.

In turn, these can cause afflictions like:

– Allergies
– Hypersensitivity
– Sinus congestion
– Coughing
– Nausea
– Headaches
– Breathing difficulties

Also, high levels of carbon dioxide and low oxygen levels lead to fatigue and an inability to concentrate, which in turn can lead to unnecessary accidents.

Sick building syndrome doesn’t only apply to commercial facilities. Your home can easily become a hotspot of infection and unpleasant health issues unless it’s properly ventilated.

Structural Damage

Apart from airborne toxins and noxious gases, poor ventilation allows moisture to build up in your home too. Over time, this results in mold growth and wood rot.

Just like moisture from a glass can damage the surface of your wooden coffee table, condensed moisture inside your walls and attic may lead to mold and wood rot.

Some home appliances, like dryers, release a lot of moisture into your home. A dehumidifier can help reduce the moisture inside your home, but often this isn’t enough.

High Costs

A properly ventilated house helps maintain an even temperature, which can help reduce your heating and cooling bills.

Poor ventilation means the temperature inside will fluctuate along with whatever happens outside.

These extreme temperatures in turn cause discomfort and fatigue as well as increased humidity and the accompanying mold growth. If the humidity’s too low, you could experience dry skin and a scratchy throat.

Ventilation also helps eliminate unpleasant odors from cooking, cleaning materials, and cigarette smoking.

Types of Home Ventilation Systems

So, now you know about the importance of ventilation, it’s time to do something about it. An efficient HVAC system does much to regulate your home’s ventilation but it’s not enough.

You have a few additional options available to you, as follows.

Natural Ventilation

This type of old-school ventilation takes place without much intervention from anyone. Air travels in and out of buildings in three different ways on its own. These are:

– Via open doors and windows
– Cracks and joints where walls and floors meet
– Gaps around windows and pipes

Uncontrolled ventilation systems like airbricks and trickle vents rely on the principles of natural ventilation too.

These installations are often found in older homes. They’re cheap to install, easily understood by builders, and comply with building codes.

In some cases, these are all you need for sufficient ventilation although they do have certain drawbacks. These are:

– When there’s no wind, air won’t enter your home
– Excessive wind means your home will be over-ventilated
– Dirt or vegetation can block airbricks and interrupt the flow of air
– Curtains or furniture can obstruct…
Continue reading the article about ventilation on Daisy Linden’s blog.

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