In building a comfy home environment, the ultimate focus is usually on factors like heating and cooling. However, ventilation is another issue you don’t have to overlook. Poorly ventilated homes may pose health such as low oxygen levels, mold, mildew accumulation, spreading of viruses, and respiratory problems. This, in turn, can affect your indoor air quality. Here are some common causes of poor home ventilation and how to overcome them.
1. Bad space organization
Larger areas feel cooler than smaller spaces. That’s because larger spaces have better heat distribution, thanks to the lower concentration of heat. However, if you stay in a large room that is crowded and messy, ventilation would still be bad. Crowded spaces require less air to circulate, leading to high heat energy concentration and poor ventilation. So, organize your home to avoid overcrowding.
2. Obstructed air vents
Obstructed air vents can cause poor ventilation, so clean yours regularly to achieve the best air quality in your rooms. You should note that air vents may breed dust, mold, and mildew, affecting your health. When there is good airflow through the vents, you will enjoy greater comfort indoors.
3. Poor building envelope
A building envelope physically separates the interior and exterior of a building. Poorly designed envelopes may cause air leakage, reducing the effectiveness of your home’s ventilation systems. Consequently, this can increase energy bills. One best ways to alleviate poor building envelope is to install a ventilation fan to remove stale air and replace it with fresh and clean air. Ventilation fans come in various sizes and styles, so find the right fit for your spaces, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and other strategic places.
4. Badly installed windows and doors
Old windows and doors can also cause poor ventilation in homes. Improperly sealed windows may have gaps, allowing outdoor air to infiltrate and disrupt normal airflow patterns, compromising ventilation systems. A smart way to remedy this situation is to inspect your doors and windows for cracks or gaps and replace them when needed. Weatherstripping and caulking are also practical techniques to prevent unwanted air filtration.
Consider using expanding foam sealant to fill the larger gaps or tiny spaces around the doors and windows. Expanding foam enlarges to provide an airtight seal, stopping leakage and enhancing insulation. Remember that it’s also important to invest in an energy-efficient replacement window, so as to keep your utility bills low. Professional window installers can provide high-end window solutions for better insulation and ventilation.
5. Inadequate ventilation design
Another factor that causes bad ventilation is a flawed or inadequate ventilation system. Poor airflow can happen due to improper dust sizing, ventilation outlet shortage, and return airflow balance hindering the system’s efficiency. You can address inadequate ventilation design by mitigating airflow challenges to improve indoor air quality. Consult HVAC specialists and ventilation engineers, and they may help identify the flaws and provide effective remedies. Potential solutions may involve adjusting the ductwork, updating the ventilation systems, and executing effective airflow balancing techniques.
6. Clogged or dirty filters
Dirty or choked air filters can limit airflow in HVAC units, reducing the efficiency of the ventilation systems. Impeded airflow leads to bad air circulation and low indoor air quality. Check and replace filters every three months or so, as your technician recommends. You must clean air filters to provide optimal airflow and reduce the accumulation of dust and debris for better ventilation.
7. Insufficient exhaust ventilation
Lack of exhaust ventilation in crucial spaces like bathrooms and kitchens causes poor overall air distribution. It may cause moisture and cooking fumes to linger, resulting in an unpleasant indoor atmosphere and a potentially toxic environment. Fix this issue by installing or upgrading the exhaust fans in humidity-prone areas and strong odor locations. Use exhaust fans of the right size, venting them outdoors to effectively remove pollutants and maintain good ventilation. A small fan in a large area may not be effective as it can cause poor ventilation and an unpleasant odor. See if you can install additional exhaust fans in rooms with inadequate ventilation, including the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room. Set them up strategically to promote optimal airflow and contaminant removal.
8. Smoking indoors
Hotels and business establishments prohibit indoor smoking for good reasons. It contaminates the indoor air, which can be difficult to remove. Most people understand the negative consequences of smoking, including how it harms the lungs. But unfortunately, quitting smoking is easier said than done for people with an addiction. While avid smokers may have a hard time giving up indoor smoking, the habit can affect their health and that of second-hand smokers.
Have you ever experienced the urge to cough or get away from cigarette smoke? That’s because your system tells you to stay safe. Smoking indoors pollutes the air since the smoke stays in the same environment, releasing toxic substances that can decrease the benefits of ventilation. Consider avoiding smoking in enclosed spaces such as a home, and when possible, quit the habit to save your lungs.
9. Building components
The components of a home, such as the paint, can play a significant role in the capability of ventilation systems. You must use the appropriate type of paint for your rooms. Larger rooms usually have better ventilation thanks to the spaciousness, allowing more airflow. For small or medium rooms, you want to ensure the material composition of the walls doesn’t prevent the ventilation units from operating at their best. For example, painting the walls with a dark color may not sound like a smart idea since dark things tend to absorb heat. If you are concerned about your home’s indoor quality, get HVAC experts to test the systems and provide services to improve ventilation.
10. Household appliances
Some household appliances are notorious for causing poor ventilation and indoor air quality. Gadgets like stoves, gas ranges, and water heaters can ruin your home’s indoor quality. Improper installation of these applicants can allow gas to leak and seep into the air. And when you have a cramped kitchen, the problem will only get worse. To avoid these challenges, call licensed professionals to install your appliances correctly and have them test the home for indoor air quality.
11. Air fresheners
Surprisingly, air fresheners are culprits for low air quality in a home. Homeowners may use them to make their rooms smell great. That said, an air freshener can make nonsense of your ventilation systems by releasing toxic chemicals to float in the home’s atmosphere. Consider doing your health a favor by discarding all scented air fresheners to enhance the air quality. You can find several ways to make the place smell awesome without disturbing or polluting the air. One great alternative is a scented candle that comes in multiple variations. Shop for one you love and make it your signature scent booster instead of patronizing harmful air fresheners.
You probably didn’t know this fact, but your furniture can decrease the quality of breathable air in your home. Sofas, couches, chairs, and tables come from different factories, with some emitting dangerous gases and vapors. Most manufacturers treat their furniture with flame-resistant chemicals for extra safety. Unfortunately, not all the chemicals are healthy for your household. Therefore, choose eco-friendly furniture alternatives devoid of toxic chemicals. Be smart and do proper market research to discover healthy furniture choices for your home.
Your home is your safe haven, meaning all aspects must be in good condition. Therefore, poor ventilation is something you should not take lightly. Knowing the causes of this problem can help you get a lasting solution, so feel free to consider this.