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Improving your home’s ventilation for the long term

We’ve all been spending a lot more time at home in recent months. Not by choice, of course, but the fact remains and with COVID-19 not going anywhere anytime soon, chances are we could be spending even more time at home this summer.

As such it’s become a priority for some to ensure they are as comfortable within their own four walls as possible and a large part of that comfort has to do with the quality of air in our homes.

Home ventilation, you see, is something we only really consider when it’s incredibly warm but it’s not only on sweaty summer days that proper ventilation can help the quality of your home life.

From bacteria, pollen, pet hair, and mould to dust, condensation, damp and carbon monoxide (which is a particular risk if you have a working fireplace), there are plenty of factors that can add up to poor air quality without adequate ventilation.

Of course, it’s natural for most of us to simply open a window, but this lets heat escape and represents a risk to your home security, especially if you leave it open overnight.

But how can we improve our ventilation on a more permanent basis that doesn’t sacrifice your security or comfort?

Keep it clean

Carpets are notorious when it comes to picking up dirt, hair and bacteria and it can also pick up a lot of moisture, particularly if your bathroom or kitchen is carpeted.

That’s one of the many reasons why more and more households in recent years have chosen to go for laminate or tiled flooring in these rooms. If you really want to stick with your carpets though, at least ensure they are regularly cleaned!

It’s also important to generally keep your home clean of contaminants, particularly during hay fever season or if you have pets that regularly shed fur and there is somebody in your home that suffers from asthma.

Because allergens thrive in homes that don’t have adequate ventilation and if the best way to ensure they don’t spread is to get rid of them.

Don’t dry your laundry inside

It might be due to the always unpredictable British weather or it might simply be down to laziness but many of us are guilty of drying our washed clothes indoors.

It might not seem like a problem on the surface (other than the sheer space it takes up, of course) but drying clothes indoors not only leads to condensation in the home but can accelerate the growth of mould, particularly in the winter months.

To remedy the problem, we’d always recommend drying your clothing outdoors whenever possible. Perhaps if it is raining, consider installing a covered gazebo specifically for drying purposes?

Or if you have a conservatory or garage, use them instead. If you absolutely must dry your clothes indoors, meanwhile, always remember to crack a window to allow the moisture to escape before it sticks to a cold surface and starts to form condensation.

Ventilation systems

If control of airflow is of paramount importance in your home then the most substantial solution is to install a positive input ventilation system that regulates airflow. These are systems that are typically installed in your loft and work by bringing fresh, filtered air into your home.

These are systems that are constantly working to improve air quality and certain models can even be used to recover lost heat and eliminate condensation and mould.

They are, however, not cheap, which is why they are typically only installed in commercial properties.

A more practical ventilation system that is found in most kitchens and bathrooms is a mechanical extraction fan or ventilation system, which sucks moist and stale air from the room and expels it outside through an air brick or vent. Note that extractor fans are a significantly more affordable option.

There is a slew of other little things you could be doing to improve your home’s ventilation – such as cutting out the use of spray-on deodorants and hair-sprays. But, overall, it’s about staying on top of everything and making ventilation a priority.