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Top 5 Tips on How to Ventilate Your Home

We’ve all become masters of handwashing, social distancing and mask-wearing. Now it’s time to up your indoor air quality game. Whether you live in a modern or historic house, or cottage, there are just as many ways to improve the air flow in your home as there are reasons.

Enhancing the ventilation is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality and reduce the concentration of air pollutants. Without proper ventilation, the air in your home can become stagnant and stale. Inadequate ventilation can also increase moisture which in turn increases your risk of mold. Feeling motivated to get clean the air around you yet?

Bringing in air from the outside is key to improving your home’s air quality. Here are our top five ways to make that happen:

1. Open Your Windows

This tried-and-true method of ventilation has helped people purge the smell of cigarette smoke, burnt garlic and body odour from their homes for centuries! And we now know it can help us improve our Indoor Air Quality too. The goal is to create a cross-breeze and dilute the concentration of contaminants. Leaving interior doors open also improves circulation.

2. Install an Air Exchanger Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) or Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV)

The V in HVAC stands for ventilation, but in a residential system, you need an HRV or ERV to make this work otherwise you are simply circulating air, not ventilating your home. HRVs and ERVs work by exchanging stale inside air with fresh outside air. If you have an HRV or ERV, run it continuously at a low speed or as designed. This could help to remove airborne pollutants from the air inside your home, such as VOCs, bacteria and viruses, when combined with best health practices provided by Public Health. An ERV can also help minimize energy loss and recover humidity from the exhaust air.

3. Use Your Bathroom and Kitchen Fans

As well as reducing excess humidity after a shower and driving out fumes from the kitchen, exhaust fans can contribute to the ventilation in your home. Leave the fans on for a while after cooking or showering to maximize ventilation.

4. Arrange Indoor Portable Fans in Strategic Areas of Your Home

Ventilation can be improved with the use of a portable fan when positioned with air flow in mind. If the air is naturally flowing into the home from a window, for example, encourage that movement by positioning the fan in the current to increase the flow. Bonus points if you can draw air in from one window and expel it out another. If you have a second fan (or more), use them in combination to further increase ventilation to other areas of the home. Make sure the fan doesn’t blow air from one person’s personal space to another, and avoid pointing a fan at a wall, as this could create an air pocket, leading to stagnant air.

5. Get a Home Energy Audit

New homes are sealed tightly, reducing the natural ventilation through tiny holes and cracks. A blower door test, which is part of a home energy audit will determine your home’s air tightness.

Want to learn more about air purification and indoor air quality? Be sure to visit our Ultimate Guide to Indoor Air Quality.

If you have any questions about air purification – don’t hesitate to call or book a no-obligation consultation with one of our Home Comfort Advisors.

1Government of Canada

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