All homes require ventilation. This is an indoor air exchange with outdoor air for reducing odors, moisture and pollutants. Contaminants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde and radon that could lead to health issues can accumulate in a poorly-ventilated home. Poor ventilation can prevent the removal of unpleasant odors.
Some organics could cause cancer in both humans and animals.
Key symptoms linked with VOCs exposure are:
Loss of coordination
Nose, eye and throat irritation
Kidney, liver or central nervous system damage
Allergic skin reaction
The ability of VOCs and other organic chemicals to cause health problems will vary from those with no known health effect to those that are highly toxic.
Another reason good ventilation is important is because it can control the amount of moisture lingering in your house. If you have proper airflow throughout your house, your floors, walls and wood in your house will not collect moisture and will stay dry.
Wood can rot when you expose it to moisture. Drywall can as well. If you allow moisture to build up in these parts of your home, they’ll not only damage your home’s structural integrity, but they’ll also cause a buildup of mold which can also have negative health effects when you’re exposed to it for a great length of time.
Proper ventilation will eliminate excess moisture from your home’s air, protecting it from damage. Too much moisture can also rot attic eaves and window sills, peel the paint and invite an infestation of insects. Damp insulation in the ceilings and walls mean lost heat and higher energy bills. Not to mention, excess moisture can damage wallpaper, furniture, carpeting and electronic equipment.
Some ways to ventilate your home are:
Natural ventilation: Uncontrolled movement of air in your home through small holes (infiltration) and cracks and through vents like doors and windows.
Spot ventilation: using localized exhaust fans like bath fans and kitchen fans to eliminate pollutants as they’re generated at their source.
Whole-house ventilation: use of duct systems and fans to exhaust stale air and draw in fresh air from the outdoors to your home. A whole house fan is perfect for this.
Since people typically spend around 90 percent of their time indoors, air pollution indoors can actually be a larger health risk than air pollution outdoors. Whether you’re taking care of a home you already live in or are buying a new home, good ventilation is essential since it helps protect your home and health.
If you’re experiencing any of the problems above in your home, contact an experienced ventilation expert.