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Gimme Shelter: Yachad's Blog


Keep It Ventilated

by Matthew Flyer, Construction Manager & Robin Renner, Construction Director

Why ventilate?

Does your home smell stale? Is moisture a problem? Can’t get rid of odors? You need to ventilate your home. Ventilation means getting fresh air into your home or exchanging stale air for fresh air. A closed or sealed house keeps stale trapped moisture, smoke, cooking odors, and indoor pollutants in the rooms where you live. This can cause health problems and make asthma and lung problems worse.

Houses 100 years ago were leaky. Usually, they didn’t have insulation in the walls, so fresh air could pretty easily enter through all the gaps, cracks, and holes in the building. Also, the building materials used 100 years ago were mostly natural products. They didn’t release chemicals (called off-gassing) like formaldehyde, flame retardants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other chemicals that are so common today’s building materials and furnishings.

Proper ventilation helps keep a home energy-efficient, safe, and, most importantly, healthy.

Here are some inexpensive tips that can help you keep your home properly ventilated.

1. Open Doors and Windows

Simply opening doors and windows a few times during the day to “air out” your house, quickly replaces stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air, getting rid of pollutants, allergens, and extra moisture. If weather permits, leaving windows slightly open overnight can improve the air quality inside your room.

2. Vent Outside/Dry Clothes Outside

If you have a dryer, make sure it vents outside and keep the lint filter and vent clean. Check your lint filter each time you use the dryer. If you don’t have a dryer, dry laundry outside, if possible because wet clothes add to the humidity in your home.

3. Use Exhaust Fans in Bathrooms and Kitchens 

Excess moisture builds up after showering or bathing. Let the fan run for at least 5 minutes after you’re done. Newer bathroom fans have timers to ensure they continue running to allow excess moisture to be removed. Also, running the kitchen exhaust fans when cooking will eliminate odors and excess heat.

4. Keep HVAC (Heater and Air Conditioner) Filters Clean

Your HVAC system circulates air throughout your entire home. With a dirty filter, your HVAC system can’t do an effective job cleaning the air and will make your system work harder. Filters are easy to replace and should be done every three months. See our video.

5. Reduce Humidity, Especially in the Summertime

Using exhaust fans, covering cooking pots, and taking shorter showers help. Excess humidity problems can be solved cheaply with a portable dehumidifier. Ideally, place one in the basement and hook it up to drain continuously.
See our dehumidifier tips.

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