Why Home Ventilation Is Important
Everyone understands that ventilation is an important part of any home. But Ventilation plays an important role in keeping you home comfortable and safe. Find out more.
Improper Ventilation is Costly
If you’ve ever stepped out of a hot shower into a fog of warm steam that takes forever to clear, you’ll understand what improper ventilation looks like. That steam cloud happens when you forget to turn on the ventilation fan, or if the suction is so weak, it can’t keep up with the cloud you’re creating.
What you probably don’t think about is that a lack of ventilation can do severe damage to your home — and is possibly also dangerous for your family’s health.
Ventilation is commonly thought of with the steam situation, but there are plenty of other applications throughout the house. When functioning correctly, it keeps air from becoming stagnant, helps move contaminants out, reduces toxins, minimizes mold, and so much more.
From your home’s foundation to it’s roof and more, here’s why home ventilation is so important, and how to recognize when it’s time to give yours an upgrade.
What Good Ventilation Does for Your Home
The biggest ventilation-related home issue is the problem of mold, which begins to form when there’s too much moisture that never gets removed. That moisture builds up over time, seeping into the soft surfaces, fabrics, drywall, and even into your in-wall insulation or the wooden structure of your home.
Whether you can see the mold on the surface or not, that mold can cause harm to both the surfaces on which it is growing and the family that inhabits the spaces.
From a structural standpoint, your home begins to rot when it’s covered in mold or moist surfaces. Damp wood eventually starts to degrade if it isn’t dried out, and that mold then feeds on surrounding wood as it also soaks up moisture. This can lead to many additional problems like:
- Crumbling structure
- Damage to electronics and other technological equipment items
- Damage to furniture and other fabrics
- Insect infestations
- Peeling or chipping paint
- Peeling wallpaper
- Rotting carpet and fabrics
- Unsightly staining
- Warping in hardwood floors, window frames, attic eaves, etc.
Wetness seeping into insulation creates even more issues throughout the home and for your family’s finances. As if the costs of mold remediation weren’t enough, that damp insulative barrier becomes ineffective at regulating your home’s temperature. This leads to inefficient heating and cooling, which, in turn, leads to higher energy bills — and those and other related costs only get worse the longer the problem goes unresolved.
The good news is that proper ventilation cures all of this. It keeps moisture moving and unable to settle on surfaces, allowing it to dry instead of creating the serious damage listed above.
Why Ventilation Is Important to Your Family’s Health
All those structural and insulation-related issues can also have negative impacts on the people living in your home, leading to potential health issues and possible medical bills. Here are some of the ways poor ventilation can have health impacts:
Dangerous gases: carbon dioxide — Humans and animals inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Without proper ventilation, carbon dioxide can build up, and oxygen can become depleted. Proper ventilation allows the air to continually be refreshed in a home, helping to keep your home oxygenated.
Dangerous gases: carbon monoxide — Everyone knows that carbon monoxide poisoning can do irreparable damage without anyone even knowing it’s in the room. The scentless gas can cause all sorts of problems, including headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, impaired judgment, chest pain, confusion, depression, drowsiness, hallucinations, vomiting, visual changes, seizures, memory and walking issues, and so much more.
Mold complications — Though most commonly seen in young children, the elderly, or those with already-compromised immune systems, unchecked mold growth from poor ventilation can have extremely negative impacts on just about any human (and even some pets). Here are some of the ways mold infections and severe irritations can manifest:
- Asthma, worse or more dramatic than normal
- Cold or flu-like symptoms like coughing and sneezing
- Itchy throat, nose, skin, ears, or eyes
- Respiratory problems like wheezing
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing,
- Sinus congestion or headaches
- Skin rash or hives
- Watery or bloodshot eyes
Odors — Mold smells, especially the longer it grows unchecked. Those unpleasant odors should be checked out immediately to ensure no enormous problems are lingering in your walls.
Pollution, the common cold, and other germs — Poor ventilation means all the bacteria, toxins, and other nasties that attach themselves to the fabrics you wear when outside are brought into your home. When these items are outdoors, they latch onto you and your fabrics and are eventually removed by the wind, rain, and other elements. They’re harder to shake off when they’re in your home, particularly when the ventilation is poor. Bad ventilation means theses negativities swirl around without leaving, giving them greater ability to cause you and your family to fall ill.
Proper ventilation can help eliminate the risk of falling ill from these issues and others. Circulating air stays fresher, pulling toxins, chemicals, mold spores, and other harmful elements out of the home before they have the potential to settle in and impact your loved ones. Mold spores that can’t continue to grow will dry out, and carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide get filtered out — as do toxins and other chemicals. Proper ventilation really is essential to keep you and yours healthy.
What to Do When Your Ventilation Seems Inadequate
The good news is that if your ventilation doesn’t seem to be working at it’s best, there are specialists out there who have spent years perfecting the art. Contact a local heating and cooling expert, like North Augusta Air Conditioning, to come out and inspect your home and see where your ventilation can be improved. The same team will also be able to assist in setting up remediation of current ventilation-related issues, getting your home back to tip-top shape in no time at all. Proper ventilation is only a phone call away.
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