Proper ventilation for your home: some expert tips

Good ventilation depends on two basic principles: air cannot flow into a building if it cannot get out; and hot air rises. Here are a few expert tips you should know about good ventilation:

  • In the winter months watch for frequent allergy problems among family members, lingering smells and musty odours, and condensation on windows and walls. These are all signs that the ventilation in your house is inadequate.
  • Infuse your home with warm, dry, fresh air from solar-powered air collectors attached to the roof or walls. Air collectors can also be used instead of vents to ventilate enclosed areas like roof spaces.
  • A "solar chimney" installed on the sunniest side of your house and painted black to absorb heat draws warm air from the inside to the outside to create constant air movement. Combine a "solar chimney" with vents on the shady side of your house to create a natural air conditioner.
  • If you don't want the expense of a specially designed "solar chimney," try installing wind-driven extractor fans near the apex of your roof instead. Careful manipulation of doors, windows and vents will achieve the same "chimney" effect, with cool air being drawn into the house to replace hot air expelled from the vents.
  • Rot and deterioration will occur if condensation gathers in your roof void and on the underside of your roof cover. Venting ceiling exhaust fans to the outside, especially if the roof is sheeted or has a metal cover, to prevent this problem from happening.
  • Any sub-floor space, roof space, false floor or cupboard must be provided with ventilation so that there is a flow of fresh air. Always vent to the outside.
  • Combustion relies on oxygen. Dangerous oxygen depletion may result if the air supply to stoves, heaters and cookers is inadequate. To ensure safe operation of these appliances, you might need to install an air intake vent or duct.

Keep these expert tips in mind when you're considering the airflow in your home and you'll be on your way to better ventilation.

Proper ventilation for your home: some expert tips
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