1. How to Find a Fresher Indoor Airflow Year-Round
  • How to Find a Fresher Indoor Airflow Year-Round

    September 01, 2017

    Don’t forget to practice prevention.

    • Nothing beats a crisp, refreshing breeze of autumn air through the house after a scorching summer, or a warm, gentle draft on the first nice day after a long winter. Most of us appreciate a little natural ventilation, but it’s important to remember that there isn’t one single solution for maintaining fresher indoor air.

      When it comes to managing the air quality of your home, how do you strike a good indoor-outdoor balance throughout the year—especially when every day isn’t picture perfect?

      According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), opening windows and doors to introduce fresh air to your indoor environment is an important factor in improving air quality. When used properly, outside air can help moderate the temperature inside your house and reduce indoor pollutants*.

      If you’re hoping to rely on natural ventilation, know that popping open a window has both perks and pitfalls. Be sure to take into account outdoor factors, such as nearby smoke, to determine if it’s safe to welcome that air inside. If you find it best to keep your windows closed due to dirty outdoor air or inclement weather, consider one of these other strategies to reduce indoor pollutants and keep your indoor air in tip-top shape:
       

      • Mechanical ventilation: Many heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems feature outdoor air “intakes.”
      • Infiltration: Infiltration refers to outdoor air leaking in through openings around windows, doors, floors and ceilings, as well as joints and cracks in walls*.
      • Trickle ventilation: Trickle vents are high window screens with extra filters that let in fresh air while helping send pollutants back outdoors.
    • Don’t forget to practice prevention.

      While ventilation is important, source control is perhaps the most critical part of your strategy*. It can make all your other efforts that much more effective—and may save you money as a result.
       

      • Use a dehumidifier and/or run the air conditioning to reduce mold-producing dampness and the dust mite population in your house.
      • Have a professional service seal or enclose areas containing asbestos.
      • Ask your energy company to adjust your gas stove to decrease emissions.
      • Safely dispose of cleaning products, solvents and paints that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Replace with “low VOC” or “no VOC” alternatives.
      • Wash sheets and blankets on extra-hot water every week to help control your dust mite population.