Whether you live in the country or the city, natural ventilation is a smart, sustainable way to freshen up your air quality at home. Try out these simple lifestyle tips to better aerate the house and you’ll be taking one giant step toward greener living.
Even if it’s barely a breeze, open up all operable windows on several sides of the home to create a “chimney effect.” This natural vacuum effect lets fresh, cooler air in and pushes warmer air out.
Screened porches and doors add to the chimney effect as well—if you have them, use them, and wherever possible, consider installing. A front or back door that can safely remain open with a screen on it can quickly reduce heat buildup in the day and naturally cool things off at night. You might even forget all about air conditioning!
Clever landscape can add beauty and curb appeal to your house, while cutting cooling costs. The Department of Energy states that along with delivering shade, a well-placed tree, shrub or vine can act as a windbreak, while reducing your energy bills by up to 25 percent.*
In addition to strategic landscaping (or alternatively, if you live in an apartment building), bring in a fresh houseplant or two. We’ve got plenty of ideas for you, from rubber plants and chrysanthemums to orchids and palms. Whatever you choose, living plants add ambiance and can be powerful detoxifiers in the home, removing countless chemicals (including VOCs) in the air and pumping out fresh oxygen and positivity into the room.
Think about every item you bring into the home. Fill your cabinets with eco-friendly house cleaners and purchase carpeting or rugs that are non-toxic with low VOCs (your pets and kids who play on the ground will thank you).
When it comes to wood flooring and furniture, consider greener materials, such as bamboo, which is elegant and durable—it replenishes faster in nature and is quite a strong material. Plus, lightweight furniture made from bamboo or wicker is easy to move around and reduces moisture in the room, helping combat mold and keep the fresh air moving.