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Why and how to ventilate your house?


Jan 21, 2023
ventilate your house

It may seem surprising, but the air in our interiors is more polluted than the air outside, the fault of cleaning products, building materials and other everyday objects. To improve the air quality of our homes, it is essential to ventilate them on a daily basis. A well-ventilated home is also easier to heat or air-condition and save energy. In this article we will discover all the reasons why it is important to ventilate our interiors. We will also provide you with some tips for effectively ventilating your home and maintaining good indoor air quality in all seasons.

Why ventilate the house?

14 hours a day is the time we spend on average in our homes. And even if you’re a household ace, air pollution is a scourge you can’t cut off. Indeed, carpets, rugs, murals, decorative objects, clothing, PVC windows permanently diffuse what are called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which pollute our indoor air. Household products and even home fragrances or scented candles can also release harmful substances.

In a guide published by the National Institute for Prevention and Health Education (INPES), we learn that certain pollutants have a concentration up to 15 times greater indoors than outdoors.

These compounds can be the cause of headaches , fatigue , coughing , runny nose , or even allergies . VOCs like formaldehyde found in carpet glue or benzene found in paint or detergents are even more alarming. They are in fact classified as carcinogenic substances for humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)!

Prevent moisture-related problems

In the absence of ventilation, humidity tends to settle in the house. And even if it may seem paradoxical, our homes, which are increasingly better insulated and airtight, can be more prone to humidity problems than before. Over time, mold can appear on the walls, floors or ceilings of a dwelling in the form of green or blackish spots. Humidity can have health consequences, including irritation of the respiratory tract . Molds, on the other hand, can cause allergic reactions and sometimes even pose a toxic risk.. They can thus be the cause of the development of diseases of the respiratory tract (sinusitis, asthma, bronchiolitis, etc.), irritation of the mucous membranes, appearance of muscle pain, headaches, red eyes, itching. Humidity problems are particularly present in rooms such as the bathroom or the kitchen.

To get rid of bad odors

Smells from cooking, animals, tobacco, toilets sometimes invade the house tenaciously. To eliminate them, nothing like a good ventilation session . Know that it is generally estimated that 10 minutes with windows wide open is enough to renew all the air in a room.

To save energy

The ventilation of the house allows to clean the air but also to better control the temperature of the housing and to make savings on its energy bills, winter as summer. A good ventilation system, such as a dual-flow VMC , can even save you up to several hundred euros per year by preheating the outside air that enters your home to ventilate it: a considerable energy saving!

In summer

Ventilating during the coolest hours has the effect of letting fresh air inside, naturally lowering the temperature within the dwelling. This simple action then makes it possible to limit the use of the air conditioning and therefore to reduce electricity costs. The night or the morning are the most favorable periods to bring inside the housing a maximum of fresh air.

In winter

Airing in winter may seem less obvious, yet it is just as crucial as summer to improve air quality and save energy. Indeed, it is at this time of the year that the humidity level is the highest in a house, and this in particular because of the human activity which takes place more inside (hot bath, laundry , cooking meals). It is also found that moist air is more difficult to heat . To achieve the same thermal comfort , you will have to expend more energy in a humid dwelling than in a dry interior.

However, to avoid significant heat loss, wait for the mildest hours to ventilate your home in winter by opening the windows, preferably in the middle of the day.

How much energy can you save by properly ventilating your home?

Ventilating your home by opening the windows allows you to regulate the humidity of the air inside your home at a lower cost. An air that is neither too dry nor too humid being easier to heat or cool , it is a good way to make some energy savings. However, the gains remain modest with this basic aeration method. On the other hand, if you equip your home with a mechanical ventilation system to ventilate your home continuously, the savings made on your energy bills can be substantial:

For example, for a house of 100 square meters built in the center of France, moderately insulated, consuming approximately 1,000 euros including tax of gas per year for heating, the installation of a good CMV can lower this bill to less than 700 euros including tax. Once the cost of the installation work has been amortized, you win all the way: the air is healthier, less humid, you breathe better and you spend less! Note that the power consumption of a VMC is relatively low, provided however to clean it well .

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