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Do you get enough fresh, clean air in your home?  If you’re only relying on opening windows every now and again, and natural leakage through your home’s shell, you probably don’t have enough.

Opening windows and counting on air leakage into and out of your home is called “natural ventilation” and isn’t as reliable as you think to bring in adequate amounts of clean air or to exhaust polluted indoor air. 

In today’s homes, highly efficient heating and cooling systems keep our indoor environment comfortable.  Many of us spend 90% or more of our day indoors with the windows closed, especially during extreme weather. Those closed windows give us privacy, security, and noise reduction.  They also keep out dust, pollen and other forms of outdoor pollution. 

What those closed windows also do, however, is trap the indoor air pollution.  Since the windows are kept closed, there is nowhere for it to go. This is the reason indoor air can be up to five times as polluted as outdoor air. 

The main problem with relying on natural ventilation is that of control.  It’s extremely difficult to ensure that a constant supply of clean air is entering your home and that it’s being distributed where you would want it to go, such as the bedrooms. Since wind is constantly changing the amount of air it’s blowing into your home, the amount of fresh air is constantly changing.  On windy days there may actually be too much ventilation, and on calm days there probably won’t be enough. You’re also at the mercy of the wind’s direction to determine where air will come into the house and where it will exit.

And, who knows if the air that is being brought into your home is clean?  All of those things we’re closing our windows against can still make their way in through the cracks.

So if you can’t rely on natural ventilation, what should you rely on to keep your indoor air clean? There are mechanical air cleaners that allow you to have the comfort you like as well as good indoor air quality:

  • Whole-house air cleaners and air purifiers can reduce the amount of particulate matter in your home’s air by as much as 98%. 
  • Germicidal UV lamps eliminate mold and bacteria on the inside of your air conditioning coils and keeps them from being distributed into your home’s air.
September 13, 2013