Tips For Improving Air Circulation In A House
The golden rule for all home ventilation is ‘airflow’. With the right amount of it, you can have an ‘out with the old, in with the new’ airflow going on at all times, which will have untold benefits in terms of personal health, bodily coolness, sound sleep and lessening the risk of mold developing in the various nooks and crannies of your house’s internal structure. Here are some insights into this; feel free to circulate it among friends, family, co-workers, or heirs!
1. Open up
In sultry summer months, you ought to open up a few strategic windows downstairs, and just one window upstairs. This will create something known as a ‘stack effect’ or ‘chimney effect’, in which airflow is forced to become more comprehensive and dynamic as it spirals upwards throughout your house and increases the amount of net airflow. In woeful winter months, you should open a few windows for a quarter of an hour, even when it’s literally freezing outside. This will have a dramatic effect on airflow, keeping things from getting unhealthily musty indoors.
2. Plants In
Houseplants are very useful things; they serve as natural air filters, suck up toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene, and improve not only the movement but quality of the air you inhale when indoors. Spider plants, peace lilies, and red-edged dracaena are just some of the plants which are potentially beneficial for your health, so let them in and give them a chance.
If you’re not a fan of fan you should be; their sole existence is to improve air circulation within a building. Ceiling fans are useful, for instance, because they prevent warm air from settling and increase convection, thus keeping the airflow moving. They’re particularly useful in times of moderate weather and will help you not to have to run your air conditioner quite as much, saving money and sparing the planet. Box fans are also great because they can be placed strategically near a window to expel warm air from a house, or by an open door to a basement, to channel cooler air up into the upper levels of the house.
4. A Fan & AC Combo
This may seem to contradict the advice given above but is really meant just as another option. If you set your AC to roughly the same temperature as it is outside, setting the thermostat accordingly and have a fan on at the same time, this double act will combine to lower a house’s temperature by about 4 degrees! This is due to the extent to which your AC will do a good job of getting cooler air into your house, but your fan has a much better ability to circulate the air upwards and outwards, disrupting the tendency for cold air to sink to the bottom of a room, or bottom of a house.
5. Exhaust Fans
Exhaust fans are invaluable in your kitchen and bathroom, two areas which are often being artificially heated up to a great extent, which can cause all kinds of problems such as rising damp, ingrained mold, not to mention smell and humidity (humidifier) which can be alleviated through exhaust fans being used regularly. While window fans tend to suck cooler air into your house, exhaust fans draw moisture indoors air out into the open air. They thereby reduce contaminants and let you cook or shower with more confidence.
As mentioned, a fan can be used in conjunction with your AC to great effect. If you don’t have a box fan use a pedestal fan instead, placing it strategically next to the AC’s vent, with its head tilted floor-ward so as to disrupt the convection cycle and create a powerful wind chill effect. You can also create a wind-chill effect by combining multiple fans in a larger home. Window fans can be particularly useful because they have a twin fan structure whereby one blade is expelling old air while a second is introducing fresher outdoor air. You need not turn your AC up to a high temperature but simply persevere with strategically placed box fans, pedestal fans, window fans, and an AC which is set at the current outdoor temperature.
During extremely hot times of the year, you can even create your own ‘swamp cooler’ by placing a bowl of ice in front of a fan; or an ice pack, bag of frozen peas, or bottle or two of frozen water. This will have a surprisingly big impact on the surrounding air temperature and will continuously disrupt the convection cycle. Keeping shades down in the day and opening up just one window upstairs and two downstairs can exacerbate this by forcing the convection cycle into new and innovative ways. You have to generate airflow and have to keep the air circulating if you want to enjoy the benefits of cleaner, cooler, healthier, moisture-expelling air.