How Can Natural Ventilation Affect Your Home’s IAQ?

natural ventilationIf you have a newer home, you may already know that it was built to be airtight in comparison with homes of a few decades ago. While that’s great for your utility bill, if that tighter construction keeps conditioned air in and outdoor air out, it’s not so great for your home’s indoor air quality.

Natural ventilation occurs when outside air leaks through cracks of an older home, helping to keep indoor air quality less polluted. With more minute cracks in the construction of a building, airborne particulates — such as pollen, dust, dust mites, pet dander, and mold — don’t build up in nearly as great a concentration. That means those with allergies to these substances can breathe a bit better.

Using Ventilation

Some homeowners resort to installing ventilation systems in their homes to get better air quality. A balanced ventilation system, where outside air is pushed into the home in equal proportion to indoor air being drawn out, is the best type of system, but it can be expensive to install.

Some homeowners resort to using natural ventilation — that is, opening doors and windows — to improve the IAQ. Some even incorporate natural ventilation systems into the architectural plans when the home is being built.

In our hot, muggy climate, using natural ventilation is a challenge. For one thing, we let humid air inside when we open doors and windows. Humidity makes the home warmer, which is not something we want in the already-warm spring, the hot summer, and the warm fall.

When humidity is less than 60% in Corpus Christi, you can open a door that faces against the prevailing breeze, as well as a window that is in a direct line from it on the opposite side of the house. This can create a wind tunnel that helps draw the breeze through the home. You’re not only cooling the house, you’re also letting out pollution and letting in fresh air. But when humidity rises, it’s usually best to close doors and windows and turn on the air conditioner.

For more on natural ventilation, contact CCAC.

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    David Mathewst David Mathews is the owner of CCAC Air Conditioning and Heating. A Corpus Christi native... More »