The benefits of home ventilation are many and varied and will go a long way to helping reduce condensation as well as disperse VOCs (volatile organic compounds found in many floor coverings, furniture, toys etc) and smells etc.
In the past ventilation wasn’t such an issue due primarily to the fact that homes were pretty ‘leaky’ by which I mean they had lots of gaps around doors, windows and services. These gaps allowed fresh air to come into the house and ventilate it.
Now however with the cost of heating going through the roof and all the emphasis on creating an eco-home we all want to make out homes air-tight and keep the heat in for as long as possible. And while on the face of it that all sound good, after all who doesn’t want a warmer and less draughty house? It can actually create other problems such as mould growth, condensation, even rot.
But first things first, it’s important to understand what condensation is and why adequate ventilation is essential to the health of you, your family and your home.
What is condensation?
Condensation in it’s simplest form is where water vapour in the air comes into contact with a cool surface and condenses to form water droplets. I go into a little more detail in this article on condensation, but suffice to say condensation is a bad thing and you don’t really want it in your home if at all possible.
What do I mean by ventilation?
This is where it can get confusing. When I talk about ventilation I mean a steady and constant supply of fresh air into your home to replace the stale air already in your home.
In modern households the air can be full of VOCs, water vapour and cooking smells etc.
Fresh air from outside comes into your home by various routes and as it does so some of the stale air has to leave. Picture a bucket full to the brim with blue liquid. then imagine pouring clear water into the bucket. The clear water displaces and dilutes the blue water as you pour it in. We know this because the blue colour gets less and less until eventually it becomes clear.
The ventilation in your home works on the same basis. The more ventilation you have the less pollutants, smells and water vapour there is to cause condensation, mould and smells etc.