Ventilate your home to keep the air fresh and dry.
A well-ventilated home is a healthier one. Everything we do in our homes affects the air quality, whether it’s using the heater, cleaning the kitchen, lighting a candle or even breathing. Pollutants and moisture can build up quickly in enclosed spaces, aggravating allergies and asthma, encouraging the growth of mould and mildew, and making your home more difficult to heat.
The most obvious signs of poor ventilation are condensation on the inside of your windows or an unpleasant musty odour. In extreme cases, you’ll be able to see mould, mildew and damp stains on the walls and ceilings.
There are a number of ways to improve your ventilation and thankfully, it’s quite simple. It’s all about allowing old air out and fresh air in.
Appliances should directly transfer moisture outside your home rather than send it somewhere else inside. In the kitchen, ensure you have a rangehood above your cooktop. In the laundry room, make sure your clothes dryer is ducted outside as non-ducted clothes dryers can pump at least five litres of water into your home per load of washing. If your dryer cannot be ducted outside, your best bet is to open a window or external door in your laundry to help create as much airflow as possible.
The bathroom is your home’s biggest producer of moisture, and an extractor fan ducted to the outside of your house is absolutely essential. To make these most effective, start them just before you turn on the shower and leave them running for a few minutes after you’re done. As an alternative, you can contain the steam produced by showering with a shower dome, an easy-to-install solution that prevents steam from escaping your shower enclosure.
Opening a window is the easiest and cheapest way to increase airflow in your home. Be aware that this may not always be a complete solution as the air might not always go where it needs to. To get the best results, you should open up multiple windows on different sides of the house so air can properly circulate.
By keeping your window slightly ajar overnight (a finger’s width should be enough), you can prevent excessive moisture, even in winter. Attaching security stays to your joinery will allow you to ventilate your space without compromising on security.
Ventilation systems work by extracting air from either outside the home or from your home’s ceiling space, passing it through a filter and then distributing it around the home. Home Ventilation Systems often come in kits and include all the equipment you need to install yourself. A good quality system should incorporate multiple temperature and humidity sensors throughout the home, the roof cavity and outside. If your home has a heat transfer system or you’re looking into installing one, you may be able to add additional components so it doubles as a ventilation system when not being used for heating.
We have a great range of heat transfer and home ventilation systems to help you keep your home well ventilated and warm. There are options for homes or all sizes.
Check out our Easy As guide on how to install a heat transfer system yourself.
You need to make sure that windows are openable, and that every habitable part of the property has at least one openable window and/or door being the equivalent size of at least 5% of the floor area. It must be able to be left open while the premises are occupied. Rental homes must have openable windows in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms.
Kitchens and bathrooms must have extractor fans vented to the outside.
If you have an existing fan (put in before 1 July 2019), you must ventilate to the outside of the house. It must be in good working order, but they don’t have to meet the requirements listed above. When they stop working, they must be repaired to be in good working order or replaced with fans which do meet all the requirements.
Ventilating your home is the third crucial factor (after insulation and heating) in maintaining a healthy home, it helps prevent mould, condensation and dampness. While draughts create ventilation, they are often uncomfortable and prevent effective heating when required, so it's important to have the right ventilation in your home.
By regularly ventilating your home you help remove moisture, humidity, condensation and stagnant air. It's as easy as opening windows and doors, wiping away mould and condensation, and using devices like extractor fans and ventilation systems.