What Can Natural Ventilation Do for Your Home’s IAQ?

Natural ventilationNatural ventilation utilizes systems you already have — i.e., windows and doors — to help maintain your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ).  One important element of a healthy, comfortable environment is optimum air circulation. It’s a two-step concept: Add fresh air. Flush out stale air.

Natural ventilation can be accomplished without anything more complex than paying attention to outdoor breezes, as well as the way air currents move inside your home. Here are two basic ventilation techniques to take advantage of this effective, no-cost method for keeping your IAQ fresh:

  • The wind tunnel effect. Actual wind tunnels require an entry point and an exit point to create optimum airflow. You can create these conditions inside your house by first determining the prevailing wind outdoors. Open windows on the side of the house facing the oncoming breeze to create an entry point for fresh air. Then open windows on the side that is directly opposite the exit point to exhaust stale indoor air. This cross-ventilation airflow helps cool the house when outdoor temperatures are cool as well as exhausting fumes, indoor humidity, and airborne particulates.
  • The chimney effect. If your home incorporates a fireplace and a chimney, it can do double-duty for ventilation purposes when there’s not a fire in the fireplace. Heated, stale air in a house naturally rises. An open chimney flue provides a path for that rising air volume to escape, creating a zone of lower air pressure inside the house. This pressure differential draws fresh outdoor air into the home through open doors and windows. You’ll have to make sure the chimney damper is open to get this effect; usually a simple matter of looking up the chimney with a flashlight. If the damper’s closed, it can usually be opened by pulling a chain or lever easily accessible from the fireplace.

For more ideas on how to utilize natural ventilation and to keep your indoor air quality fresh, contact the professionals at Paitson Bros. For 98 years, we’ve been the Wabash Valley’s go-to source for home comfort and efficiency.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

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    Ethan enjoys singing and was a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. He also enjoys playing and coaching soccer, spending time with his family and two young boys, and volunteering his time and resources with his church, Terre Haute First Baptist Church, which he has attended from a very young age.
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