Efficient ventilation is good for the structure of any home, but most of all for the health of those living in it. Here’s how to tell if your home is properly ventilated.
The importance of air quality in our homes is often overlooked in favor of the space being warm enough (or cool enough) for those in it. Proper ventilation plays a key role in both the temperature and the health and well-being of a home’s occupants, so it should be among every homeowner’s top priorities. Let’s learn the warning signs of poor ventilation and what can be done to improve it.
The signs of insufficient home ventilation
Properties are valuable, but people come first. The American Lung Association highlights how good ventilation stops many dangerous issues from developing. From mold and mildew, which damages people and structures, to carbon dioxide and carcinogens like radon, vents allow air in and out, and they promote circulation that’s vital to protecting our health.
The simple sight of mold or mildew could mean the problem has already gone too far, so it’s best to look for early potential signs. If any area of your home has water damage or a leak, it’s at risk of becoming a breeding ground for mold spores. Humid areas of a home can lead to the same thing, since humidity causes condensation and moisture to build up.
Residents may find their eyes or breathing affected if ventilation is poor. Headaches, sneezing, and noticeable odor are also common signs of unclean air possibly affected by common household combustible items like fireplaces or stoves. Homeowners should pay special attention to how they feel indoors, since a major factor in poor ventilation – carbon monoxide – is without color or odor. Only its effects give it away.
The different types of home ventilation available
Ventilation falls under three broad categories: Natural, Whole-house (sometimes called Dilution) and Spot. Natural ventilation comes from the simple opening of doors and windows, allowing air to circulate. Whole-house ventilation requires ducts and fans around the entirety of the home working on an intake/exhaust basis to pump new, fresh air into a home while expelling the old, stale air.
Whole-house ventilation also helps limit or remove airborne particulates – extremely small particles such as dust or smoke that can seriously damage our health.
Spot vents are also ducts and fans focused on one key area of a home. They may be found in rooms with higher moisture levels, such as a bathroom or kitchen. Spot fans can be found in the hoods of stoves, for example, as a means of quickly dispelling any moisture or smoke.
Vents and fans deal with a lot of dirt, dust, pollen, and other pollutants, so it’s important to keep them cleaned so they operate well.
The importance of ventilation in your roof
All these ventilation problems often start from the top down, meaning your roof is a make-or-break spot. Attics can be the perfect place for health and structural problems to take root, since they are out of sight and rarely visited by most homeowners, making it all too easy for mold, mildew or rot to grow.
Without proper venting, summer heat can get trapped in an attic and start to erode a home, not to mention how that built-up heat increases utility bills. In winter, all the extra warmth caused by the increased need for heat – alongside everyday heat producers like washers, dryers and showers – contributes to more moisture buildup. All that extra moisture will rise and settle in the attic.
Proper roof ventilation creates a healthy air balance via soffit/under-eave vents coupled with either roof, gable or ridge vents. Exterior wind blowing across the roof ridge creates negative pressure that removes warm air from attic vents while replacement air enters. This not only provides a drier, cooler attic space but also tackles all the structural damage and health risks homeowners would otherwise be facing.
Well-installed vents work year-round without any extra energy costs for their operation – a great investment, because they can save homeowners a bundle on other energy costs thanks to their regulating effects on a home’s temperature.
Blue Nail’s roof venting expertise (and some more resources)
Venting is one of the many services we offer. Our whole business was founded on a deep concern for the health of the family inside the home. Blue Nail is here to give you the benefits of our expertise through a free consultation that will let you know if you have any ventilation problems and what you can do to repair them.
We also recommend visiting the Home Ventilation Institute for more information and resources on the venting process, the programs underway, and products certified safe for your home.
Working with Blue Nail Roofing means coming home to craftsmanship. From first call to final inspection, we’re with you every step of the way to ensure you benefit from our experience. For more information or a free consultation, drop by our contact page or call 973-937-8876.