Your windows do more than serve as architectural decorations. Good and efficient windows also provide gorgeous views of the outside world and facilitate the entry of sunlight into your home but without the harsh glare of the sun. More importantly, windows promote healthy ventilation throughout the living space, keeping day-to-day living comfortable and safe year-round. In this article, the leading casement windows provider in Ohio discusses how the right windows can improve your ventilation at home.
Why Is Ventilation Important?
Good ventilation helps get rid of moisture, smoke, unpleasant odors and indoor pollutants. Without a ventilation system in place, you have no control over the healthy airflow in your living space. Here are some reasons your home needs good and sufficient ventilation are:
- It removes condensation. Many homes experience condensation. It occurs when warm air hits a cold surface and reaches its dew point. It is most noticeable during the winter season due to the large difference in temperature between the interior and exterior of the home. This common issue can lead to mold growth and damp patches on ceilings and walls. It can result in musty smells, damage to components inside the house, and even breathing problems. Having a ventilation system will help dispel unwanted moisture and prevent the formation of condensation.
- It contributes to a healthier living environment. If your home does not have adequate ventilation and the humidity levels are too high, it can provide a breeding ground for dust mites. When their airborne detritus comes into contact with your skin or is inhaled, it can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
- It alleviates symptoms of hay fever. Hay fever is a cause of suffering for many people. An effective ventilation system using double-hung windows and other building openings can filter out allergens, contaminants and other airborne particles and prevent them from being redistributed back into the home. For many people, a constant supply of fresh and cool air can produce a positive impact on their health and wellbeing.
- It reduces the effects of VOCs. Volatile organic compounds or VOCs are invisible gases that can introduce a range of health issues to the residents. They originate from cosmetics, air fresheners, paints, wood preservatives, moth repellents, automotive products and more. According to the Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks, there are up to 900 chemicals lingering in the indoor air, with negative effects being more common in buildings without adequate ventilation.
What Is Passive Ventilation?
Passive ventilation is defined as the process of sending air to and pulling air from an indoor space without the assistance of mechanical devices, such as heat pumps and air conditioners. It utilizes building openings — including windows, doors and vents — to bring cool, fresh air into your home and let moist, stale air escape. The size and placement of the window installation are critical when it comes to guiding air through a home.
How Does Passive Ventilation Work?
According to experts, passive ventilation performs at an optimal level when air has clear, unobstructed pathways through the indoor space. In order to maximize airflow, it is recommended to implement an open plan layout or position high vents or other openings between rooms. Make sure to install operable windows — units that can be closed and opened — and distribute them properly on each side of the house to take full advantage of microclimate breezes.
If your residential place is designed for passive ventilation, it is essential to open and close your windows, doors, or vents as required to significantly reduce the temperature indoors and improve the quality of air you are breathing every single day. When you need cooling, open your windows or other openings installed up high or on upper floors to allow warm air to escape. In the cold, freezing winter months, well-arranged passive ventilation can help revitalize the air indoors without accidentally creating drafts or letting out too much heated air in the process.
What Are the Benefits of Passive Ventilation?
Since passive ventilation does not require the use of electricity, it saves energy and cuts down on harmful emissions. It is also quiet, inexpensive and low maintenance because it does not possess mechanical parts and has no operating costs. After the door and window installation, the only maintenance needed is usually the periodic cleaning of glass and sometimes reapplication of protective coating.
How Can You Improve Indoor Ventilation Using Windows?
The appropriate passive ventilation techniques often depend on the climate and microclimate of the area where your home is located. Even the prevailing breezes affect how you should ventilate your home. As a general rule, the area of windows and doors that can be opened up toward the outdoors should be at least five percent of the total floor area for each room or living space — and more for zones that typically encounter higher levels of moisture and humidity, such as bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms and even living rooms.
Here are other points to consider:
- If you want to encourage cool airflow, you will need to install larger-sized windows that open to the breeze on one side and smaller, higher windows on the opposite side.
- In order for passive ventilation to be truly effective, it is best to ventilate your house for at least 15 minutes at least five times each passing week.
- Your windows, doors and other building openings on opposite sides of your house will help pull air through.
- To allow a cool breeze into your living space from early in the day, open windows in the south and east regions. To keep air moving, open those on the north and west sides.
- Vents and other openings on the upper floors or in the roof are useful when it comes to letting air escape as heat rises.
- Utilize different types of windows to guide air into your home. For example, side-opening windows, like casement windows, do better at catching breezes and drawing them into the house than windows that are hinged on the top and open outward from the bottom.
- If your home has more than one level, be sure to install operable windows and doors on each level. As hot air rises, especially during the summer, tall windows on higher floors can be left open in order to increase ventilation.
- To control dampness issues, establish good cross-ventilation under your suspended floor.
- You can leave the fly screens and security stays installed on windows open at nighttime hours. Doing this when you are out during the day can also help your home stay cool and cozy in the summer.
Contact Us for All Your Replacement Windows and Doors Needs
Breathe new life into your home with a high-quality exterior makeover. Renewal by Andersen® of Cincinnati is a premier source of beautiful and energy-efficient replacement windows and patio doors. We install casement, bay and bow, picture, double hung windows, specialty windows and more. Our top-rated professionals are committed to providing the comfort and efficiency every client needs through industry-leading products and services. Call us today at (513) 283-8981 or fill out our contact form to set up an appointment or request a free, no-obligation estimate. We work with homeowners in and around Cincinnati and Westchester, OH.