In addition to various ways we can help you maximize your indoor air quality with UV lights, air scrubbers and filters, lowering the concentrations of indoor air pollutants can also be done by increasing the amount of outdoor air coming indoors!
Most home heating and cooling systems, including forced air heating systems, do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house. Opening windows and doors, operating window or attic fans, when the weather permits, or running a window air conditioner with the vent control open increases the outdoor ventilation rate. Local bathroom or kitchen fans that exhaust outdoors remove contaminants directly from the room where the fan is located and also increase the outdoor air ventilation rate.
It is particularly important to take as many of these steps as possible while you are involved in short-term activities that can generate high levels of pollutants — for example, painting, paint stripping, heating with kerosene heaters, cooking, or engaging in maintenance and hobby activities such as welding, soldering, or sanding. You might also choose to do some of these activities outdoors, if you can and if weather permits.
Advanced designs of new homes are starting to feature mechanical systems that bring outdoor air into the home. Some of these designs include energy-efficient heat recovery ventilators (also known as air-to-air heat exchangers).
- For more information about whole house ventilation system options, see the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Energy Saver: Whole-House Ventilation.
Ventilation and shading can help control indoor temperatures. Ventilation also helps remove or dilute indoor airborne pollutants coming from indoor sources. This reduces the level of contaminants and improves indoor air quality (IAQ). Carefully evaluate using ventilation to reduce indoor air pollutants where there may be outdoor sources of pollutants, such as smoke or refuse, nearby.
The introduction of outdoor air is one important factor in promoting good air quality. Air may enter a home in several different ways, including through:
- natural ventilation, such as through windows and doors
- mechanical means, such as through outdoor air intakes associated with the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system
- infiltration, a process by which outdoor air flows into the house through openings, joints and cracks in walls, floors and ceilings, and around windows and doors.
Content Source: www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/improving-indoor-air-quality