Our homes are becoming better insulated, which of course is good news for energy consumption, which is steadily decreasing. However, these well-insulated homes also come with a risk: a possible lack of ventilation. In this article, we will explain why ventilating your home is essential.

Why is ventilating your home important?

More and more contractors are providing central ventilation systems in new construction homes yet this is not always done for every room. One example: basements are often a forgotten place when it comes to ventilation. The result: an increase in humidity and an increased risk of condensation (which in turn can cause mold).

Moral of the story: ventilation is important to help prevent moisture problems. In this article, we explain why ventilation can make a huge difference and what ventilation systems you can all have installed - without losing heat.

Four good reasons to ventilate your home

Were you looking for a reason why ventilation is important? We'll give you four important reasons.

Why you have to ventilate

1. Good air quality

Of course, the most obvious benefit of proper ventilation in the home is high air quality. When air circulates effectively, it automatically optimizes the air quality in the home, which is essential for a healthy indoor environment. This prevents the accumulation of too much CO2, which can otherwise lead to symptoms such as headaches, drowsiness and fatigue.

It is highly recommended to ventilate regularly, especially at venues where many people congregate, to ensure a healthy and fresh living environment.

2. Drain moisture from moisture problems

An average person produces about 10 liters of water vapor in a day that increases humidity. This is not little, especially if you share the house with several people! This includes all human and non-human activities such as breathing, showering, washing or cooking. Without proper ventilation, that moisture can do nothing but condense against cold surfaces such as walls or windows. Over time, this can lead to moisture problems such as mold and wetness in the home, with all its consequences.

Ventilating your home is usually the only method to effectively remove these amounts of moisture from a home. Especially in new homes, which in most cases are well insulated and airtight, well thought out ventilation is crucial to prevent moisture problems with condensation and mold. In other words, controlled ventilation must to keep the air clean and healthy.

3. No more musty smell

It is common knowledge that damp, non-ventilated rooms can smell very musty. This is, of course, a normal consequence of the lack of air circulation. In non-ventilated rooms, everything smells less fresh than in ventilated rooms.

4. Allergic? Then ventilation is definitely a must

Those with allergies such as hay fever or asthma know full well that fresh air is extremely important. Poor air quality can intensify asthma and some allergies, as well as cause additional symptoms such as headaches or fatigue.

What happens when you don't ventilate your home (enough)?

Several air quality problems can arise in homes where there is little or no ventilation:

  • Recently installed building boards, building materials and adhesives can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into indoor air (source: Vision on Technology - VITO).
  • Damp air can lead to condensation against cold surfaces (windows, walls). Condensation moisture can further cause mold and it affects painting and plastering.
  • In an unventilated home with high insulation, the air pressure inside is almost never the same as outside. This can also cause the indoor air to become either too dry or too humid, depending on temperature differences.
  • In homes where ventilation is inadequate, it can be challenging to achieve and maintain a comfortable temperature. This affects your energy bills.
  • Finally, an inadequately ventilated home also has a negative impact on the health. Common consequences are:
    • Increased risks of respiratory diseases such as asthma and allergies,
    • Developing respiratory problems
    • Possible adverse effects on the immune system.
    • You may also notice an impact on your sleep and mood, causing you to experience lack of energy and concentration.

So how can you adequately ventilate your home?

Some tips

You can do all sorts of things to properly ventilate your home. We list some of them:

  • Open your windows regularly. We recommend doing this for about 15 minutes daily, even in winter.
  • Preferably cook with lids and dry your laundry outside as much as possible.
  • Also, always turn on your fume hood while cooking.

The ultimate tip: a mechanical ventilation system

A good ventilation system helps automatically control the humidity and air pressure in your home. It uses pressure differences and provides regular ventilation without heat loss:

  • The Belgian ventilation standard for passive houses gives as a guide number an n50 value of 1 if you choose ventilation system D with heat recovery. This is a system with mechanical supply and return. Concretely, this means that the air in the house may be changed once per hour at a pressure difference of 50 Pa (Pascal) between inside and outside.
  • If you work with ventilation system C, where there is a natural supply through window grilles and a mechanical exhaust, the standard prescribes an n50 value of 3. So here you have three air changes per hour.
Mechanical ventilation

If you have ventilation system C, airtightness is very important for proper air circulation. With ventilation system D, airtightness is mainly important for heat recovery efficiency.

Are you suffering from condensation moisture somewhere in Flanders? Or are you facing another moisture problem? Contact Aquaconsult now and our experts will be happy to help you.