The freshness of indoor air is essential, especially during winter when we seal up the house to prevent cold air from entering the interior. Bad air is a problem that can be more prevalent in apartments and condos, compared to in houses. In apartments, there’s only one side of the place that comes in contact directly with the open air. When we open the front door, we only find a corridor, that’s still essentially an indoor area. The problem can become worse during winter months. We may not be able to open the windows or sliding door, even if we want to; because the glass could freeze. Humidity and poor circulation could concentrate the amount of pollutants inside the house during winter. During winter, we could simply open the windows and turn on the house fans to dilute the indoor air with fresh air.
When the condition is bad enough, occupants could intentionally open the windows and doors to increase the indoor air quality. They may do this for a few hours during the day, when the sky is likely clear and it isn’t snowy. However, this may not be the greenest method, because when we finally close the house, we need to crank up the heating to maximum and it equals to much higher heating bills. Regardless of what we do, we need to remove stale air and let fresh air to come into our house. Pollutants inside the house may come from different sources and some of them are quite obvious. As an example, cigarette smoke, house cleaner chemicals, firewood and others could pollute the indoor air. Pressed wood furnishings, asbestos insulation and dampness could become the source of pollutants.
There are options we can do to improve the indoor air in our house. In general, we should make sure that the air carries enough oxygen and it is pure enough. There are air refreshers machines that filter the indoor air, by trapping particulates and contaminants. However, we should be able to choose free ways to solve a problem. It is a good idea to replace windows that won’t freeze and can still be opened during the coldest winter days. During a clear day and at high noon; we could open windows at one side of the house and other set of windows at the opposite site of the house. We may use house fan to draw in fresh air from one side of the house and another house fans to blow the indoor air at the other side of the house.
We should add exhaust fan in the bathroom and the kitchen. The cover for the outlet should open and close automatically, when we turn off or on the fan. We may install small, insulated fan that lets the outdoor air in, however it may need to be pre-heated before entering the interior of the house. To save energy cost, we could turn on the fan when the temperature is the highest during the day, even if it is still below zero. These fans will not only remove excess humidity, but also any kind of contaminant. Other than removing contaminants and bringing in fresh air, we often want to make the indoor air smells nice. However, it often means that we use air fresheners, which are actually pollutants. This will make the indoor air less healthy.