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In The winter, Should You Ventilate Your House?

In The winter, Should You Ventilate Your House?

Despite the cold outside, your home’s air feels stuffy. Your common sense tells you that the stagnant air is probably not good for your health, but if you try to let some of that cool winter air inside, your energy bill can go up. In the winter, should you ventilate your house?

Winter air ventilation is essential, particularly when we tend to isolate ourselves indoors to avoid the cold. The following are some crucial justifications for ventilating your home in the winter:

  • Pollutants are stirred up by forced air furnaces.
  • The majority of houses are just designed to allow in fresh air through doors and windows.
  • Mold and mildew are encouraged to thrive in poorly aerated spaces.

Pollutants Are Activated By Forced Air Furnaces

If you have any furry friends in your home, your standard HVAC system’s forced warm air will inevitably mix up dust and other allergies like pet dander or hair. You risk becoming ill if you breathe this kind of substance without enough ventilation. The most frequent air allergen is dust mites, and most people are sensitive to a lot of dust.

Eliminating them without employing harsh chemicals, which could further deteriorate the air quality in your house, is one strategy to combat these pollutants. Regular vacuuming will greatly enhance the quality of the air in your home, as will proper ventilation.

To reduce airborne allergens if you have pets, keep them well-groomed and make sure their bedding and favorite spots are cleaned periodically.

Most Houses Are Only Designed To Let In Fresh Air Through Doors And Windows

Few modern homes are built with the intention of letting fresh air inside, even though many have venting systems to remove air from your home. Consider the vent over your oven or the one in the bathroom. These vents’ sole purpose in design is to remove air. True, they might move a little air, but breathing and health depend on fresh airflow. Sometimes, the only practical way to let fresh air into your home is through windows and doors.

In actuality, the amount of air pollutants, including viruses, in your interior air is decreased by outdoor air. In particular during a pandemic, the EPA strongly advises that you let fresh air circulate throughout your home.

Poorly Ventilated Areas Encourage The Growth Of Mold And Mildew

Anywhere there is moisture, mold can grow. In the winter, when your house is sealed off from the outside world, mold and mildew have a chance to grow. Every surface in your home is susceptible to mold growth because it may grow almost anyplace.

Mold spores can irritate someone’s respiratory system when they discharge into the air. Keep your home clean and well-ventilated to prevent the growth of mold and mildew since mold has the potential to make you very ill. To prevent chemical buildup throughout the winter, use as many natural items as you can, and ventilate frequently.

What Effects Does Poor Ventilation Have?

Poor indoor air quality might cause instant reactions in certain persons. Sneezing, itchy eyes, coughing, breathing issues, lightheadedness, or exhaustion. These kinds of impacts may become apparent in some people with prolonged exposure. People who have respiratory conditions like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are more likely to experience these reactions, which range in severity from moderate to severe (COPD).

Prolonged exposure to poor indoor air quality can result in respiratory ailments. If left untreated over a long enough period of time, heart disease or cancer may develop and prove fatal. Additionally, it has been reported that high temperatures and humidity can increase indoor air pollutants, which is another another justification for why it is so crucial to ventilate in the winter when more indoor air temperatures are kept high to combat the outside cold.

What Ventilation Methods Prevent Heat Loss?

There are numerous ways to ventilate without losing heat. In exceptionally cold climates, opening your windows and doors won’t be an option without having a significant influence on your energy expenditures.

You might want to take into account an energy recovery (ERV) or heat recovery ventilator if you reside in an area with exceptionally cold, protracted winters (HRV). The most energy-efficient mechanical solution for your home is this one, even if installation costs can be high. A heat exchanger is used by energy or heat recovery ventilators to reheat the air entering your home, making it warm and fresh. There are smaller window units available that can supply fresh air on a much smaller scale than putting an ERV or HRV in your HVAC system. To find out how to ventilate your home most effectively for the climate where you live, speak with a local HVAC expert.

A balanced ventilation system, which works to draw air into and out of your home, is another choice, but it has the potential to be less energy efficient and does nothing to warm your home. In a region with moderate winters, this choice might be great.

Although most air purifiers are better at removing air pollutants than in lowering moisture concentration in the air, in-home air cleaners should still be taken into consideration.

How Can You Naturally Ventilate A House?

If spending money on possibly pricey technology is out of the question, think about the most fundamental suggestion: opening your windows. If your winters are chilly, try slightly opening the windows in each room for a short while on a regular basis to reduce high energy costs.

For instance, you may leave the window slightly ajar for 30 minutes each day. Even a crack this small is effective at drawing airborne contaminants out of your home and letting in fresh air.

Make sure to add ceiling fans in every area as well, preferably with a winter and summer setting. Running a ceiling fan in “winter” mode circulates the air without blowing cool air directly down onto the occupants of the space.

Can I Ventilate A Room Without Windows?

So how would you exhaust a space devoid of windows? A windowless room can be challenging to ventilate, but it is not impossible.

To prevent the air from becoming stale, if the room has a ceiling fan, keep it running as often as you can. If there are any rooms with windows close by, open them while leaving the door to the room without windows ajar so that it can get some fresh air. Simple box or standing fans can aid with air circulation. Also take into account an air purifier that removes airborne impurities.


For healthy air quality, your home has to be properly ventilated during the winter. Stalling air can exacerbate allergies, respiratory problems, and promote the formation of mold and mildew. Even if your only option for ventilation is through windows, keep an eye out for poor air quality. Your family’s health may be at stake.

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Written by HVAC Contributor

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