Creating a Safe and Healthy Home Step 7: Ventilate

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What is Ventilation? 

Square bathroom exhaust ventilation fan on white background isolated with clipping path. Plastic with shine silver like finishing.

Ventilation means bringing fresh air into the house from outdoors and getting rid of stale, possibly polluted, indoor air. During periods of the year when outdoor temperatures are moderate, providing ventilation is easy. We can simply open windows to let fresh air in and stale air out. But during cold winter months, we heat the air in our homes to stay warm, and during hot summer months, we cool the air in our homes. So, opening windows to provide ventilation is not a good strategy for several months of each year. During times of excessive temperature difference between indoors and outdoors, we need to depend on mechanical ventilation as a way to get fresh air into our homes and stale air out.

Why Ventilation is Important

Pollutants in the air inside buildings, including homes, are ten to one hundred times higher than in outdoor air. While the best method for reducing pollutant levels in your home is to control the source of the pollutant, proper ventilation is also important. Proper ventilation can reduce concentrations of the following indoor contaminants:

For more information about home ventilation, see DOE’s Guide to Home Ventilation.


Written By

Sarah Kirby, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDr. Sarah KirbyState Program Leader for Family & Consumer Sciences & Professor Call Dr. Sarah E-mail Dr. Sarah Agricultural & Human Sciences
NC State Extension, NC State University
Updated on Jun 24, 2019
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