A Guide to Cool, Clean Air
By Shanuka Kadupitiyage
As September is drawing nearer to its end, the climate has started to cool down, a welcome respite of the heat experienced in July and August. However, just because the air is cooler, doesn’t make it any better. Windows and doors closed to prevent the rains from coming inside, the quality of the indoor air we breathe is something that should be given attention to.
Regardless if you’re living in your dream home already or still working to make it a reality, it’s important to understand how to ensure there is cool, clean air to breathe in your home at all times. Here are some tips to get you started.
Ventilation is key
Regardless of what time of day it is or what climate you live in, ventilation is crucial to make sure the air you breathe is healthy and has minimal pollutants. Not having proper ventilation means that air stagnates indoors and harmful gases such as carbon dioxide gather inside. It also will result in the thermal comfort of the indoor space being lost, meaning that you will have to spend more money on keeping the temperatures at a more comfortable level.
There are a bunch of simple actions that can be taken to ensure good ventilation in your home or indoor space.
If you are planning to build your dream home, then do the necessary research and make sure some windows are placed to take advantage of the natural breeze that blows in your area. Air must enter through one window, circulate through indoor space and somehow escape through another window to provide the best airflow inside.
If you plan your garden well, you could even use your plants to funnel the air into your windows as well. There should be enough openings to ensure multiple wind-flow paths to provide the best ventilation.
If you’ve already built your dream home and want some extra ventilation, placing a standing fan, facing the window, and blowing air outside can often be more than enough to get some airflow going. Regardless of the fan, make sure that you have as much time as possible with the windows open (except windows that open up to the main roads, which would worsen the air quality when opened).
Tall ceilings, big open spaces
Naturally, tall ceilings let the warm air rise to the top while cool air sits at the bottom, making the area closer to the ground much cooler. Tall ceilings and big open spaces indoors promote better airflow as well, increasing the thermal comfort.
Cooking vents or chimneys are great
The kitchen is the source of many indoor air pollutants. So making sure some vents take those harmful gases away is important to ensure the best indoor air quality. If you don’t have a cooking vent or chimney, then make sure a window is open and let the gases escape outside.
The heat will also escape alongside the gases, which would ensure great thermal comfort in the kitchen while cooking as well.
Clean your A/C
Air conditioners are very useful and if you are using one in your home, make sure it’s well maintained and the filters are cleaned regularly. Make sure you replace the filter at the proper time as well.
Invest in an air purifier
If you have some extra cash, why not invest in an air purifier? With a clean home and clean air filters for your a/c, these nifty little gadgets can indeed take away most of the pollutants, allergens, and other nasty stuff in the air.
Of course, all the purifiers in the world are meaningless if you don’t follow proper hygiene habits in your home.
Contrary to what many articles may say, indoor plants have little effect on the air quality in your home according to a 2019 article from National Geographic. The article is about a study conducted by scientists on whether houseplants have any effect in removing the toxins in the air.
Results showed that while they did remove some toxins in the air, it was minuscule and had hardly any effect on the indoor air quality.
Regardless of their effect on improving the air quality, having an indoor plant is an effective way to reduce stress and bring an aesthetic taste to a living space. Also, while they might not suck away toxins at a rate that we thought, they are very effective in balancing the indoor humidity and temperature to comfortable levels and are still worth having indoors.
What ideas might you have in ensuring better quality air and more comfortable indoor temperatures?
The internet has a lot more advice to help you and with good research and reading from reputed sources, you can figure out the best ways to have cool, clean air in your home all year round.