For many New Zealander’s, our homes face cold and damp conditions when winter sets in. Whether you’re building new or wanting to protect an existing home, it’s important to consider ways to a healthier drier home this winter. By installing ventilation in your home you can combat a variety of issues that the winter months bring including issues with airtightness in new homes – here’s how ventilation could benefit you.
- It helps prevent mould and mildew
As the weather cools over the winter months, cold damp conditions provide the ideal breeding ground for mould and mildew. These can be causes of common winter illnesses, so it’s important to keep your home as dry as possible – not just for your home’s sake but for your health.
It’s often expected that these issues may arise in older homes throughout New Zealand, but it’s also becoming increasingly more visible in new builds. The Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) found that mould was visible in nearly half (49%) of all properties surveyed in the 2015 House Condition Survey. This figure may rise over the next few years due to the building boom New Zealand is experiencing. Why? Because new homes are significantly more airtight than older homes, which means they’re more likely to trap all that mould and mildew in if there is no ventilation.
- It protects you and your family against dust mites and fungal spores
Suffer from allergies? You’re not alone. Many New Zealander’s allergies arise from the presence of dust mites and fungal spores in their homes. They thrive in warm, humid places so one of the best ways to protect against this type of allergen is to make the home drier. A typical household will produce about 12 litres of water per day from cooking, showering and general living. It’s easy to see how excess moisture builds up easily – and that it takes more than the occasional opening of a few windows to dry a home out.
- It reduces excess water vapour and moisture
Ventilation systems are the most effective way to reduce excess water vapour. They continuously push out the moisture-laden, stale air, replacing it with fresher, drier air. The air is filtered before it enters the home, significantly reducing exposure to dust, pollen, plant spores and other inhaled triggers.
By keeping excess moisture and condensation in a home to a minimum, you can significantly improve the environment for allergy and asthma sufferers in your home. A drier healthier home can relieve their symptoms and reduce the number of sick days’ your family experiences each year.
- It keeps your air quality high
Good ventilation and home heating are essential for maintaining good air quality. In new, well-sealed and insulated homes, this is equally important. When building it’s easy to forget about ventilation amongst all the other decisions you have to make – like curtains, carpet and furniture. It’s easy to forget that mould would be an issue in a new home, but if you think smart when it comes to building you can easily combat these issues – keeping those beautiful interiors mould free.
- You could save on the cost of heating
Installing ventilation in your home can also save you money – particularly in the long run. A damp home is much harder to heat than a dry one, so by keeping your home well ventilated you’ll save on the cost of heating. A damp home can also deteriorate internal furnishings quicker, meaning that interiors like paint and wallpaper may need replacing earlier than usual. Ventilating your home properly removes the excess damp, moisture-filled air and improves the overall air quality inside the house, making it much healthier for you and your family. No one can afford to be sick or spend on unnecessary doctors’ bills, so investing in ventilation will not only keep your home healthier, but your family too.
Continuous ventilation and adequate heating are both needed to reduce excess moisture in homes, according to BRANZ research.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends keeping the indoor temperature of your home above 18 degrees Celsius.
If your home is too cold, normal levels of moisture inside the home will cool and result in condensation – even in homes which are well-ventilated.
You work hard to keep your home healthy by cleaning, dusting and vacuuming. There are even products available to make the air in your home smell fresher. But something that is often overlooked is at the very heart of a healthy home – ventilation with fresh, filtered air.
A DVS Ventilation System costs about 5 cents a day to run and will remove stale, moisture-laden air from your home, replacing it with fresh, filtered air. This significantly reduces problems like crying windows, mould and mildew, which are key triggers for asthma and allergies. Because a dry home is more comfortable and healthier to live in, the DVS makes sense as a practical investment especially for your family’s health.