Think about it: most of the houses built in the past were more open, so air circulation wasn’t much of a problem. Air could freely move through the gaps, cracks, and holes in older houses, unlike in today’s heavily insulated homes.

Another factor that has drawn more focus to the issue of air circulation is that materials that were used to build houses a hundred years ago didn’t usually result in the off-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These include formaldehyde, flame retardants, and other chemicals – typical of today’s materials. A study cited by Healthline concluded that paint fumes with VOC called propylene glycol and glycol ethers can lead to or worsen allergic reactions like asthma, eczema, and rhinitis.

Not only that, poorly ventilated homes are at a high risk of attracting mold. When moisture gets trapped inside your house it condensates on your walls and on hard surfaces – providing fertile ground for mold to grow. A post on HomeServe by Andy Floyd about getting rid of mold lists the negative impacts that the fungi can have on your health. These include skin rashes, irritation of the eyes, nose, and ears, and increased risk of respiratory problems like asthma.

More importantly, studies cited at Discover Magazine highlights how poor indoor air quality can negatively impact your decision making, cognition, and even your child’s academic performance.

Thankfully, improving air circulation does not have to break the bank. Here are some of the things you can do to enhance your indoor airflow.

Improving your home’s air circulation

coastal living room
coastal living room

1. Open windows

This is the most simple and obvious way to let air in and out of your home – yet people tend to keep their windows closed even when the weather is good. Letting the breeze come into your home allows the refreshing natural air to regulate dampness and humidity. Make sure, however, to close them when it’s humid outside, as this humidity can contribute to increasing dampness in your home.

2. Regularly check vents and exhausts

Your HVAC isn’t an install-and-forget system. It needs regular checks, as pollutants can accumulate in ducts and can impede efficient airflow. If you suspect that your ducts are clogged and are slowing your airflow, have them checked and cleaned immediately.

3. Add a ceiling fan

Another simple solution for better air circulation in your home is installing a ceiling fan. Hunter ceiling fans come in a wide range of styles and prices depending on your home’s needs. These ceiling fans are an energy-efficient way of aiding your HVAC system in combating heat and facilitating airflow. Be sure to turn your fans clockwise in the winter and counter clockwise in the summer for the most efficient airflow.

4. Replace air filters when necessary

Your air filters at home require changing at certain intervals. Like your exhausts and registers, it can also get blocked and impede good air circulation. When buying air filters, be sure to check the MERV rating or the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rating. A medium-efficiency filter with a MERV rating of 8 to 13 can clean almost anything inside a typical home. Air filtration systems at a higher range need to be built into your HVAC system and are generally used in hospitals and commercial spaces.

5. Mind the attic

Homes typically have vents throughout all the rooms, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. What’s not often considered, however, are attics. The lack of an attic vent can cause stagnant air to become trapped and affect the entire house. An attic fan can also help improve circulation and prevent dampness and mold.

It's the simplest of things that maintain our well being like the quality of air in our home. Simple habits can dramatically make the air inside your home fresher, cleaner, and a little easier to breathe.

Specially written for By: Aria Quinn

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