Ever since Americans went on guard against Covid-19, there has been a lot more awareness of the danger posed by microbes in our environment. For some people, concerns about their own immune systems give rise to parallel questions about home ventilation. Those are good questions to be asking, and for reasons other than the current global pandemic.
First of all, most reports on the spread of the novel coronavirus suggest that it is carried in comparatively large, non-aerosol droplets, which don’t last in the atmosphere for very long. This isn’t the sort of thing that poses a danger to you in your home unless you’re living with someone who has the virus and they’re coughing or sneezing in your presence.
So coronavirus shouldn’t be a major cause for concern when it comes to home ventilation. That said, different home environments offer environments that could be either hospitable or inhospitable to coronavirus and any number of other microbes.
The virus that’s on everyone’s mind these days can reportedly live for up to three days on certain plastics. But various bacteria can live in carpet for a period of weeks. Proper home ventilation can help to reduce both of those time frames while also making it easier to clear the air of all sorts of microbes whenever you clean your home.
Humidity is the main concern when it comes to shortening the life span of in-house germs. A drier environment is less accommodating to viruses and bacteria. Certain types of whole-home ventilation systems can keep humidity very low. And depending on where they are set up, the benefits can extend beyond the health of your body to improve the lifespan of your entire home.
By keeping low levels of moisture in enclosed areas like crawlspaces, you can prevent wood and fabric from deteriorating, and you can prevent water from seeping into insulation, which would make it less effective. Meanwhile, energy-recovery ventilation systems can add to the function of insulation by transferring heat between the inside and outside, thus reducing energy costs.
This goes to show that proper home ventilation can also be very important to the comfort of the occupants. If it was just about holding down humidity and keeping microbes at bay, ventilation would actually have the opposite effect, since people often aren’t much more comfortable in very dry environments than germs are. But ventilation can also remove allergens, pollutants, and particulate matter in order to make your home’s atmosphere as healthy and comfortable to breathe as it can possibly be.
One thing to keep in mind is that there are multiple different types of home ventilation, with different advantages and draw-backs. Your choice of “proper ventilation” depends in large part on the specific concerns you have for your in-home atmosphere. If you’re interested in finding out which system will best address those concerns, feel free to contact us with your questions.