Ventilating the house: why is it important for health?

Ventilating the house
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This simple gesture allows you to effectively oxygenate spaces, reduce virus transmission, curb allergies and eliminate carbon dioxide generated by household appliances. We tell you how to do it well.

We propose a very simple gesture to improve health at home: open the windows for 15 minutes, at least once a day, and let the air circulate freely through all the rooms, creating a current that purifies the home. This gesture so ingrained in our grandparents is now more relevant than ever since we have to spend many more hours at home than we are used to. For this reason, we detail all the benefits of ventilating the home and we specify the most effective ways to do it.

Oxygen and light to combat dust mitesVentilating the house

House ventilation has many health benefits. On the one hand, we oxygenate the air, reducing dust particles and mites and also eliminating bad odors. Also, ultraviolet rays can act against some household microorganisms, so it is important, whenever possible, to open the windows so that these rays can enter the home. The natural circulation of air, also, allows us to regulate the humidity of the house, especially in areas with very dry weather or during the colder months. This is very important because the use of heaters during these months of the year can over-dry the environment in which we live, and that, as we will see below, can hurt health.

Sick building syndromeVentilating the house

Precisely the heat produced by heating and household appliances is one of the main reasons why it is recommended to ventilate at least once a day. Stoves, ovens, stoves, or fireplaces disperse carbon dioxide, radon, and nitrogen oxide into the environment, and this can lead to headaches, fatigue, or sleeping difficulties for residents.

The World Health Organization uses the concept of Sick Building Syndrome (SEE) to refer to the “group of diseases caused by indoor air pollution”. Among the agents that can cause these diseases, the organization highlights gases and vapors of chemical origin, for example, those that come from cleaning products, artificial perfumes or plastic objects that we have at home. It is also important to note that the more closed space is, the higher the density of gases.

Lack of ventilation: more allergies and more virusesVentilating the house

Experts also associate a lack of ventilation with an increase in allergies, especially at the time of year when they are most present. The reason is that allergy-causing mites, which feed on dead skin cells, become embedded in beds, chairs, or sofas. For this reason, it is recommended that people with a propensity for allergies ventilate the rooms well and regularly clean these surfaces. Of course, to avoid high levels of pollen from the outside, it is recommended that they do so after ten in the morning and that they keep the windows closed for the rest of the day.

Closed environments, on the other hand, also facilitate the transmission of viruses, since they do not spread and can be easily transmitted. However, it is also not advisable to exceed when airing the house, since air currents can lead to colds. Finally, it is necessary to take into account the effect of the lack of humidity on health, which causes the skin and eyes to dry out, impairing the proper functioning of the respiratory mucosa.

Improve the air in our home

The good news is that we can eliminate the most harmful substances and prevent viruses and allergies in our home by airing a minimum of 15 minutes each day. This aeration time can vary according to the number of people living in the home, increasing if there are many inhabitants.

For effective ventilation, it is important to create natural currents inside the home, or what some experts call “ cross ventilation,” which would be opening two windows in two opposite places in the home so that air can circulate faster. During this time of year, it is advisable to ventilate large rooms at noon, while the bedrooms can be ventilated in the morning (to eliminate the humidity produced by breathing at night) or before going to sleep. To regulate humidity, we can use electric humidifiers or ionizers, or bet on the always effective indoor plants. Cacti, bromeliads, English ivy or orchids are some options to renew the air naturally.

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