Ventilation is the natural way to beat the heat

Ventilate rooms with a fan

Can you feel the temperature rising? With the warmer weather already on our doorstep, beating the heat has come sooner than anticipated. The air conditioner has become a fundamental part of surviving the Australian summer, but what about some of the older homes in the inner west and eastern suburbs of Sydney that are without ducted air con? We are pleased to present a guest post from Jason Wall, a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technician with over 20 years experience in the industry

Unbearable heat, stuffy air, higher energy bills – these are all things we experience throughout the year as things warm up. With summer on the horizon, we can all feel the familiar symptoms of the changing seasons. More people start getting ill as the weather rapidly changes. And whether or not you realise it, your home can feel these symptoms, too. But your solution for a more comfortable environment doesn’t necessarily need to rely on air conditioning equipment all the time; in fact, smart use of Mother Nature’s own ventilation can make an incredible impact on the comfort of your indoor climate control.

The benefits of good ventilation

It should come as no surprise that ventilation is the freshest approach to good indoor air quality. Not only can proper ventilation design and practices reduce the temperature inside your home, it can also:

  • Remove toxins in your indoor air. This includes harmful gasses like radon and carbon monoxide, which can escalate to dangerous levels after extended periods of time without ventilation. It can also remove other sources of indoor pollutants, which can differ depending on the habits of your household and other environmental factors.
  • Reduce the presence of harmful microorganisms, such as bacteria, germs, viruses, fungi, mould spores, and dust mites. It can also reduce dust, pollen, and dander. Removing these harmful substances will prevent allergic reactions and sickness among those in your household.
  • Helps balance indoor humidity. When humidity gets too high, as it often does in summertime, it can promote the growth and spread of microorganisms. When humidity is high enough to create beads of condensation on floorboards and walls, it presents a tremendous mould hazard. Mould can cause ruinous damage to your property and illness among inhabitants.

What are some methods for ventilating?

For some homeowners, ventilating can be as easy as knowing when to open a few windows or some doors to allow some fresh air in. Doing so can make the biggest impact on your temperature in the cooler early mornings and late evenings. This is a particularly useful option for more modern homes, which are typically constructed with proper ventilation and passive solar design more efficiently than older housing. However, it’s important to note that natural ventilation isn’t always ideal considering that it is uncontrolled and doesn’t provide a consistent source for fresh air exchange. Considering that many homes in Australia have ductless air conditioning, it’s crucial to know when to employ fans to force some airflow into and throughout your home. This is especially true for storage areas, basements, and attics, which frequently lack operable windows. In a ductless home, these can be problem areas. For these purposes, a dehumidifier might be called for. Coating surfaces in such areas with waterproof paint can be another useful precaution in preventing the growth of mould.

By recognising the benefits of ventilation with these practices, you’ll easily enjoy up to several degrees lower temperatures during every day of this upcoming summer without taxing your budget – or the environment.