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What is the difference between ventilating and aerating?

The sheer fact of living and cooking in any given home means there is a build-up of all kinds of pollutants in the indoor air. This may cause headaches, irritation of the eyes, nose or throat or even allergies.

To maintain healthy indoor living conditions, it is important that the indoor air is refreshed. The way to do so is by ventilating or by aerating. However, there is a difference between the two:

  • Ventilating = continuously refreshing the air inside your home (day and night)
  • Aerating = briefly (20 minutes up to half an hour) letting in a large amount of air by opening the doors and windows. The fresh air flows into the home through the dry rooms (bedroom, living room) and leaves the house via the wet rooms (bathroom, kitchen). Creating this kind of air flow will see the air that is evacuated carry off the harmful substances and moisture in the air, And replacing it with oxygen-rich air.

How to ventilate?

The first requirement for a healthy indoor climate is to ventilate to make sure we get a continuous supply of oxygen-rich air. Ventilation can be made to occur either by way of grilles in the walls or the doors and windows or by way of a ventilation system.

These systems draw fresh air into the dry rooms of the home, such as the living room, the bedroom or the office. Via the hallway and the stairwell, this fresh air subsequently flows to the wet rooms (bathroom, kitchen). There it is evacuated via a ventilation shaft or a ventilator, taking out harmful substances and moisture.

For a healthy indoor climate, specialists recommend for the air inside the home
to be refreshed once every hour by way of ventilation.

Extra aerating

In some cases, a permanent fresh air supply is not enough. This may be the case:

  1. if there are a lot of people inside the house;
  2. after you have showered or taken a bath;
  3. after a night’s (or day’s) sleep;
  4. or during and after you have used paint, glue or other products that give off harmful substances.

In such cases, it is advisable to do some extra aerating, for instance by switching the mechanical ventilation up a notch or two, or by throwing the doors and windows wide open for a while.

What about homes that do not have a ventilation system?

Old houses usually do not have a ventilation system. In those cases, it is advisable to get a basic level of ventilation going by aerating the place on a continuous basis. This means leaving a window ajar or in the tilt position, both at night and during the day. A window stopper will prevent the window from pulling open and slamming shut.

Another solution is to put up ventilation grilles in the windows or to have them fitted in the exterior walls. These grilles are a lot more burglar-proof than open windows.

Source :

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