Have you ever been into somebody’s home, which stinks of dog, pets, or an overall stale body smell? There’s nothing worse than walking into a smelly home, and we all pray that our homes don’t smell like that. So, what are these people doing wrong to make their house smell so fusty and grotty, and what can we do to make our house smell fresh and sparkling clean? This post will give you some top tips on how to air out a house in the winter without losing all the heat!
There can be many reasons we want to increase the airflow in our homes:
- Moving into a new home.
- Maybe the house is lived in by an elderly person and needs freshening up.
- Perhaps the house smells of mold.
- Perhaps you’ve had a gas leak.
- Maybe you’ve burnt some cookies.
- Maybe you’ve had a fire damage.
There are all sorts of reasons we need to ventilate and air out a house in the winter.
Maybe you’re just the type of person like me, who likes to have fresh, outdoor air in the home every day, even in December! Anyone who knows me knows that I prefer having a home that smells of nothing but fresh air to a house smelling of cleaning products, strong chemicals, and stale air.
It’s easy to change the air in your rooms when it’s warmer weather between March and September, but how do we air them out in the winter months when it’s cold, and should we open windows when the heating is on?
The question I get asked in my Facebook group is, “should you open your windows when the heating is on?” It’s a tricky question as we all love to have a warm house, but do we really want all that heat to escape through the windows?
How to air out a smelly house in the winter.
I used to open one window and leave it open all day long, hoping it would change the air. I ended up with a freezing cold house and not much airflow. There was no fresh air because I’d close the door to stop the cold air from spreading, so the air wasn’t moving, there wasn’t any fresh air in the house, and the atmosphere remained stagnant. All I was doing was losing heat and wasting energy rather than changing the air quality.
When airing out a house, we need to open windows to create a through-draught to make as much airflow as possible and exchange the outside air with the inside air in the shortest time possible.
I needed to know how to pull air through the house and get rid of any smells out of the house without losing heat and energy.
Consider what happens when you open the front, back, and internal doors. the doors slam ferociously because you’re causing a massive through draught. You’re forcing the air to move through your house at high speed, and that’s exactly what I needed to recreate with my windows.
How to ventilate a room
Time needed: 3 minutes
How to circulate air in a house
- Open all the windows
Open every window and door upstairs in your home to allow a steady stream of air to circulate. Wait until every member of your family has showered to ensure that the humidity can leave. It’s beneficial to do this in the morning because it changes the air from the night before and removes any damp atmosphere from people having showers in the morning. My whole family likes to shower first thing in the morning, and the bathroom is often humid. Windows are always steamy.
Opening the windows will allow the dampness to disappear, shower curtains to dry, windows to dry, preventing the house from becoming moldy.
If you feel you’ve got mold in your home, read this post to learn how to get rid of it.
- Set a timer
Set a timer for three minutes and leave the air to circulate. This is how to circulate airflow to one room without losing too much heat.
I flung all of my windows wide open and set my timer for three minutes. I couldn’t believe the amount of air that swept through the house in such a short period. It felt so fresh and invigorating.
- Close all the windows
After three minutes, close all the windows. We do not want to lose any more heat. You have changed the air, freshened the rooms, and got rid of any moisture in the air. It is now time to close the windows.
- Repeat steps 1-3
Repeat steps 1-3 a couple of times a day and once before going to bed for fresh house air circulation. This three-minute trick a couple of times a day will make a difference to your home’s freshness.
Try starting with the upstairs windows, then once you’ve mastered that, try opening all the windows in the house for a few minutes and see what a difference it makes. Make sure you don’t open the downstairs windows unless you are staying downstairs. You don’t want burglars to come in through an open window.
The benefits of opening your windows and changing the air.
- Helps to stop black mold from growing and spreading . In the winter, a low temperature attracts more humidity within the house. This can cause black mold to grow in bathrooms, walls, and window frames. Black mold can be hazardous to people with respiratory problems, allergies, or asthma. Black mold can also affect the immune system, making existing skin problems such as eczema worse. It can cause sneezing, runny noses, red eyes, and skin rashes, so you want to minimize the likelihood of black mold in your home. If you think you have a problem with black mold that you cannot control, call out the professionals. You can read more about the dangers of black mold here. Mold doesn’t grow where there is free-flowing dry air. Moud prefers damp environments which are the perfect breeding ground for the spores. Keep the air circulating several times a day, especially after showers, baths, and cooking, to help your home stay mold-free.
- Ventilation gets rid of condensation and reduces humidity because cold air holds less water and takes up extra moisture from inside your house.
- You feel invigorated When you have fresh air in the home, you feel less sluggish, and it makes you want to get up and do more.
- Your home smells fresh. Having cleaner air prevents the house from smelling musty and damp.
- You save money. Because you do not need to buy lots of cleaning products to keep your home smelling fresh, so you save money in the long run. People often ask me how to clean the air in my home naturally, and I tell them that you shouldn’t use air fresheners, smelly candles, and wax melts to make your home smell better, as it is bad for the environment . Fresh air smells so much better than any other product that you can buy. Next time you’re tempted to pick up the air freshener, put it back on the shelf, don’t buy it, go home and open your windows instead. You won’t be disappointed.
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Airing out your house during a pandemic is very important as the airflow prevents the bacteria from breeding as quickly as they do in a damp, warm environment. Use the same method above to air out your house and get rid of the COVID bacteria. Open the windows several times a day to change the air. It’s important to make sure that you open all the windows whenever you have visitors to ensure that the airflow and ventilation are high to prevent the spread of Covid.
I open my windows after everybody has had their shower and after all the kids have gone to school, so there are no complaints about being cold, and nobody can close the windows before the air has changed.
I open all the windows and doors upstairs, letting the wind breeze through the house. The air is well and truly changed.
Go upstairs, fling all your windows open, and see what a difference it makes. It truly is invigorating. Instead of opening just one window all day, open all the windows to freshen up the house. This will save energy and freshen the home more quickly.
Proper ventilation can help reduce the odor in the home after smoke damage. You can reduce this by setting up fans near doors and windows to help push the smoke and smell outside. It’s also helpful to launder curtains, rugs, cushions, and linens and use a HEPA vac like this one on carpeting and upholstering. It would help if you also considered using a generator like this one for stubborn odors.
Clean the walls using ammonia like this, cover them with an odor sealing sealer, and then paint all the walls to eliminate any lingering smell.
I think it’s always a good idea to air out a house, everybody benefits from fresh air, particularly the elderly and infirm. Keep throwing windows open to allow bacteria and germs to fly outside instead of breeding inside. Knowing how to air out a room in winter without losing all your heat can be worrying, but remember the rules above, and you will be able to ventilate a room quickly and efficiently.
Airing a house after the painting is particularly important, especially if working with smelly paints that linger like a gloss finish. I like to have the windows open while decorating as this allows the ventilation in and the smells out. It also helps to dry the paint quicker. I prefer to keep windows open just a crack at night to aid ventilation and eliminate any paint smells.
Changing air in a caravan is challenging due to the lack of windows. However, caravans do have skylights that allow fresh air to float through the home, especially if you open the door simultaneously. This can create an excellent airflow throughout the house and effectively change the air.
I lived in a flat with very few windows that didn’t open, and I found it quite challenging to air out the house. I tended to create ventilation by opening the front and back doors to allow the air to flow throughout the house. I used a door wedge to prevent the doors from slamming as they often did.
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How do you air out your house in the winter? Do you have any secret tips? Let us know in the comments!