Too few remember to air out in the depths of winter

The freezing cold of winter drives most of us indoors and we close doors and windows behind us. But indoor activity and too little ventilation can be a harmful cocktail, leading to increased humidity in the home – if it is not regularly aired out.

Many people forget to ventilate their homes adequately in the cold winter temperatures, according to Karsten Duer of the VELUX Group's Knowledge Centre for daylight, indoor climate and energy. This oversight can lead to increased humidity in buildings and have disastrous consequences.

"In Europe, we spend an average of 90% of our time indoors, even more in winter. So we really should air out our homes and offices several times a day, in summer and in winter. If we don't, humidity levels can rise, with a correspondingly higher risk of structural damage, fungus and house mites," explains Karsten Duer.

Higher risk of asthma and allergy
But it is not just the home that suffers when humidity rises; people's general health is also threatened.

"Our health is closely connected with our surroundings. Studies have shown that spending time in rooms with fungus and house mites can produce a higher risk of asthma and allergy. That is another reason why regular airing out is important," says Karsten Duer.

Apart from these medical risks, the indoor climate of our homes also has a great influence on our ability to concentrate, productivity and general well-being.

Useful tips for effective ventilation

1. Air out several times a day. For example, morning, lunchtime and evening; and as a minimum when drying laundry, cooking and similar activities.

2. Create a through draft for 5-10 minutes by opening several windows. The air will then be changed very quickly without the room becoming cold.

3. If you have one or more roof windows, the best ventilating is done by making use of the so-called chimney effect. Open a facade window and a roof window at the same time. As stale air rises and leaves through the roof window, it quickly brings fresh air in behind it through the facade window.