How to Improve Air Circulation in a Room

Stagnant air in the room could be the potential cause of certain respiratory illnesses. Bringing fresh, outdoor air into your home helps keep certain hazardous airborne  particles from accumulating inside. 

Ventilation plays a major role in the transmission of certain viruses ; including the coronavirus. The chances of transmission of the virus increases significantly compared to the outdoors. The droplets containing the corona virus can linger in the badly ventilated room. 

Proper ventilation does not only keep us safe during pandemics but otherwise also it is vital for our overall well being.

So here in this blog we will discuss the importance of proper air circulation in the room, what are the ill effects of poorly ventilated rooms on our health, the types of pollutants and finally the measures to ensure proper airflow in the rooms. 

How do we improve air circulation in a room?

There are a number of ways in which we can improve the air circulation in our rooms and these include: 

  • Use of HVAC systems
  • Use of air cleaners and purifiers
  • Using exhaust fan in your bathroom and kitchen
  • Using evaporative coolers and whole house fans
  • Using exhaust ventilation systems
  • Install dehumidifiers
  • Install attic vent
  • Keep your home well ventilated

Why Is it necessary  to Improve the Air circulation in a room?

It is necessary to improve the air circulation in a room. The reason being that there are several health problems faced by people living in poorly ventilated rooms. 

Indoor environments mainly consist of a mixture of indoor and outdoor pollutants. Indoor contaminants that are present inside the building includes; combustion sources like; burning fuels, candles, coal and wood, tobacco products, etc, emissions from building materials, moisture processes, etc. 

Whereas, outdoor pollutants are associated with vehicular traffic and industrial activities. These pollutants enter the house by infiltration or through ventilation systems. 

Some of the major health effects of these pollutants on human health are:

Effects of Particulate Matter 

Poorly ventilated room has the  presence of certain particulate matter in the air which results in the:

  • Elevated susceptibility to respiratory diseases, including acute respiratory distress,
  • asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • and disease as severe as lung cancer

Effects of Microorganisms 

Disease causing pathogens like bacteria, fungi, pollen, viruses etc are responsible for:

  • alveolitis (hypersensitivity pneumonia) and organic dust syndrome- caused by any biological dust that has particles. 
  • Biological particles such as mold affect the respiratory tract as well as eyes, causing allergic rhinitis, asthma and allergic conjunctivitis, secondary bacterial infections such as sinusitis. 

Effects of VOCs 

Certain Volatile organic compounds are also present in the indoor air which are known to cause symptoms like:

  • eye, nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and skin problems

 

Effects of gases such as; CO, NO2, Ozone and Radon  

Several gases like CO, NO2, Ozone, Radon etc are also detected in the poorly ventilated room. These gases are known to cause certain health hazards like: 

  • fatigue in healthy people and chest pain in people with heart disease
  • angina, impaired vision and reduced brain function.
  • dizziness, confusion, nausea 
  • increased inflammation of the airways, cough and wheezing
  • reduced lung function, increased episodes of asthma attacks
  • And even lung cancer 

Effects of environmental tobacco smoke 

Environmental tobacco smoke is also a significant contributor to poor air quality in rooms and releases human carcinogens like benzene. 

The smoke released from tobacco causes several health hazards like:

  • It can increase the frequency of chronic respiratory illnesses.
  • Reduces the level of lung function particularly in children
  • It Causes lung cancer in adults.

What do Recent Studies show?

Recent researches have shown that the ventilation plays a major role in the transmission of certain viruses ; including the coronavirus. The chances of transmission of the virus is 20 times more than outdoors. 

Many researchers believe that indoor air pollution has received less attention as compared to outdoor pollution but in reality indoor pollution levels are twice higher. We spend about 80-90% of our lives in airtight buildings. More than 5 million people lose their lives every year due to premature illnesses caused by poor indoor air quality.

 

Ways in which we improve air circulation in a room

Use of HVAC systems

The HVAC system works efficiently towards filtering airborne contaminants.If you have a central heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) at home, set the fan to the “on” position rather than auto, especially when you have visitors. This helps in continuous circulation of air.

The filter should be upgraded on a timely basis in order to maintain its efficiency.

Below are the best HVAC systems for improving the air flow in your room:

HVAC Systems Why i recommend it 
Honeywell F300E1019 Electronic Air Cleaner



This can be operated with gas, oil and AC systems. Efficiency for capturing particles is upto 98%.Has a very low pressure drop
DAIKIN 9,000 BTU 17 SEER Wall-Mounted Ductless Mini-Split Inverter Air Conditioner HeatPump System Daikin’s ductless technology offers  greater  energy efficiency; cools and warms up the room fast.Smart inverter technology with integrated inverted variable speed compressorProvides continuous heating and cooling with minimum temperature fluctuations.Quiet operation; with indoor sound levels as low as 37 decibels. 

 

Using air cleaners and purifiers

The simplest way to improve airflow in a room is to install air purifiers. 

Air purifiers are devices which circulate the air through a set of filters and capture the microscopic particles such as dust, allergens, molds, spores, bacteria, etc, that are floating around.

If you do not have an HVAC system then you can use high efficiency particulate air purifiers or HEPA filters. They work efficiently against air borne particles

Nowadays there are many filters available in markets having several features like HEPA filter, Activated carbon filter, and ultraviolet light. 

Below are the best Air purifiers for improving the air flow in your room:


Air purifiers

Why I recommend it
HATHA SPACE air purifier HEPA Air filterParticle efficiency of about 99.97% for particle size 0.3-0.1 micron.Effective against pollen, dust, VOCs, tobacco smoke, odors, pet hair, etc.Medical grade filterGood for extra large roomsAuto mode available for fan speed adjustmentComes with a 5 years warranty
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home
You can access this device from anywhere, fan speeds can be operated through your smartphone. Better purification with its 360 degree design. Suitable for large rooms. It has an ultra fine nylon pre filter and activated carbon filter. Highly efficient against 99.7% contaminants for particles as small as 0.3 microns such as; dust pollen, pet hair, mold, odor etc. Does not make much noiseVoice control feature 
Germ guardian true HEPA filter air purifier with UVlight sanitizer
 
Particle efficiency of about 99.7% for particles as small as 0.3 microns.UV C light sanitizer is effective against viruses like; staph, rhinovirus, influenza, and VOCs.Effective against allergens; pet dander and other large particles. It has a carbon filter and is highly effective against odors like; smoking, pets, odor from cooking, etc. Does not make much noise 
TOPPIN HEPA Air Purifiers for HomeEfficiency of about 95% for particle size of 0.3 microns. It has UV light, carbon filter and nano silver filter coating. Highly efficient against airborne contaminants; dust, pet hair, pollen and also efficient against odors, tobacco smoke etc. Fragrance sponge and aroma diffuser are also present. Purifies a large area of upto 160 sq ftLow noise levelsUV lamps are covered to avoid direct eye contact.

Using fans for the improvement of air flow

If opening windows are not feasible consider using bathroom and stove exhaust fans. Try placing the fans close to an open window or a door. This ensures better air circulation and draws the air borne particles like viruses, bacteria and particulates out of your house.

An exhaust fan works in a reverse motion. It blows air outward and draws fresh air and moisture inwards. This removes contaminants and allows moisture into your house. 

Ceiling fans are also efficient at proper air circulation even if the windows are closed. Use of ceiling fans is a relatively energy efficient, and cost effective way to enhance the airflow of your house. 

Below are the best exhaust ventilation and ceiling fans for improving the air flow in your room:

Types of Fans Why i recommend it 
AC Infinity AIRLIFT T10, Shutter Exhaust FanOffers high airflow; draws out heat, moisture, odor, and dust etc.EC-motor with PWM-control increases and reduces energy consumption and noise levels (67dB)Blades are made of aluminum that are resistant to liquid and dust.
VENTISOL Variable Shutter Exhaust FanProvides superior airflow; ideal for  garages, gardens, attics, barns, greenhouses, basements etc.Easy installation consists of hard wire connection for wiring. Body made of galvanized steel frame, 3 aluminum shutter blades, fully enclosed ball bearing motor, self closing shutter system provides protection to fan when not in useIt’s suitable for ventilating a building to the outside.Powerful & Efficient: 120 volts at 70W, 0.57 amps, with 1680rpm
Hunter Aerodyne Ceiling Fan   High performance fan with ultra powerful airflow which gives high speed cooling Quiet operation Energy-efficient WIFI Compatible; compatible with Alexa, Apple and Google Assistant You can  adjust the brightness of light and speed from anywhere in the room with the included remote controlIdeal for living room, lounge, and bedrooms
Prominence Home Indoor/Outdoor Journal Ceiling FanThe ceiling fan can be used both indoors and outdoors in covered spacesThe fan has a carbon filter on one side.This ceiling fan comes with two blade options Reversible, 3 speed motor. The reverse air flow feature allows the direction change of the fan, for a properdistribution of air.Easy Installation  

 

 

Use of evaporative coolers and whole house fans

Evaporative coolers are also known as swamp coolers. They help in increasing the ventilation in the room and also cools down the indoor air. Evaporative coolers are ideal for dry climates. They require water to provide cooling and also enhances the relative humidity of the room.

The whole house fans provide cooling by pulling the outside air through the open windows and doors. The use of whole house fans should be avoided if the air pollution is high outside.

Below are some links to the best evaporative coolers that offers better airflow for your room:

Evaporative coolers Why i recommend it 
Pro Breeze Evaporative Air Cooler with Remote Control  Offers powerful cooling with its  waterfall cooling technology that propels air through an ice cold honeycomb filter.A portable swamp cooler air conditioner ideal for room, home office or bedroom. This is a 3-in-1 appliance which can operate as an air cooler, a cooling fan and a humidifier.It runs at just 0.0065 kw/h, which is much more energy efficient than an air conditioner hence it is energy efficient & cost-effective 
Air Cooler Sunday Living Portable Air ConditionersThis swamp cooler has a double layer water circulation system which purifies air can also be used as a humidifier or a fanWater tank has a large capacity with visible water level window This cooler does not have compressor and chemical refrigerants and hence it is environmental friendly Comes with a bladeless cooling solution Cost effective Compared with your costly AC,Safer to use in the household that has children or pets.

Below are some links to the best whole house fans that offers better airflow for your room:

Whole house fans Why i recommend it 
AC Infinity CLOUDRAY T10, Whole House EC Fan These whole house fans cool and ventilate entire homes by exhausting hot air from indoor spaces.Comes with a smart digital controller that controls temperature and humidity and fan speed control, PWM-controlled EC motors result in quieter and more energy-efficient fans than most others.Quiet operation; operates at 48dB of sound levels. 
Tamarack Technologies HV1000 R38 Ductless Whole House Fan with Insulated Doors   Saves up to 80% energy cost on cooling and heating.Easy installation and self-sealing insulated doors Easy installation: It can be installed vertically inside attic wall or horizontally inside attic floorSaves money and energydraws indoor air pollutants, allergens, moisture, and odors out through attic vents. 

Use of exhaust ventilation systems

Exhaust ventilation systems work on a principle of depressurizing the airflow of the house. The system draws out air from the house and the fresh air makes its way through leaks and passive vents.

Exhaust ventilation is ideal for the cold climates. As in summers it can also draw a lot of moisture inside.

These systems are inexpensive to install and consist of a single fan. Connected to an exhaust point.

The fan is connected to the ducts of several rooms especially where the pollutants are generated. 

However, there are some pros and cons of using an exhaust ventilation system such as :

ProsCons
Cost effective and easy to installworks well in cold climates.They may draw pollutants along with fresh air like; Radon, mold, dust from attic and fumes etc 

 

Install Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers help extract the excessive moisture out of your room. Dehumidifier works on a two step principle: 

Firstly it draws moisture out of the air and collects the water on a drip tray.

Secondly it warms up the collected dry and cold air and finally fan the dry air back in the room. 

You can check some of them by clicking the links below:

 

Dehumidifiers     Why i recommend it
Gocheer Upgraded DehumidifierHigh efficiency dehumidifier Equipped with a 2000ml water tank capacity It is very compact and portable suitable for highly humid areas; such as the bathroom, basement, kitchen, living room etc. Quiet operation of as low as 40dBComes with automatic shut off mode to prevent overflowing of water tank Saves energy with a consumption of only 1.15 kW of electricity within 24 hours of operation. 
COSVI Upgrade DehumidifierCOSVI home dehumidifier keeps moisture below 35%Comes with one-button switch design for easy operationOffers a whisper quiet operation with sound levels below 35 dBEnergy efficient; consumes less energy with a power only 48W/ hour after running for 24 hours. Cost effective Comes with an auto shut featureCompact and lightweight ideal for bathrooms, basements, kitchen, bedrooms etc. 

 

 

Install an attic vent 

If your house lacks an attic vent it can cause stagnation of air. This problem can be addressed by installing a gable vent with the help of professionals.

Installing an attic fan can also serve the purpose.

The use of chimney or stack effect is also an excellent option for the proper airflow. The stack effect works on a principle, that when the air is warmed up it becomes lighter and rises above it is then replaced by the surrounding cold air which is heavier. 

The advantage of this technique is that it is self driven, it doesn’t need any particular orientation. 

You can find the link to buy below:

Attic ventWhy i recommend it 
20-Watt Solar Attic Fan with Thermostat /HumidistatIt is powered by free solar energy hence proves to be highly cost effectivePrevents moisture damage Comes with a built in humidistat and thermostatIt can also be fitted with a Hybrid Adapter for night operationQuiet operation; makes a little-to-no noise 
iLIVING HYBRID Ready Smart Thermostat Solar Roof Attic Exhaust FanComes with smart thermostat control with enable/disable featureWaterproof brushless motor with 15 year warrantyAdjustable solar panel of  20W, 1750 Cfm, up to 2500 cool sqft. off capacity

 

 

Keep your home well ventilated 

Open the doors and windows as much as you can to bring in fresh, outdoor air if it’s safe to do so. While it’s better to open them wide, even having a window cracked open slightly can help. If you can, open multiple doors and windows to allow more fresh air to move inside. Natural ventilation can be limited if the inside and outside temperatures are somewhat similar. So in order to increase the natural ventilation :

Cross ventilation can be done by opening doors and windows opposite to each other. 

If you have multiple floors, opening the windows of the highest and the lowest floor also helps. 

If you have a double hung window, open the top sash of one window and the bottom sash of the other window. This creates the air flow.

Other FAQs about Air Quality that you may be interested in.

How to improve air intake on a car

Does Air Quality Get Better at Night?

How to Improve Air Quality in a Basement Apartment

Conclusion

So here in this blog we discussed the importance of proper air circulation in the room, what are the ill effects of poorly ventilated rooms on our health, the types of pollutants and finally the measures to ensure proper airflow in the rooms. 

References 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/Improving-Ventilation-Home.html
https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/whole-house-ventilation
https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/indoor-air-homes-and-coronavirus-covid-1

learnmetrics.com/how-does-a-dehumidifier-work-simple-2-step-principle

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