Poorly ventilated apartments not only smell unpleasant, there is also a risk of mold formation. Especially in winter it is important to exchange the air regularly.
Adequate ventilation is a basic requirement for a pleasant and healthy climate in living spaces. Bad odors and moisture disappear to the outside, oxygenated and drier air comes into the rooms. Rooms in which people stay for a long time or in which a lot of water vapor is produced – i.e. bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms – must be ventilated particularly well.
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Mold: Do not let walls cool down too much in winter
Mold can quickly form in apartments, especially in winter. At low temperatures, the outer walls cool down considerably – especially in poorly insulated houses. The moisture in the warm room air then condenses on the cold wall. Mold finds “ideal growth conditions there – even without tangible or visible condensation,” according to the Saxony-Anhalt consumer advice center. This effect is counteracted by heating all the rooms slightly and not letting the walls cool down too much.
Forced airing: change the air in the room four times a day
Experts recommend airing rooms four times a day when you are present. If you are not in the house during the day, you should open the windows in the morning and in the evening. It is of little use to open windows just a little or to tilt them. The so-called shock ventilation, i.e. ventilation with the window wide open, has a much more effective effect. The air is optimally exchanged during cross ventilation, the simultaneous opening of opposite windows, which is also referred to as a draft. Depending on the number of people and the size of the room, it should be aired much more often in Corona times. To this end, the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has Recommendation for infection protection ventilation ” published.
Outside temperature determines the duration of ventilation
The duration of ventilation depends on the outside temperature. In winter, when there are large temperature differences between the air inside and outside, it is sufficient to open the window wide for about five minutes. In spring and autumn, it should be around 15 minutes and in summer with similar temperatures indoors and outdoors even 30 minutes. On very hot days, it is advisable to air the room early in the morning and late in the evening. So, no hot, often humid air comes into the apartment.
Ventilate damp rooms and bedrooms particularly thoroughly
In the bathroom and kitchen, humid air should be exchanged as soon as it occurs: ventilate vigorously after showering, bathing or cooking. If laundry is dried in the apartment, the air must be changed frequently. Even when they sleep, people constantly release moisture into the air. The bedroom must therefore be thoroughly aired in the morning. If you like, you can sleep with the window open. However, a lot of heat is then lost, which does not make ecological sense in winter.
Danger of mold in new buildings and renovated old buildings
Residents of new buildings have to ventilate them particularly often, because there is still a lot of water in the walls from the construction phase. Spread over a period of one to two years, they slowly release it into the room air. If you ventilate too little, you risk mold forming. Even if the windows in an old building have been replaced or the facade has been insulated, the residents have to ventilate it more often afterwards. The very airtight windows prevent the previously light but constant exchange of air even when the windows are closed.
Measure the humidity in the room with a hygrometer
A hygrometer helps determine the humidity in the room. The measuring devices are available from around 10 dollars in analog form with a pointer or with a digital display. In apartments, the humidity should be in the range of 40 to 60 percent. At the latest when this value is exceeded, ventilation must take place. The hygrometer should not be close to the window or the warm heater.
Ventilation systems ensure an optimal indoor climate
In extremely sealed buildings such as passive houses, the technology takes over the ventilation and ensures an optimal indoor climate. Fresh air is constantly blown into the living room and bedroom, and stale air is extracted from the kitchen and bathroom. The windows can always remain closed and the apartment is Stillwell ventilated. In a heat exchanger, the exhaust air also transfers thermal energy to the fresh supply air, significantly reducing energy loss.