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Simple ways to freshen up that stuffy bathroom or kitchen

by Carla Griffin on January 29, 2013

If there’s one room in the house that cries out for fresh air, it’s the kitchen.   And if there’s a second room that can benefit from Mother Nature’s sweet breath, it’s the bathroom.   When humidity and odors build up in a room, a host of disagreeable results arises, from mold and mildew to dank, unpleasant air.

Exhausting stale indoor air and replacing it with fresh outside air is the best way to ensure continuous indoor air quality, the Home Ventilating Institute says.   Modern construction, however, makes it virtually impossible to achieve sufficient exchange of air without mechanical assistance. Fortunately, from venting skylights to high-tech exhaust fans, there are plenty of ways to ensure ventilation in the kitchen and bath without sacrificing a comfortable atmosphere.

Become a fan of fans

Few rooms are as prone to moisture buildup as the bathroom.   Since this room is often also one of the most-used in any home, keeping it fresh and comfortable can be a challenge.   Venting fans are a must for full bathrooms where bathing occurs, and a comfort-enhancing plus in half baths and powder rooms.

If your bathroom lacks an exhaust fan, installing one is often within the abilities of a savvy do-it-yourselfer. It’s important for your fan to vent outdoors. “Exhaust” fans that do not vent outdoors simply recirculate stale, damp air within the room, or shunt it to another area of the home – such as the attic – where moisture can lead to mildew. Consider installing a timer to help ensure your fan runs for an adequate amount of time after every shower or bath.

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