A home is not merely a concrete building, but a space throbbing with living memories. As we return weary and spent after our many wanderings, a home embraces us like an affectionate mother, consoling and sheltering. That is why we intensely long to get home, even at the late hours of night.
For a home to be an ideal one, a healthy ambiance is to be preserved. Every room must have ample ventilation and light. The surroundings should be tidy and hygienic. We should never overlook these essential things when we are more obsessed with beautifying our home with luxury.
Ample ventilation for health
Fresh air is as essential as pure water for a healthy life. The purpose of ventilation is to create a healthy ambiance inside the home by ensuring necessary air flow inside the rooms. As per the latest definition of ventilation, it is not enough to expel the contaminated air, but also need to ensure that the air that flows in is fresh and the temperature and humidity in the rooms are soothing. Air-conditioners function on these principles.
Two kinds of ventilation
There are two kinds of ventilation. One is natural ventilation: This is the most simple type of ventilation, following the principle of nature. If the breeze rushes in as you open the doors and window, you can be sure that the home is well ventilated. Cross ventilated doors and windows are ideal for ample air flow. However, if you are living in area where houses are closely built, the smooth air passage will be blocked.
The movement of the air is from denser areas to less dense areas. When the air gets hot, it moves upwards and escapes through the air holes on the top of the room. Whereas, the cool and dense air from outside enters the room through the holes at the bottom of the room. As the difference in temperature of the air outside and inside increases, there is more chance for an inflow of air.
All these factors need to be taken into consideration when you fix doors and windows in your new house. When you rely merely on the natural air passages, you will not be able to control the flow of the breeze, air temperature and humidity level as per your requirements.
One option is to expel the foul air from inside the room by an exhaust fan. The fresh air rushes into the vacuum created by the expulsion of the foul air. Exhaust fans should be fixed on high, near the roof. Predominantly, it is the hot air hovering on the higher level is thus expelled. Exhaust ventilation helps to maintain fresh atmosphere inside the kitchen and bathrooms by ensuring flow of fresh air.
Air-conditioner is the most commonly used artificial ventilation equipment. As the air in the room passes through the air-conditioners, dust, harmful gases, bacteria and other micro-organisms are eliminated by filtering. Excess humidity is also eliminated. Then it releases the air into the room, either in cooled form or heated form.
Poor ventilation can even lead to death
Every year about 43 lakh people die globally owing to various health issues caused by contaminated atmosphere in poorly ventilated rooms. Living in rooms which has no proper ventilation and air passage can cause air borne diseases to spread. Tuberculosis, Influenza, Chicken pox, measles, bronchitis and pneumonia are predominant among them. One of the major reasons for persistent breathing issues and allergy among children is poor ventilation. During the time when rheumatic fever was prevalent among children, it was found out that the illness consisting streptococcal infection and consequent joint pain were mainly affecting children living together in cramped rooms. Properly ventilated rooms can curb air borne diseases to a great extent.
Growing plants at home
Growing plants inside the home is a cost effective way to maintain a fresh atmosphere inside the house. The plants absorb the carbon dioxide we breathe out, and expel oxygen instead. Thus, the room is filled with plenty of fresh air abounding in oxygen. Leafy plants can bring down the heat generated by electronic machines and regulate the light inside the room.
Spathiphyllum, African violets, gloxinia and orchids are ideal plants to be grown inside the home. Plants like caladium, aglaonema, dumb cane and anthurium can be allergic for some children.
Light has a major role to play
Ample light in the room not only gives joy, but is plays a decisive role in health of the residents. We get light in a home from two sources: Natural light and the artificial light emitted by electronic bulbs or tubes.
Sunlight is the prime source of the natural light. To ensure enough natural light, you need to plan out the location before beginning the construction of the house. The windows of the house must be set in ideal height, and the hindrances that block the free flow of the sunlight should be removed.
The paintings and other arrangements in the room must be placed in a way as to fully utilize the natural light. Painting the walls with white paint will make the best use of the natural light. For providing a soothing effect to the eyes, the top end of the walls must be coated with light colored paint and the bottom part is to be painted with darker color.
Electric bulbs for artificial light
Electric bulbs are commonly used for artificial light. There are, mainly, two kinds of lamps: Filament lamps and fluorescent lamps. In a filament lamp, the light is produced when the electricity passing through the tungsten filament heats it up. The intensity of light depends upon the heat of the filament. Whereas, a fluorescent lamp requires less electricity. The light it emits is more similar to the natural light. The bulb of the fluorescent lamp is less heated up compared to the filament lamp.
Poor lighting can be harmful
Human eyes have the power to see objects, starting from the brightness level of the moonlight (0.1 lux light intensity). You tend to stress your eyes while working or reading in poor light. This will result in chronic head ache and pain around the eye region. Eye fatigue, water discharge from the eyes and redness in the eyes are mainly due to reading or working in poor light.
Poor light can cause a lot of trouble to the elderly
If there are dark alleys and stairs in your house, it can cause a lot of trouble for the elderly people living in the house. The elderly people, whose eyesight is poor, might tumble down from the stairs or dash against the furniture, if there isn't enough light in the rooms. They can also slip and fall in the poorly lit bathrooms. Therefore, special attention is to be given in areas where the elderly people move about. Switches of the lights in the bedrooms must be fixed so that they can operate them while lying on the bed. Studies indicate that those who regularly work in poorly lit areas are more prone to depression and other minor mental disorders.
A person spends one third of his life in bedrooms. During sleep, our immunity department recuperates from the toxic attacks suffered during the day and revives its immunity power. Therefore, bedrooms must be kept hygienic, allowing ample flow of light and air.
Always keep bedrooms tidy and free of dust.
Change bed sheets and pillow cases at regular intervals.
Grow plants like orchid and bromeliad near the window in the bedroom or inside the house for fresh air.
Do not stay inside the room when the mosquito mat or repellants are functioning. Open the windows and doors at that time.
Switch off the mosquito repellant an hour before you go to sleep.
Switching on CFL lamps in the bedroom during night can lead to disturbed sleep, especially for the elderly ones. Filament lamps are better for this purpose.
It is always better not to have any kind of light while one is asleep. Light reduces the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone. Use only dim-colored lamps if security is a concern.
Keep the room open for an hour twice a day to dry the room and allow flow of air.