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Getting in natural air fresheners
Source : The Hindu Property Plus Published On : 2010-12-11 City : Banglore

Ask any high school student how to keep the toilet fresh. The next second he will say: “We need a ventilator.” Request a builder to ensure an airy kitchen; he will simply say “Don't worry, madam.” Yet, in most houses, when we walk from the natural environs of outside to the enclosed inside, we can feel the indoor air being stuffy and full of odors. Why?

Getting trapped

Let us observe these homes. Most toilet ventilators are placed below 7' level, leaving the air at upper parts unventilated. Additionally, the ventilator itself may have a shutter left either open or shut, for no one bothers to keep operating windows in toilets. Of course, we feel the foul air, so we install an electric exhaust fan, at extra cost. The kids do not switch it on, so we fix an automatic switch linked to the opening of the door. Series of problems observed and solutions provided. Convincing?

The kitchen, in the modern times, poses other challenges. If we choose more of overhead cabinets, the window is compromised with. By now, we have realised that exhaust fans get dirty fast, so let us make way for the fancy-looking electric chimneys. But it makes a noise, there is power cut or we just don't switch it on every time we light the stove. With neither the old world ventilator nor the exhausts of last century, many a kitchen appears modern, but retains cooked air.

It gets tricky

These are tricky issues, with no single solution applicable for all cases. The toilet problem is comparatively simple. All we need to do is provide a minimum 3'x3' sized ventilator above 7' level or up to roof bottom as per the case. Let us ensure it has no operable shutter, for at that height we may need a chair to reach it! Leave it with externally inclined pin-headed glass louvers so that air goes out, vision is blocked and soft light comes in – all throughout the year without any further need to touch it ever. Guard bars at 3”, mosquito mesh and steep inclination with overlapping glass completes the picture. If you want to be more adventurous, design a regular window in the bathroom, with shutters that could be used whenever necessary.

Kitchens too can get similar ventilators above the cabinet level, though we may have an electric chimney. We often advise the kitchen doorway going up to roof, without a door shutter, and the window too being tall going up to roof, so that there is air movement at the uppermost level, ensuring effective ventilation.

The worst solution could be keeping air fresheners. In reality, they do not freshen up anything, but release chemically composed pleasant odors into the stuffed-up air and make us feel fresh. Anyway, now we know how to freshen up the indoor air naturally.

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