Singapore’s hot and humid climate surely makes a lot of flat owners desperate for a breeze. Of course, we all hope for a gust of cool air when we fling the HDB windows open. However, we often end up with more sticky and stagnant air. This case may sound familiar to many, and if your windows aren’t doing their job, it’s time to stop believing the myths.

Perhaps you’ve been wondering what window tricks work and which are just hot air. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place because we’ve got the real deal on HDB window ventilation do’s and don’ts. We’ve debunked the most popular ventilation myths and provided solutions that really make a difference. Here’s what the HDB window contractor experts have to say about airflow and ventilation:

Do We Need Proper Ventilation in HDB Flats?

Arguably, one of the most popular myths about ventilation in HDB flats is that it’s not essential. In fact, many people neglect or don’t see the reason to utilise other means of increasing the airflow. The reality is that proper ventilation in HDB flats is crucial to ensuring optimal health, comfort and energy efficiency.

Allow Airflow

Good airflow is homeowners’ dream, and its presence often translates into higher curb appeal. On the contrary, homes without proper ventilation build up stale, humid air – a breeding ground for mould, mildew and dust mites. These pollutants often trigger allergies and other respiratory problems. While opening the windows can let in fresh air, using various fans helps allow humidity to escape.

Regulate Temperature

Air conditioning is a common way for temperature control in Condos and HDB flats. However, many residents overlook the need for natural ventilation from open windows. Using fans can maximise the temperature efficiency by helping air circulate better, effectively heating or cooling the space.

Save Money

Of course, running an AC unit costs money and energy. Luckily, you can counter the effect by mastering natural ventilation and airflow. Making small changes like opening windows at night, using fans, and installing window treatments to block sunlight during the day can reduce your utility bills.

Top 3 Myths About HDB Windows and Ventilation Debunked

Beyond keeping windows open when the weather allows, ventilation in HDB flats often requires creative solutions. But first, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the common misconceptions about window ventilation in Singapore. Here’s what’s stopping your space from getting the fresh air you need:

Open Windows Provide Better Ventilation Than Exhaust Fans

Many believe open windows are always better than exhaust fans for ventilation in HDB flats. The truth is, while windows do help, they may not be enough on their own, especially for internal rooms like bathrooms and kitchens. Windows in HDB flats typically only open a few inches, limiting airflow. Exhaust fans, on the other hand, can effectively remove hot, humid air. In this case, it’s best to use both windows and fans.

You Need HDB Approval for Exhaust Fan Installation

Another myth is that you need HDB approval to install exhaust fans. This is only true if you mount the fans directly on window glass. Freestanding or wall-mounted fans don’t require approval and can work great for small spaces like bathrooms. Look for quiet, energy-efficient models to avoid disturbing neighbours.

You Don’t Need Ventilation in Bathrooms

Surprisingly, there are still people who think ventilation is an unnecessary feature for bathrooms and kitchens. Wrong. Proper ventilation is crucial for every space prone to moisture buildup. In this regard, professional HDB window contractors in Singapore offer exhaust fan installations to prevent mould and mildew. Run the fan for at least 20 minutes after showering or cooking to clear the air.

Expert Tips for Effective HDB Window Ventilation

Lubricate Moving Parts

The secret to good airflow often lies in ensuring your windows function properly. Typically, lubricating all sliding, pivoting, and hinged components ensures free movement and higher efficiency. In this case, your best friend is light oil like WD-40, which will make opening and closing your units a breeze. However, be sure to wipe away any excess oil and dirt to keep tracks clear.

Cross-Ventilate Whenever Possible

By far, cross-ventilation is the most effective way to let fresh air into your home without any costs. Simply open windows on opposite sides of your flat once a day to improve indoor air quality. The best time to do this is in the morning and evening when temperatures are comfortable.

Seek Approval for Exhaust Fans

For ventilation in rooms without windows, like bathrooms and kitchens, exhaust fans are essential. However, installing any fixture on HDB windows requires approval from the housing authority. Exhaust fans can only be installed at approved locations and by HDB’s appointed contractors. This ensures safety, proper installation, and compliance with building regulations. Plan well in advance if you wish to install exhaust fans.

Natural Air is Best

While we’ve already touched on the matter, you should rely on natural ventilation as much as possible. Instead of mechanical solutions like air purifiers, you should open your windows whenever you can. Best of all, natural ventilation does not consume energy, and you won’t have to replace filters. Your lungs and wallet will thank you!

HDB Window Types and Ventilation Capabilities

As expected, ventilation efficiency may highly vary depending on the type of HDB windows you have at home. Luckily, having basic knowledge may help you determine what window types suit your HDB flat best.

Casement Windows

Casement windows are hinged on one side and swing outwards for optimal airflow. These windows are great for small spaces since they don’t require extra space for sliding parts. While they do require regular maintenance to keep hinges in working order, their superior ventilation capabilities make them ideal for bedrooms or living rooms.

Sliding Windows

Sliding windows move horizontally along tracks, allowing you to control how much of the window is open. They work well for ventilation since you can open them partially or fully. Because of their space efficiency and relative affordability, they are popular in HDB flats. Of course, they may not provide as much airflow as casement windows when fully open. Still, their flexibility in controlling the opening size is perfect for urban environments where noise pollution is a concern.

HDB Window Grill

It’s also important to consider how any grilles or insect screens on the windows may impact airflow and ventilation. Grilles with wider gaps typically allow for better circulation. On the other hand, installing removable or retractable screens is a convenience that will provide ease of use.

Final Thoughts

While some of these about HDB windows are obvious, some intricacies will spare you a ton of headaches. Of course, it may sound tempting to believe some of those old wives’ tales. However, the reality shows that proper home ventilation depends on more than just how you position your windows.

Consider an integrated approach that combines window placement, fans, air filters, and other strategies tailored to your home. And remember – don’t sweat the small stuff. Keeping your place reasonably ventilated is what matters most, not agonising over every tiny detail. Apply the core principles we covered to let fresh air flow freely. With a practical strategy based on fact, not fiction, you can breathe easy knowing your HDB home is well-ventilated.

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