During a recent long weekend away from our family home we returned home in the heat of the afternoon and after opening up the house were presented with a rather pungent smell that normally wasn't present. After opening up all the doors and windows the smell soon dissipated. On reflection it was apparent that there was simply no real ventilation into the home in our absence and we believe the smell was a combination of normal functions within the house that had simply no ventilation and therefore had combined to form this rather unpleasant odour. Drains, dishwasher and laundry smells had combined and without adequate ventilation had produced a very unwelcoming smell.
An obvious way to remedy this problem in future events would be to have some sort of deodorant or masking chemical left in the home so as to disguise or overpower this smell; however, we believe that this would be a situation where we would be in real terms mopping up the floor after the sink had run over rather than fix the tap that was causing the problem in the beginning, and therefore we believe that what we needed to do was to add additional ventilation in our absence.
Once we began to consider just what was necessary to obtain this ventilation several options appeared and with them came some obvious problems. Firstly we believed that maybe some static vents could be put inside in the ceiling and some whirly birds or extraction devices maybe to be placed into the roof to cause a full-time ventilation draft. This would work well during the warm summer months and maybe have some additional benefits such as cooling the house down somewhat; however, it could be a real problem in the winter as it would take all the warm air that would have been warmed by costly heating and take it out through the roof replacing it with cold air, so this did not prove to be a solution we could work with at all.
Then we started to look at possibly having some ventilation through windows that we control ourselves and the obvious dilemma in that thought was leaving a window open during our absence. This could be a very easy entry point for a would-be thief/intruder and also would leave windows that had no cover exposed to weather. A compromise in the form of some 316 Marine grade stainless steel woven mesh grilles was decided to be placed on all external windows so as windows could be left open without the risk of exposing easy entry points. Another decision was made that when we would be absent again we would leave protected windows that were not exposed to direct weather open so as to allow air flow. Window locks were also installed so as to lock the window 100 mm open. This had two effects: firstly to provide additional protection and secondly to minimise high wind events that may occur, upsetting anything inside our home during our absence.
With the experiment in place we decided to take a four-day weekend and as it turned out the weather was quite warm and replicated features of the previous weekend almost exactly. Again we returned late in the afternoon and eagerly opened up the door with our noses in the air, ready to greet the pungent sour smell that we had been subject to last time, only to find that the house smelled quite pleasant and normal. This was very pleasing to us and another bonus was the fact that we were very confident that our Seconline 316 Marine grade stainless steel window grilles had offered more protection than possibly the 3 mm plate glass that was in the windows originally.