Friday, 20 April, 2001

Air Fresheners Stink!

"Air fresheners."  Yuk!  As if mold, rotting garbage, and sewers weren't bad enough.  People install these silly devices that supposedly freshen the air, but in reality do a very poor job of masking the real odor.  A pine scent in the bathroom, for example, makes the room smell like somebody pooped a pine tree.  The original odor was bad, true, but adding a cloying sweet smell on top of it is worse.  Whatever is in the air stinkifier is certainly more persistent than most other odors, and succeeds very well in keeping bad odors around.  Do you want your moldy garbage to smell like moldy cheap perfume?  Put one of those stick-on air fresheners near the garbage pail.

No amount of air freshener will get rid of a persistent odor like that.  The problem is lack of ventilation.  Well, that and laziness:  people would rather spend money masking an odor than taking the trash out every night.  Ventilation is a problem because people want their houses to be energy efficient.  They seal up every crack so there is very little air exchange with the outside.  It's energy efficient, for sure, but this practice leads to lingering odors and (according to some) elevated indoor radon levels.  I think I'd rather burn a few extra kilowatts.