During winter, home ventilation takes on even more importance inside the typical residence. Windows and doors tend to stay shut, and houses today are tightly sealed to keep prevent heat loss. This lack of fresh air can result in stale indoor air quality, as levels of fumes, water vapor, and airborne particulates rise. The goal of proper winter ventilation is to add fresh air in controlled amounts to alleviate a stuffy environment while also maintaining temperature control. Today’s home-ventilation technology provides systems that can do both.
These three options provide a range of winter-ventilation methods — from the simple to the sophisticated — to help keep your indoor environment fresh:
- Exhaust-only fans. Usually found in the kitchen and bathroom, these small ceiling fans remove water vapor, odors, and particulates from limited areas. Connected to a dedicated duct that extends to the outside, typical exhaust-fan capacity is one cubic foot per minute (CFM) of air for each square foot of floor area in the room. Though these one-way fans do not induct outdoor air, the slight depressurization induced by exhaust-only ventilation can pull some fresh air into the house through structural cracks and gaps.
- Balanced ventilation. The system consists of two fans: exhaust and intake. The exhaust fan removes stale indoor air from certain areas of the home and discharges it outdoors, while the intake fan pulls in the exact same volume of fresh outdoor air, effectively ventilating the premises while also preserving neutral air pressure inside the house.
- Heat-recovery systems. Advanced heat recovery ventilation (HRV) technology incorporates independent intake and exhaust fans. Controlled by a central unit, the airflow volume from each fan is equalized to maintain neutral indoor-air pressure and moves through separate dedicated ductwork. Additionally, an HRV incorporates a heat exchanger inside the central controller that extracts heat from outgoing airflow and adds it to the incoming cold air stream. This ensures that indoor temperatures are maintained while fresh-air ventilation is continuously added to the home.
For more about options for effective winter ventilation, contact Mowery Heating and Cooling.