The degree to which you have effective home ventilation has a direct impact on your indoor air quality (IAQ). The U.S. EPA reports that the IAQ in many homes is so degraded that they include it in the five worst environmental hazards faced by Americans. Poor IAQ is caused by chemical products we use inside our homes, airborne particulates, and a tight building shell or envelope.
While a tight home holds down energy bills and makes for a quieter household, gases such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and concentrations of airborne particulates build up inside a tightly sealed home, especially during the summer and winter when windows and doors must be closed to manage indoor comfort and energy bills. VOCs and airborne particulates can have harmful effects on health, from mild to serious, and even life threatening.
Mechanical ventilation involves using fans that exhaust bad air outside, pull fresh air inside, or do both. Using both types can change the air pressure indoors, which can reduce your home’s energy efficiency.
Pulling fresh air inside can force conditioned air outdoors through those same cracks. Pulling it out with exhaust fans can pull fresh air in through any kind of crack or crevice in the home’s envelope or shell.
The best approach when choosing home ventilation is to choose whole-house, balanced ventilation systems. The most recent innovations that move stale air out and pull in fresh air without significantly raising energy bills are energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) and heat recovery ventilators (HRVs).
These devices transfer the energy from the outgoing air to the incoming air, and in the case of ERVs, strip humidity from incoming air. Both types remove and dilute concentrations of VOCs and other harmful gases. Most of these systems use filters to trap outdoor airborne particles, like dust and pollen. These devices can operate as stand-alone ventilation systems or in conjunction with your forced-air HVAC system.
If you’d like to learn more about the types and benefits of home ventilation, contact the pros at Mowery Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We’ve provided outstanding HVAC services for homeowners in the Indianapolis area for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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