Although it may be tempting to seal your home as tightly as possible to keep warm air in and cold air out, it's actually important to ventilate your home to allow fresh air in and push stale air out. Having a winter ventilation strategy can actually keep your home more comfortable and lower your monthly heating bills.
Use these six tips as part of your winter ventilation strategy to stay warm and save energy this season:
- Use an air cleaner: Using a whole-house air purifier can help remove unwanted particles from air that is continuously recirculated through your home. Bacteria and viruses can cause illness; dust and dander to build up on surfaces; and other allergens can aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions. Removing these contaminants from the air before it enters your living spaces can enhance your family's health. Be sure to review several other posts on our blog regarding selecting the correct filter for your unique situation.
- Change air filters: Regularly changing dirty air filters not only improves indoor air quality, it also improves energy efficiency by increasing air flow and protecting your heating equipment from dirt and dust. This activity is among the most important tasks a homeowner can do themselves.
- Ventilate bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room: Excess moisture in these areas can create a breeding ground for unwanted contaminants like mold, mildew and bacteria. Although you may be reluctant to vent heated air out of your home, it is actually beneficial to use these exhaust fans briefly when necessary. Be very sure these fans are vented directly to the outside and don't terminate them in the attic!
- Control indoor humidity levels: Using a whole-house humidifier as part of your winter ventilation strategy can help reduce your monthly energy bills. Air at the right humidity feels warmer, so you can turn down the thermostat and not sacrifice comfort. Be careful that your humidity control is set properly and doesn't put too much humidity into your home. One rule of thumb is to make sure that excess condensation never forms on exposed windows. If you see excess condensation on the windows, it can indicate the need to turn down the humidity control.
- Ventilate the attic and crawl spaces: When air gets trapped moisture problems can arise; proper ventilation prevents this.
- Seal the attic from the living space: Leaks from the home to the attic are energy wasters, but they can also create other costly problems in the attic. If the direction of flow is the other way from the attic to the home, health problems along with energy issues can result. Common paths for these problems are recessed lights and access stairs plus many other construction details, too.
For more tips on how to keep your Ohio home cozy and comfortable all winter long, contact the professionals at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling.