In recent years, the issue of whole-house ventilation has emerged because indoor air pollution is a real problem in many homes, notably those that are tighter and have less air coming inside. While it’s important to live in an energy efficient home, it also needs adequate ventilation to avoid the accumulation of harmful indoor gases. Radon, carbon monoxide (CO) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) all have serious health consequences, which adequate ventilation can help to prevent.
The three types of ventilation systems available include supply, exhaust and balanced. A supply ventilation system will pull fresh air from the outdoors into your home, but it won’t be conditioned, which causes heating or cooling bills to rise. It will, however, lower the amount of VOCs or CO in your air. Such a system creates positive pressure in your home, which helps prevent CO from backdrafting into your home from vented gas appliances.
Exhaust systems, like bathroom and kitchen fans, have limitations as well, since they can pull air through the smallest cracks in your home’s shell, further decreasing energy efficiency. Unless you’ve taken steps to seal all the cracks and crevices in your home, an exhaust system can introduce humidity into the shell of your home, causing wood rot or mold inside the wall cavity and the insulation.
A recent improvement for whole-house ventilation systems are the energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) and heat recovery ventilators (HRVs). These systems capture the energy of the exhaust air and transfer it to the incoming air. An ERV will also improve humidity levels in the winter by transferring some of the humidity to the incoming air.
The ERVs and HRVs can use the same ductwork your HVAC system does, which saves on installation cost. They contain heat recovery technology that seamlessly transfers the energy and can supply your entire home with fresh air.
The ventilation experts at P.K Wadsworth Heating & Cooling can give you more information on whole-house ventilation to keep your indoor air cleaner. Please contact us at 440-248-2110 or visit our website. We’ve proudly provided HVAC services for greater Cleveland since 1936.