These days, new homes are built airtight to make them more economical to heat and cool. While that can save you money, an airtight home may also become a haven for airborne pollutants. The best solution for ensuring that your indoor air quality isn’t compromised is to add ventilation.
You have a choice when it comes to ventilating in these basic types:
- Natural — This could be as simple as opening windows, or installing a solar chimney, which draws air through inlet ports; the air rises and is drawn through vents.
- Exhaust — Exhaust ventilating systems use fans to create negative pressure, pulling in stale air and exhausting it through ducts to the outdoors. This is a simple and low-cost solution that works well for exhausting moisture from damp areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.
- Supply — Fresh outside air is forced into the house with a fan, creating positive pressure in the home. Bathrooms still need exhaust ventilation when outside air is brought in, as it adds to humid conditions.
- Balanced — Balanced systems add fresh air while exhausting stale air in equal measure, so that the home’s pressure is neither positive nor negative.
- Balanced with heat recovery (HRV, or heat recovery ventilation) — Some balanced systems also recover heat from the exhausted air so that it’s not wasted.
Choosing a Ventilating Systems
The type of system you choose for ventilating your home will depend on your budget, how airtight your home is, and what problems are peculiar to your home.
As you might suppose, some areas of the home need to be ventilated more than others. As mentioned above, the bathroom — site of long showers and frequent flushing of toilets — may need more ventilation than other sites to ensure moisture and odors are removed and exhausted outdoors.
Kitchens are another site where excess moisture, be it from cooking or dishwashers, can be a problem. An exhaust fans should be installed in the range hood to get rid of odors and steam.
To learn more about ventilation, contact CCAC. We’re constantly concerned about our customers in Corpus Christi and the surrounding area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
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