Homes are being built tighter than what they used to be. In some homes, this is causing air pollutants to become trapped inside the home. Older homes are drafty, and with drafty homes there are natural ventilation from air being leaked through cracks and holes.
When there is no ventilation, air pollutants such as formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, and radon can get trapped inside your house. Moisture can also build-up in a house with poor ventilation, which can create mold growth. When air pollutants get trapped and moisture turns to mold, your health is at stake because this can cause negative heath affects. It can also create an uncomfortable living situation.
So what can be done to properly ventilate a home? Well, there are several options. Some of the different ventilation categories are:
–No Ventilation/Natural Ventilation: These are common systems with older homes, where you only rely on the draftiness of the house or opening windows and doors for ventilation. However, this does not always equal a properly ventilated home. There needs to be a breeze or a significant temperature difference for the home to be properly ventilated. These systems can also be expensive to heat and cool due to the cracks, doors, and windows allowing heat to escape in winter and cool air to escape in summer.
–Mechanical Ventilation or Whole-house ventilation: Is a system that is effective for any home, but especially in new tighter homes as a way to exchange indoor air with fresh outside air. The system uses fans and duct systems to properly ventilate a home. This will dilute air pollutants and get rid of moisture to make your home healthier and comfortable to live in.
Here at 401(e), we can help determine your need for ventilation and work with our Home Performance with ENERGY STAR partners to install the right system for your home. We recommend ventilation systems that are quiet (low sones), Energy Star rated and certified by the Home Ventilating Institute (www.hvi.org)
A Heat Recovery Ventilation system (HRV) is an ideal solution for tightly sealed homes. It exchanges stale air from inside with fresher outdoor air. To ensure absolute comfort, the system transfers heat from indoor air before it is discharged. It ties into your existing duct system and controls air flow automatically.
If you have a home where you are experiencing negative health affects, it is worth checking into a ventilation system to protect your health and the health of your family.