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Why is ventilation important for proper Indoor Air Quality?

Why is ventilation important for proper Indoor Air Quality?

We're glad you asked!

We were once able to achieve natural ventilation in our homes by merely opening a window. However, with the concern for energy efficiency in recent years, we have been busy making homes "tighter" from an energy efficiency standpoint. Armed with weather-stripping and caulk guns, we have eliminated the opportunity for outside ventilation that could help reduce concentrations of indoor contaminants. But, thanks to some innovative engineering, it is not necessary to throw energy efficiency out the window in order to grab a breath of fresh air.

How can I ventilate my home and still be energy efficient?

It is still possible to exchange stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air without compromising the energy efficiency of your home. With heat recovery ventilators (HRV's) and energy recovery ventilators (ERV's), it's out with the bad air and in with the good - all without wasting energy. HRV's and ERV's are electrically powered units that circulate air throughout your home, using the existing forced air system or specially installed ductwork. The units move stale air out of your home and replace it with an equal volume of fresh outside air. The HRV is a compact unit that conditions the temperature of the outside air, while the ERV is a packaged unit that contains both the temperature and humidity of the outside air. Because these units condition the air before it enters the home, your energy costs remain stable.

Providing fresh air for exchange

The HRV uses virtually noise-free fans that draw in fresh, cool outdoor air while it removes stale, heated indoor air. The ERV performs the same function, only utilizing a rotary energy recovery wheel. In both cases, the units transfer the temperature and moisture properties from one air stream to the other, without allowing the two airflows to mix. Both units offer easy access for change of filters and necessary maintenance, making them not only energy efficient, but easy to use.

Determining if an HRV or ERV is right for you

If you're wondering whether you need to clear the air in your home, you might ask yourself these questions:

When was your home built? If your home is new, it has been built "tighter" to be more energy efficient. This may mean concentrations of air pollutants in your home may be a concern. Builders and installers often install systems that only satisfy the minimum requirement of the code.

Have you upgraded your home to be more energy efficient? If so, it may require an additional source of ventilation.

How often during the year can you comfortably open your windows? Due to the cold winters and hot summers, it is not always possible to have your windows open year-round. Open windows allow other sources of dust, dirt and insects to enter the home un-filtered, not good if you are one of the thousands that suffer with respiratory ailments. Your goals should be to focus on a system that can improve your indoor air quality.

Do odors tend to linger in your home? If this is the case, it is a sign of poor ventilation. There is not enough air being circulated throughout the home to dilute unwanted odors.

Your home comfort should include products and accessories that improve indoor air quality. Your family's health and comfort should be a priority, a properly designed and installed ventilation system can help you provide your family with a "breath of fresh air".

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Custom VAC Ltd.
1567 Logan Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3E 1S5
T. 204-775-7744
T. 204-772-5799
F. 204-774-8557


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