North County residents enjoy some of the mildest winters anywhere in the country, which gives them plenty of ventilation options. Fresh air keeps indoor air quality (IAQ) high all year long, but maintaining it becomes a challenge when your home is tightly closed during cold weather.
It’s easy to think that indoor air is healthier than outdoor air, but the reverse is often true. The U.S. EPA has found air in homes to be much more polluted than outside air. Lowering the loads of the gases and particulates that harm IAQ is possible by using exhaust fans and balanced ventilation systems.
The kitchen and bathroom fans remove a good deal of stale, stuffy air, especially if you open windows in several of your rooms. The fans create negative pressure that will force air in from any open windows or doors, which replaces the contaminated indoor air.
Whole-house fans will pull a high volume of air from your home, but you must have enough windows open to replace the outgoing air. Some are solar powered. Most of the time they’re installed second-floor hallways and vent directly to the outdoors.
Balanced Ventilation Systems
Energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) and heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) are the best ventilation options to use year-round to freshen the air without raising energy bills or pulling in seasonal allergens. These ventilation systems pull out the same amount of stale air as they pull in. Many use air filters to trap pollen and other particulates for the incoming air.
These devices use heat exchange technology so that the energy in the outgoing air is transferred to the incoming air. Heating bills won’t rise appreciably even though ERVs operate frequently during a 24-hour period. They’re installed in attics or closets and can vent directly into a room or the HVAC ductwork.
Having a good ventilation option keeps your air fresh even with doors and windows are tightly closed. To learn more, contact Sherlock Plumbing, Heating & Air, providing trusted HVAC services for North County homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).