A fully functional air ventilation system is critical to comfort, as well as to a healthy indoor environment. In most houses, ventilation can be reduced to one basic purpose: keeping air moving. This means moving stale indoor air out and inducting fresh outdoor air.
Signs of Insufficient Ventilation
If some aspect of your air ventilation system is insufficient or not fully functional, you may notice these signs:
- Increase of allergic responses, physical irritations, and asthma-like symptoms
- Odors that accumulate and do not disperse
- Dust accumulation on surfaces
- Difficulty maintaining consistent temperatures throughout the house
- High indoor humidity, resulting in mildew and mold issues
To Improve Your Air Ventilation System
- First the easy and obvious: Open windows and doors if it is safe to do so. Make sure all window screens are intact. If screen doors are present, make sure they are secure and can be locked if desired.
- Run portable fans and ceiling fans. Keep airflow moving from one side of the house toward open windows/screen doors at the opposite side of the house. Ceiling fans are helpful to move air whether or not doors or windows are open.
- Use exhaust fans to remove stale air and odors. Kitchen and bathroom fans should be vented to the outside through dedicated ducts.
- Use the “Fan Only” mode on your HVAC system. When heating or cooling isn’t required, this option runs the system blower alone to keep air currents moving throughout the house.
- Change the HVAC air filter regularly. To ensure maximum indoor airflow and to capture particulates that degrade indoor air quality, install a new air filter monthly during the summer and every other month during the winter.
- Consider whole-house ventilation. Known as energy recovery ventilators (ERV) and heat recovery ventilators (HRV), these systems utilize dedicated ductwork and precisely balance the intake of fresh, filtered, outdoor air with the exhaust of stale, indoor air. The units incorporate heat exchangers to prevent unwanted heat loss due to ventilation in the winter and heat gain in the summer.
For more about an optimum air ventilation system, talk to the indoor-air-quality professionals at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company.