What is Home Ventilation?

Who wants a drafty house? Not the modern American family, that’s for sure. Our homes are built so that they are as tightly sealed as possible to keep the outside air out and the climate-controlled indoor air in. We have no tolerance for air leaks! Leaks are bad, right? Right?

Leaks around you doors and windows do sap some energy from your home; that much is true. The homes of old did cost more to heat and cool because of drafts and leaks but they did have one advantage over modern homes. They were naturally ventilated.

Studies show that indoor air is often far more polluted that outdoor air – up to 10 times worse. Why is that? It’s because our leak-intolerant attitude has trapped all those cooking mishaps, mold and mildew spores, bathroom odors, cleaning fumes, pet dander and all the other contaminants in the house. Without proper ventilation, nothing leaves and that could include seriously dangerous gasses like carbon monoxide.

So how do you keep the air flowing without having an uncomfortable, drafty home? We have to do it mechanically. Without going into the technical specs, there are four basic types of whole home ventilation systems:

  • Exhaust
  • Supply
  • Balanced
  • Energy Recovery

Each of these methods has its own set of pros and cons. Some work better in warm climate while another may thrive in the cold. Some are easy to install and some harder. Costs can vary widely depending on the type of system. You’ll need the help of an air conditioning installation professional to walk you through all the details. The basic premise of each is to get some outside air into the home and take some of the indoor air (and thus its pollutants) back out without leaving you in a draft.

What does this mean for you, the homeowner? It means that if you want your indoor air to be healthy and livable, you will need help with home ventilation. Ask your local air conditioning installation experts what’s best for your home.