Adequate building ventilation is critical for your family’s health and the durability of your home. We typically spend 80% of our time indoors and the quality of the air that we breathe is less than ideal. Most homes have excessive contaminants and moisture, especially as homes become more air tight due to efforts to become more energy efficient. Exposure to these contaminants can cause short and long-term health problems, and moisture buildup can cause mold and other damages your home.
- House Plants
- Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from cleaning supplies, paint, building materials, furniture, etc.
- Second-hand smoke
- Mold and other allergens
The primary methods for improving indoor air quality are
- Source Control: avoid introducing the pollutants into your home in the first place.
- Ventilation: remove stale air and replace it with fresh air.
- Filtration: clean the air that is inside.
Most of the methods used to improve indoor air quality have an energy cost, but there are ways to minimize the cost of providing the levels of ventilation that you need. The most efficient and comfortable way to get whole-house ventilation is to install a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or an energy recovery ventilator (ERV). These bring fresh outdoor air and remove stale inside air while transferring most of the energy from one air stream to another. That energy transfer minimizes the amount of energy you have to use to bring the incoming air to the temperature you want inside your home. In addition to ventilating, good ERVs also provide great levels of filtration to reduce the level of particles in the air you breathe.