The Importance of Good Air Circulation
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that as many as 25 million people are affected by asthma each year. Common and chronic conditions like this one can be affected drastically by the quality of the air that you breathe. What if something as simple as good air circulation could help to improve your quality of life?
When it comes to your HVAC system, ventilation should be a significant concern for your home. This can be achieved through a number of means, but many homeowners choose to install a ventilation system with their air conditioner or furnace. This machine helps to pump fresh outdoor air into the home, replacing any indoor air that may be filled with contaminants.
What can you do about the air quality in your home? First, let’s take a look at the ways homeowners can modify their air quality by using a ventilation system.
There are four main categories of ventilation systems, so it can be tricky to choose which one is right for your home. Homeowners will need to choose between an exhaust system, supply system, balanced system, or an energy and heat recovery ventilator.
You’re probably already familiar with the exhaust system. Most homes have fans and vents in their bathrooms and over top of their stoves. This is an exhaust system that uses a fan to draw air out of one singular point of the home. Unfortunately, exhaust systems have the potential to draw in more allergens and pollutants as the fresh air enters. This type of system doesn’t do much to improve the quality of your indoor air.
A supply system is the exact opposite of an exhaust system. Where an exhaust system depressurizes the house to receive fresh air, a supply system pressurizes it. It forces so much pressure into the air that it leaks out through doors, windows, and walls in order to allow fresh air in. Supply systems allow in less pollutants than exhaust systems, which is a major perk. However, neither system works to control moisture or humidity levels.
Balanced systems are a completely separate entity. They use air ducts and fans to bring fresh air into the home and remove polluted air from your most contaminated areas. With the use of filtration systems, you can bring cleaner outdoor air into the home. The major disadvantage of a balanced ventilation system is the increased heating and cooling costs. Moisture may still be an issue with this type of home ventilation system as well.
Heat and Energy Recovery Ventilation Systems
An energy and heat recovery ventilation system is considered to be the best option for homeowners in all climates. They’re more expensive to install and require a much more experienced AC technician to install them properly. When done correctly, these efficient systems can help homeowners save money on their monthly heating and cooling costs to make up for the initial investment.
Both of these machines work in mostly the same way. They utilize the preexisting ductwork to transfer the heat to cooler outside air in the winter. In warmer months, they do the exact opposite by cooling down the warm air that enters.
In an energy recovery ventilation system, the heat exchanger in the unit helps to transfer some moisture into the air along with heat. This can provide greater stability for homes that struggle with moisture levels and humidity. In comparison, a heat recovery ventilation system transfers only heat into the air.
Why Can’t I Open a Window?
Many years ago, most homeowners eliminated stuffy air in their homes through simpler means like opening the windows. This provides a cost-effective means of bringing fresh outdoor air into the home, but is it really the best option for ventilation?
Opening the window allows outdoor air to enter the home completely unfiltered. You could be bringing in contaminants that are just as harmful or more plentiful than what already exist in your indoor air. The filtration found in many ventilation systems help to minimize the number of pollutants or allergens that are in the air of your home.
You also lose the ability to control humidity levels when you open the windows. In the summertime, you may be bringing in damp air that can make your home feel hotter and lead to more serious issues.
With a whole-house ventilation system, you can gain some control over both the allergens and the humidity to boost your indoor air quality. The better your air circulates, the more likely you are to experience improved health conditions for your family.
Why Does Air Circulation Matter?
Installing a ventilation system may sound like an unnecessary addition to a preexisting heating and cooling system. How does the air circulation in your home really affect your family or your health?
The truth is that air circulation is important for improving the overall quality of the air inside your home. Keeping a steady supply of fresh air moving throughout the house can help to prevent harmful allergens from multiplying. For example, you may want to consider how often you cook meals, use supplies like paint or strong glues, or scrub your house with strong cleaners. All of these items can release odors and fumes that build up inside your home and can cause long-term issues for your health.
The major benefit of air circulation is its ability to remove some of these particles from the air in order to give you better indoor air quality.
One of the other significant advantages to a ventilation system is humidity control. A home that has too much moisture building up inside may develop a serious mold issue. The CDC recommends keeping humidity levels lower than fifty percent throughout the day in order to prevent the growth and buildup of mold.
You may find yourself suffering from many common symptoms in response to a moldy home, such as a stuffy nose, coughing, eye and skin irritation, or exaggerated asthma symptoms. All of these symptoms may be alleviated when you leave the contaminated environment or when the mold is actually removed from the area.
Be aware that simply cleaning up the mold may not remedy your issue. If you don’t simultaneously take care of the cause of the mold growth, it may regrow in the months ahead. It’s easy to become trapped in a vicious cycle of cleaning mold only to have it spontaneously appear again. Correcting the humidity levels in your home with an energy recovery ventilation system may help to stop mold growth right in its tracks.
If you or your family members suffer from asthma or common cold symptoms on a regular basis, you may benefit greatly from improving your indoor air quality. A ventilation system is the best and most effective way to introduce cleaner outdoor air into the home to replace contaminated air.
Find out how much your health could improve just by gaining better air circulation in your home. You may find a lot more money in your wallet at the end of the month from the savings on your doctor’s bill and your heating or cooling costs.