You Can Control Equal Ventilation Throughout Your Home

Equal ventilation doesn’t occur automatically in most houses. It’s important to remember that your central furnace and air conditioner provide heating and cooling — but not ventilation. Standard HVAC components in a home form a closed system that continuously recirculates the same household air. They do not induct outdoor fresh air, nor do they exhaust stale indoor air.

Equal ventilation is desirable to remove indoor air tainted with odors, fumes, water vapor, and airborne particulates. To achieve equal ventilation throughout the house, several options may be combined, or a central, stand-alone unit may be installed.

Exhaust fans.

These units are frequently installed in kitchens, bathrooms, and other limited spaces. Exhaust fans are a one-way option and do not alone create equal ventilation. The fans simply pull indoor air out of a limited area through a dedicated duct, pushing it to the outdoors. Because exhaust fans don’t induct any replacement fresh air, they may induce a slightly negative air pressure inside the house, which may be undesirable for indoor temperature control.

Supply fans.

Another one-way option, supply fans induct fresh outdoor air through a dedicated intake, usually located on the roof. Supply-only ventilation creates positive air pressure inside the home, which may act to push stale household air out through structural cracks and gaps. However, it is not a comprehensive option for equal ventilation.

Balanced ventilation.

Known as heat recovery ventilators (HRV), these whole-house systems produce truly equal ventilation. The system utilizes two fans — one inducts fresh outdoor air while the other exhausts stale indoor air — each fan moving the same air volume in cubic feet per minute (CFM). A central controller incorporates both fans, a high-efficiency air filter, plus a heat exchanger that transfers heat from one airflow to the other. In the winter, heat from exhausting indoor air warms incoming outdoor air; in summer, heat is extracted from incoming air and added to the exhaust stream. HRV units may utilize existing home HVAC ducts or special dedicated ductwork.

For more help clearing the air when it comes to equal ventilation, ask the professionals at Paitson Bros. This is our 99th year serving homeowners of Wabash Valley with expert advice, products, and service.

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