Common Options That Lead to Balanced Home Ventilation
There are different types of ventilation options available for homeowners. Supply and exhaust mechanical systems are two options, but balanced home ventilation is considered by professionals to be the best for health, home and efficiency. Keep reading to see which ventilation option is best for your Cincinnati area home.
Home VentilationVentilation can occur in a number of ways, including naturally via a home’s leaky envelope or open windows, and mechanical ventilation. Relying on natural ventilation can allow contaminants in from outdoors or your attached garage, and opening windows isn’t always practical. The best ventilation solution is to dilute and mitigate contaminated and stale indoor air using balanced mechanical ventilation.
Mechanical OptionsTwo leading types of balanced ventilation systems are energy-recovery ventilators (ERVs) and heat-recovery ventilators (HRVs). Both ventilation systems supply the home with balanced fresh-air intake and expelled air. Both systems also save heating and cooling costs by transferring heat from the warmer air supply to the cooler air supply. During the winter, cold intake air absorbs heat from stale expelled air. The opposite heat exchange occurs during summer. The only difference between an ERV and an HRV is humidity exchange, which the ERV performs from the more humid airstream to the less humid airstream, whichever that might be.
Which Option Is Best for Your Home?Consider the following points when deciding which system is best for your needs:
- For efficiency, consider both the heat-exchange core and the fan’s efficiency. For instance, a high-efficiency HRV may transfer more than 90 percent heat energy between airstreams, but the same model may use more electricity to power the fan.
- If you’re using existing ducts and the furnace blower, consider installing a variable-speed blower with the ERV or HRV for more energy savings.
- The choice of humidity control has more to do with your home’s dynamics, such as number of occupants, square footage and activities that create humidity, rather than just climate alone.