Contemporary energy-efficient homes are wrapped, insulated and sealed so completely that a ventilation system is necessary. When your windows and doors are closed, almost no outside air can enter the home without mechanical help, and fresh air is necessary in order to maintain the air quality in your home.
There are four main types of mechanical ventilation systems:
An exhaust system creates negative air pressure by pulling air out of your home. This system is recommended for cold climates, and it’s the lowest-price option – but it can actually pull pollutants into the home and increase energy costs.
A supply ventilation system creates positive pressure, which pushes the stale air out and replaces it. Supply systems filter and dehumidify the incoming air, and they work well in the warm Florida climate.
Next, there are balanced systems, which combine an exhaust fan and a supply fan. Balanced systems will work well in any climate, but they will cost you more to install, and they won’t save you any more money on energy bills.
Finally, there are energy and heat recovery ventilators that use a heat exchanger to transfer heat (and humidity in ERVs) between incoming and outgoing air.
When deciding which type of ventilation system to install, consider the following factors:
Since your ventilation system will run all the time, you want it to be quiet. Look for a ventilation system rated at 1 or less “sone.”
Position the system’s controls where they won’t be accidentally shut off. As mentioned, ventilation systems need to be on all the time to maintain a comfortable and pollution-free home. Also, think about installing a timer to ramp up the system when the house is occupied.
The ventilated air needs to be distributed correctly. Ensure the system is tested after installation, and that all areas of the house are adequately ventilated.
Finally, if you choose a supply system, make sure the air filter is easy to find and change. Also make sure that a correctly sized fan is installed and compatible with the filter.
To find out which system best fits your home, or for a no-cost home evaluation, pleae contact us at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions, serving Orlando and Central Florida with pride.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ventilation systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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