New Energy Efficient Homes and Fresh Air Ventilation

Precision Comfort Choice #8: Outside Air Ventilation for Tight Homes

Mechanical Ventilation Overview: 
New homes built to strict energy efficiency standards should have some fresh air. How you get your fresh air and the amount you need is very personal and it may or may not include extra mechanical ventilation devices.
To help simplify this complicated topic, below we explain three basic levels of venting your home.

Ventilation Option: Primary Feature: Reasons to choose this option
1) Simple, no initial cost, exhaust only ventilation The first level of ventilation is the easiest. Simply run your bath and kitchen exhaust fans as needed. Any air removed from the home will be replaced by outside air. Dryer venting and door traffic will also add more fresh air. This easy method of ventilation can be adequate for homes with low levels of indoor pollutants like smoking, pets, excessive humidity, aerosols, or other odor producing hobbies.
2) Entry Level Mechanical Ventilation Duct
We can connect your heating and cooling system to the outside with a duct and control the amount of air that comes into your home with a time controlled damper. This is the first step in venting and can be used on its own as long as only a small amount of outside air is brought in.
3) Mechanical Ventilation with Conditioning Equipment
As you increase the amount of outside air being brought into your home, you will need an increasing number of additional conditioning devices to keep up with energy costs and humidity issues. Most important is humidity and the most common additional item needed is the whole house dehumidifier and extra controls. When you need larger volumes of outside air, you must consider humidity load in the summer and the drying load in the winter. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers are normally an option for your home, but if you bring in lots of outside air, they become mandatory.

 

What is an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator)? 
An Energy Recovery Ventilator is designed to save energy for homes with significant ventilation. Heat that is normally exhausted in the winter is “saved” and partially warms the incoming cold air. In the summer, cooled air is used to pre-cool incoming outdoor air. A small percent of the humidity is also transferred.

ERV ventilation with dehumidifier
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