Ventilation: Keeping Your Home’s Air Fresh

Ventilation: Keeping Your Home's Air FreshAdequate home ventilation plays a significant role in your family’s health, during the heating season when all the doors and windows are closed. Indoor air pollutants build, especially in energy efficient, air-tight homes, that can cause mild to serious illnesses.

Increasing the amount of fresh air indoors reduces bad air quality that may come from:

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that come from common household products. Burning candles, using perfumed soaps, air fresheners, dryer sheets or cleaning products introduce potentially harmful VOCs, as do home improvement products like flooring, furniture and upholstery fabrics.
  • Combustion byproducts from gas stoves, malfunctioning furnaces or gas dryers, or exhaust fumes and VOCs entering through small air leaks from an attached garage.

Keeping the air fresher is possible by using:

  • Kitchen and bathroom fans. Whenever you use a gas stove or oven, turn on the exhaust fan as long as it vents outdoors. A re-circulating fan just blows the gases back into the kitchen.
  • Use bathroom fans to remove excess humidity while and after showering. Running all the ventilating fans at once also helps clear the air after using products high in VOCs.
  • Supply-only fans. Window fans and whole-house fan pull fresh air in directly. They’re an excellent solution when outdoor temperatures are comfortable enough to bring indoors, although they introduce allergens when pollen counts outdoors are high. Using them when it’s cold outside increases heating costs.
  • Balanced ventilation systems. These types of mechanical systems combine the benefits of removing stale indoor air and replacing it with fresh air without changing the indoor temperature. They use innovative technology that exchanges the thermal energy of the outgoing air and puts it into the incoming air.
  • Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) deliver fresh air into your home’s forced-air HVAC system or direct it into a specific room or area. They’re the most energy efficient and effective way to improve air quality year-round.

Fresh air ventilation is essential to good health the enjoyment of your home. To learn the best options for your home, contact Roth Heating & Cooling, providing trusted HVAC services for Portland-area homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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