Indoor air quality is directly related to our health and well-being. On average, Americans spend 90% of their lives indoors and the air in today’s tightly sealed homes can trap pollutants. Balanced ventilation is the most effective way to ensure our homes have the healthiest air quality possible.
What is Balanced Ventilation?
A balanced ventilation system brings in fresh air from outside while simultaneously exhausting an equal amount of stale air from inside. Traditional bath fans that exhaust indoor air without taking in outdoor air can lead to pressure imbalances, increase humidity and decrease energy efficiency in the home. Balanced ventilation usually consists of two vents: one for exhaust and one for intake, usually with multiple ports in locations such as bathrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms allowing for the entire house to feel fresh.
Choosing the Right Ventilation System
Traditional ventilation systems exhaust conditioned air, thus wasting energy and forcing your home’s HVAC system to work harder. The most energy-efficient option for improving your home’s air quality is an energy recovery ventilation system (ERV.) ERVs utilize the thermal energy from indoor air to heat or cool fresh air coming into your home. Additionally, ERVs will regulate humidity levels; reducing humidity in the summer and increasing it in the winter.
Image Source: Water Foods Pvt. Ltd
This diagram shows how an ERV functions: 1) Fresh air is brought into the unit. 2) Indoor air is sucked out of the home and meets with the incoming fresh air. 3) The energy from the outgoing air is transferred to the incoming air, thus recycling the energy.
When compared to traditional ventilation systems, an ERV can save homeowners anywhere from 20-40% on their energy bills. Generally speaking, these units cost around $2000 including installation fees and pay for themselves within 2 years.
Improved Air Quality
Installing a balanced ventilation system in your home can lead to better air quality in the following ways：
- Enhanced filtration of airborne particles like dust, pollen, and pollutants.
- Volatile Organic Compound Reduction: Paints and cleaning agents let off potentially harmful chemicals which can be removed through balanced ventilation.
- Removal of excess moisture and condensation.
- Control of Indoor Humidity: Proper humidity control helps prevent mold and mildew growth.
- Removal of everyday household odors.
As a bonus, cleaner air quality has been shown to improve cognition and productivity.
Interested In Improving Your Indoor Air Quality?
If you’d like more information on how you can minimize energy consumption and maximize savings while making your home more comfortable all year round, then contact Energy Geeks. Our mission is to provide the most comprehensive and efficient solutions to reduce energy use in your home.