Understading why proper ventilation is essential to your home and health
A poorly vented attic in summer can reach extremely high temperatures – and so will the ceilings of the rooms below. Unwanted heat results in discomfort and high air conditioning bills.
When homeowners think about improving their home's comfort or the efficiency of their HVAC system, ventilation is usually not the first area that comes to mind. However, ventilation is vital to the health and comfort of any home. When your attic, crawl space, or basement aren't properly vented, your home will retain moisture and heat, making it uncomfortable.
Dr. Energy Saver specializes in a wide variety of home ventilation services, and we can help you keep your home healthy and comfortable. Call your local dealer today to get a home evaluation and a free estimate on any of our ventilation services!
The right ventilation makes a big difference
Controlled ventilation helps ensure healthy indoor air quality in a house that has been air-sealed to make it "tighter" and more energy efficient.
Before you start upgrades on your home's HVAC and ventilation, it's important to understand what is happening in your home. Here are a few key areas of home ventilation:
- Uncontrolled vs. controlled ventilation: "Uncontrolled" ventilation refers to air that leaks into or out of the house. This happens around windows and doors, through under-insulated walls, and in any other areas there are even the slightest gaps in the home's exterior. Uncontrolled ventilation allows for conditioned air that you've paid to heat or cool to escape from the house. This constant leakage makes a home less comfortable and much more expensive to heat and cool. While air sealing reduces the amount of uncontrolled ventilation in a house, "controlled" ventilation is needed for good indoor air quality. Common methods of controlled ventilation include exhaust fans in kitchen and bathroom areas provide ventilation that we control on an as-needed basis, and air-to-air heat exchangers that exhaust stale interior air while drawing in a balanced volume of outside air.
- Active ventilation vs. passive ventilation: "Active" ventilation is accomplished using electrically powered vent fans. Small vent fans are installed in kitchens and bathrooms because these areas frequently need active ventilation to exhaust air laden with smoke, odors and moisture from cooking and bathing. Attic fans and powered attic ventilators (PAVs) can provide active ventilation in attic areas. However, this type of active ventilation can do more harm than good if your home has not been properly air-sealed. If oversized, negative pressure in the attic can suck conditioned air from the living spaces below. "Passive" ventilation requires no electricity, so it's inherently more energy efficient. In the attic, passive ventilation can reduce summertime heat buildup in the same way through convection, as ridge and gable vents expel the hottest air at the roof peak and Cooler air is drawn in at the soffits, lowering the overall temperature of the attic. A cooler attic results in a cooler living space in the living space below.
Key areas of the home for ventilation
For a home to have ideal indoor air quality and maintain efficiency and comfort, it's important that ventilation happens in the right areas. Here are three key spots to address for ventilation:
- Attics: Hot air naturally rises, which is why your attic is the hottest space in the house in the summer. However, if this hot air can't escape the home, the living space under the attic will be uncomfortable warm. Attic fans are a smart addition for many homes, as they will forcibly exhaust hot air from the home, which is especially important if you have ducts for your air conditioning system in your attic.
- Roof: Passive roof ventilation is another ventilation option for many homes. Soffit, ridge, and gable vents are the three main types of roof vents, and each will allow hot air to escape the home to maintain cooler temperatures. Your Dr. Energy Saver dealer can help you determine how much ventilation your home needs.
- Crawl spaces: Unlike the top of the home, vents in the crawl space work against your home's air quality, efficiency, and comfort. Vents in the crawl space allow damp, humid air to enter the crawl space, where it will damage insulation and lead to mold growth. Encapsulating a crawl space eliminates these problems by bringing the crawl space into the building envelope and creating a dry, healthy space.
Get the right ventilation for your home
If you want to learn more on how to control ventilation and get the right ventilation solutions for your home, contact your local Dr. Energy Saver dealer today. We offer a variety of cooling systems will improve your home's air quality, comfort, and efficiency. Call today to schedule a home energy audit or an estimate on ventilation services!