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How Does Ventilation Affect Indoor Air Quality?

Builders seal homes more efficiently today than decades ago. They do so to save on utilities—less air leakage means less money spent on heating and cooling. Unfortunately, these energy conservation efforts introduce ventilation concerns. If air cannot escape then pollutants can thrive unabatedly.

How Ventilation Systems Remove Pollutants from the Home

We bring various pollutants into our homes without realizing it. When we cook, paint or sand, for instance, we release a bevy of particles into the air. Thus, ventilation is necessary to remove them and replace the contaminated air with fresh air.

By default, most HVAC systems do not mechanically bring in outdoor air. This means that you must rely on natural methods like opening windows and doors to let stale air escape. That said, modern systems now incorporate ventilation and filtration mechanics to improve indoor air quality and recover lost heating and cooling during the exchange. You can install such mechanics on existing HVAC systems, too.

Types of Ventilation Systems Available to Homeowners

You can install two types of ventilation systems: spot or dilation. Spot ventilation systems use exterior exhaust fans to expel pollutants and humidity from isolated spaces. For example, spot ventilations systems commonly appear in bathrooms and kitchens. Although some spot systems come with time and de-humidistat controls, most are switch-operated.

Dilute ventilation systems improve the indoor air quality of all living spaces. The effectiveness of the air exchange hinges on the cleaning mechanics—filters and dehumidifiers. Such additions make the biggest difference compared to natural ventilation efforts, as mentioned above.

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