How To Ventilate Your House Properly
Ventilation is not the same as air conditioning. AC maintains a certain temperature and only works on with air already inside, while ventilation is the transfer between indoor and outdoor air. Though it is not as directly connected to your comfort as AC is, periodic ventilation can have other crucial benefits for your home.
Why you should ventilate
The main benefits are:
- Proper ventilation keeps down pollutant levels in your indoor air that can trigger allergies.
- It helps prevent mold by controlling moisture levels, which in turn lowers the risk of wood rot, structural damage, and insulation failure.
- By controlling moisture it also takes some burden off your air conditioner, which would otherwise have more to dehumidify.
Types of ventilation
Mechanical whole-house – A system of fans is set up to bring outside air in through one part of the house and blow indoor air out through another part. It creates a current that should run through the whole house, and during certain parts of the year, the incoming air will be cooler. The preferred route is to take in air on the lower level and vacate it through vents in the roof, but there are also ducted fan systems that can evacuate air at a given point, causing a natural vacuum to draw in replacement air.
Natural ventilation – This is the low tech way to do it, and many older homes are set up to allow this. If the air outside is cool enough and there is a little breeze, you can take a load off both your AC and your power bill because you won’t have to run fans. Even so, this method works best in the morning and evening, while keeping the windows closed and the fans running during the heat of the day.
Spot ventilation – This is when you only need to ventilate a specific area like a kitchen or bathroom, and it uses exhaust fans from those areas to the outside. It can help cut down on moisture that would otherwise burden your AC and in the kitchen, it can help get rid of smoke if something burns.
Structural ventilation – Even though you don’t spend much time in the attics or crawlspaces, they benefit from being ventilated in case there is moisture up there that could cause mold or rot. If you can see mold or mildew then you probably need to call an air professional as it’s unlikely you can remediate it without special equipment. Ventilating the attic can also help your power bill, as all that heat stored in a part of your house might reduce the AC system’s efficiency.
The bottom line
While there are different ways to ventilate, fresh air is good for your home and an important way to prevent long term structural or air quality issues. Is your house ideally set up for natural ventilation? Can your duct system handle mechanical ventilation? If you have any of these questions or more about ventilation, Twin Air in Manassas can help out. Call us at (703) 754-1062 or send us a message on our website.