Ventilation is a crucial element to ensuring your home is healthy and safe, especially if your house is tight. Ventilation is essential to ridding your home of unwanted contaminants like airborne particles, gases, and humidity. In a leaky home, the house is able to breathe more so more fresh air enters the home diluting contaminants. A tight home does not breathe trapping airborne pollutants inside unless action is taken to expel them. A common saying in the building science world is "build tight, ventilate right."
Bathroom exhaust is the form of ventilation that homeowners are usually most familiar. The exhaust fan in your bathroom is important for expelling moisture created while taking a shower or bath, especially if air sealing is completed on your home. Bath fans should have an exhaust rate of at least 50 cubic feet per minute to properly expel moisture. During an energy audit, we test your bathroom fans and if your bathroom fans do not meet this rate, we can replace them with fans that are more effective and efficient, and usually quieter, than the previous.
You may not realize it but everyday cooking creates harmful airborne particles and moisture which contribute to bad indoor air quality. Most homeowners only use their exhaust when something goes wrong in the kitchen, but it is best practice to use the exhaust whenever you are using the cook top. If you have a gas range it is especially important to use the exhaust fan whenever you're cooking to help eliminate harmful combustion gases. We will examine your current kitchen ventilation system and determine if it is the best method for your home, and the possible options for improvement if needed.
Whole House Ventilation
If your home is tightened to a certain degree then whole house ventilation is required. A common method of whole house ventilation is to upgrade the HVAC system to handle this task. Another common method is to install an ERV (energy recovery ventilator) ventilation unit, which exchanges indoor air for fresh outdoor air while maintaining proper interior humidity in changing seasons. We always test a house after completing air sealing and any other work that would affect your home’s air exchange rate to check if whole house ventilation is needed, and we can determine the best method for your home.
We were very happy with the work by ERS. From the initial evaluation to the completion of the work, Paul Swenson and his crew were a pleasure. We learned a lot about our house in the process, and feel confident that we'll head into this winter with a much more energy-efficient home. I recommend ERS without hesitation.