The air inside our homes can be full of airborne hazards.
Sometimes it seems like a homeowner cannot catch a break. For years we have been encouraged to insulate our homes and make them as airtight as possible and reduce energy use. Now, as we sit inside our airtight house watching the nightly news, we are being inundated with reports about the dangers of indoor air pollution. Our carefully constructed bubble of a house is now full of airborne hazards that are harmful to our families’ health. We can combat this by opening a window and letting all of our heated air fly out of it, or we can invest in a energy recovery ventilator.
Energy Recovery Ventilator System
Your house is full of unhealthy gases. Building materials, heating systems, stoves and even people all emit harmful gases. On top of that, dust mites and bacteria thrive in stale air. Symptoms of breathing too much polluted air usually mimic the flu. People prone to lung illnesses such as asthma are especially vulnerable to a homes’ polluted atmosphere.
The easiest, most affordable way to combat this, aside from opening the windows, is to have your HVAC company install a energy recovery ventilator in conjunction with your homes heating systems. This is not a do-it-yourself job. Two connections are needed to the outdoors, one to exhaust the air out of the house, and the other to bring in fresh air. Ideally these are located on opposite sides of your home to avoid cross-contamination. The intake for fresh air should not be located near the driveway or laundry vent, but rather in an outside area that is clear from any dangerous emissions. The unit is connected inside to the houses forced air system so that the clean air is easily circulated using the existing ductwork.
How does it work?
The energy recovery ventilator works by forcing the stale air from inside into a heat exchanger. Here, the heat from the air is extracted and transferred to the colder incoming air. In the summer, the opposite occurs, as the outgoing air will cool off the warm air coming in from outside. A good amount of money is saved by not needing to heat or cool the incoming air with the homes furnace or air conditioning unit. You can use a timer to operate the ventilator or a sensor that detects humidity levels in the home. These can be adjusted according to a level of humidity that is most comfortable to you and your family.
Have a discussion with your HVAC technician before making any purchase. A similar product is sold called a heat recovery ventilator. These only transfer heat and cannot be adjusted to humidity levels. The energy recovery ventilator transfers moisture along with the heat allowing humidity levels inside the house to remain at a constant level.
Energy recovery ventilators are a great investment for any homeowner concerned about the quality of air their family is breathing in. If you are considering having one installed in your house, call Thomas Hoffmann Air Conditioning & Heating LLC at (314) 471-7625 for a consultation. We can help you make your homes air safe to breathe.