Freshen Up Your Home with a Ventilation System
Spring is here... and with it comes all of those outdoor projects and activities you’ve were envisioning all winter long. And if you are a dedicated cocooner, chances are you’ve been spending a lot of time inside the past several months. Whether it’s pizza night with the kids... game night with your friends... or maybe a little home improvement project like painting the spare bedroom... you are also potentially creating an indoor environment that is decidedly less than fresh. That’s because these newer efficient, more tightly constructed homes, seal in more air than ever before and can trap airborne particles, gases, unpleasant odors, moisture, and other irritants allowing them to re-circulate throughout your home.
INDOOR AIR POLLUTANTS
According to the EPA, the offending sources can include chemical pollutants found in air fresheners, paint, aerosol sprays, pesticides, cleansers, disinfectants... and carbon dioxide from simple breathing, or from cooking appliances wood, and other combustibles. Irritants like dust, dirt, pollen and more can then circulate throughout your home through the heating and cooling vents. These unwanted particles can settle on your furnishings, can pollute the air that you breathe every day and can build up in your HVAC equipment, restricting airflow and altering the performance of your home comfort system.
FRESH AIR VENTILATION
Sure, you could open a few windows to let the fresh air in... if you don’t mind losing energy dollars out the door. Or, you could incorporate a more sophisticated solution: a whole-home fresh air ventilation system. Fresh air ventilation can bring a little of the outside world into your home environment – fresh, outdoor air – while maintaining your comfort and the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Carrier® fresh air ventilators work behind the scenes to remove airborne pollutants and refresh your indoor environment with minimal energy loss. It’s kind of like opening all the windows to let the fresh air in, without letting heated or cooled air escape.
Fresh air ventilators come in three main categories – heat recovery ventilators, energy recovery ventilators, and fresh air vents. Heat recovery ventilators (HRV) and energy recovery ventilators (ERV) offer a more sophisticated solution that captures heating or cooling energy from outgoing air and transfers it to the incoming fresh air without mixing the airstreams. The high-efficiency heat recovery core from Carrier HRVs and ERVs recovers heat, or energy, from stale indoor air being exhausted and transfers it to the fresh, incoming outdoor air for maximum comfort with minimal heat loss. The ERV core also removes excess humidity from recirculated air, which can help you to save money by feeling more comfortable with less assistance from your heating and cooling system.
HEAT RECOVERY VENTILATOR
If you live in a colder climate with a longer heating season, such as Canada or the northern United States, the HRV can provide comfort and efficiency.
ENERGY RECOVERY VENTILATOR
In the Midwest and southern states, where humidity removal is needed for the incoming air, an ERV can provide year-round efficiency.
FRESH AIR VENT
This product provides an alternative, less expensive solution to bring fresh air into your home. Although it doesn’t have the heat exchange capabilities of an ERV or HRV, fresh air is introduced in a controlled manner.
TURN TO AN EXPERT
Fresh air ventilation is a great way to freshen up your home, but be aware that is isn’t a basic DIY solution. You’ll want to call a qualified HVAC contractor to assess your system, make a recommendation and follow up with installing your whole-home ventilator. And, to address other indoor air quality issues, talk to your local HVAC dealer about an air purifier or air cleaner and a CO detector if you have any fuel-burning appliances like a natural gas furnace, stove, water heater, or fireplace.