2 Common Whole House Ventilation Systems

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Ceiling Return Air Vent

 

The air inside your home can make you sick if you don’t regularly exchange it with outdoor air. The irony is that modern, energy-efficient homes are more likely to accumulate irritants and toxins than older, drafty houses.

Even though your home may be superior when it comes to heating and cooling, it may also be filled with harmful substances that need to be removed. The best way to accomplish this task is by installing a whole-house ventilation system.

Whole house ventilation is a highly effective way to keep the air inside your home clean and healthy. Below is more information about two common whole-house ventilation systems and the best options for your home.

1. Exhaust Ventilation System

Exhaust ventilation systems operate by pulling outside air into the home. An exhaust ventilation system is the simplest of whole-house ventilation systems, as they can function with a single exhaust fan. Some exhaust ventilation systems also include ducts, but they aren’t necessary for operation.

There are a variety of exhaust ventilation configurations in use, but all exhaust systems create negative pressure inside the home. Negative pressure occurs whenever the outside air pressure exceeds that of the home’s interior.

As a result of negative pressure, fresh air is pulled into the home through any openings between the exterior and interior of the structure, while stale air is blown out of the exhaust fan. Optionally, an exhaust ventilation system may be equipped with installed intake vents that permit more air to enter the home. However, if the openings are too large, air movement may be negatively affected, so this feature is often omitted from exhaust ventilation systems.

Exhaust ventilation systems are best suited for use in cold, dry climates. Warm or humid climates present problems for homes with exhaust ventilation systems, as the damp air may form condensation inside the walls of the home.

In addition, exhaust ventilation systems are prone to introduce pollutants or harmful gases into the home, such as radon. Since there is no filtration in use with an exhaust ventilation system, the home is largely unprotected — meaning that the exhaust ventilation is not suited for areas where radon or outside pollution is problematic.

2. Supply Ventilation System

Another common whole-house ventilation system is supply ventilation. Supply ventilation systems work in a manner exactly opposite of exhaust ventilation systems. Instead of pulling stale air out of the home, supply ventilation pushes fresh air into the home, which means that the interior air is subsequently pushed through the tiny pores and openings in the exterior walls.

Supply ventilation systems work particularly well in warm climates since the air that is forced through the walls is similar in composition to the exterior air and doesn’t create condensation.

In addition, supply ventilation systems are more suitable for use in areas where external pollutants are present. Incoming air is able to be filtered as it enters the intake fan, thus stripping potentially harmful substances before they can pass into the home.

As well as supply ventilation systems work, they do have limitations. For example, supply ventilation systems aren’t usually suitable for use in cold, dry climates.

Interior air, which often contains more moisture than the dry, cold exterior air surrounding the home, is prone to condensate on the way through the chilled walls. This can cause the same outcome that occurs in homes in warm climates with exhaust ventilation systems.

If you have questions about ventilating your home, be sure to contact Controlled Comfort for help. Our team of professionals can assist you in improving your home’s ventilation and provide installation and servicing of air conditioning and heating systems.

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