Reasons to Consider Installing a Ventilator

January 15, 2014

Are you annoyed by a stuffy atmosphere in your home? Perhaps you are dealing with odors or indoor air pollution issues that seem difficult to resolve. If your home is well-sealed, it may provide excellent energy efficiency levels during the heating and cooling seasons. However, tight sealing can reduce the flow of fresh air into your home, affecting your indoor air quality significantly. A ventilator might improve the quality while maintaining your energy efficiency.

What Do Ventilators Do?

A ventilator is useful for mechanically facilitating the movement of air into and out of your home. There are different types of ventilators to address various needs:

  • Intake ventilators draw fresh air into a structure
  • Exhaust ventilators move polluted air out of a structure
  • Balanced ventilators perform both functions

Recovery ventilators are special types of balanced units, moving both incoming and outgoing air through a common box. As outgoing air passes through the box, energy is transferred to or recovered by the incoming stream, minimizing the effect on the indoor temperature. Whereas outside air can lead to increased cooling or heating activity if it is introduced directly into the home’s circulation, air that first passes through a recovery ventilator is preconditioned so that it is closer in temperature to the indoor supply.

Which Recovery Ventilator Do I Need?

There are two primary types of recovery ventilators. A heat recovery ventilator moves both streams through a common box with a separation that prevents the streams from mingling. An energy recovery ventilator is nearly identical but contains a paper core that absorbs moisture from the incoming supply. The ERV is ideal in areas with humid summer conditions because of the impact excessive humidity can have on home comfort control. Many areas are equally suitable for either option, but areas with harsh winter conditions are best addressed with an HRV.

Can I Install My Own ERV or HRV?

Although you may be handy with tools and construction techniques, it is wise to allow an HVAC professional to install your ventilation system. During the consultation process, your technician can evaluate the suitability of a specific unit to your home’s needs. He can be sure that your system is properly balanced as well. Manufacturer warranties for such units are usually dependent on professional installation too. If your home uses combustion equipment like a fireplace or furnace, it’s especially important that ventilation installation be completed properly to eliminate the potential for backdrafting of carbon monoxide. This isn’t a good DIY project.

The team at Berkeley Heating & Air Conditioning is available to help with all of your indoor air quality needs, including the installation of a heat or energy recovery ventilator. Our Mount Pleasant, SC, office staff can answer your questions or schedule a consultation when you call.

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