Explore the advantages and disadvantages of building technology that can reduce moisture and air quality problems.
Today's homebuyers demand tightly sealed and well-insulated homes for lower energy bills and increased comfort. Unfortunately, stale air can build up in these homes, causing indoor air quality problems. This has created the need for active, whole-house ventilation systems that bring in controlled quantities of fresh air.
Whole-house ventilation systems provide controlled, uniform ventilation by using one or more fans and duct systems to exhaust stale air and supply fresh air to the entire house.
There are several types of systems:
Balanced systems are the most expensive. Operating costs can be higher because heating and cooling of makeup air is required for certain seasons and climates.
Advanced systems come with smart controls, which provide ventilation only when required. ENERGY STAR® multispeed fans with low sound levels also are available. The efficiency of balanced systems can be improved with energy recovery ventilators.
Whole-house ventilation systems come with many benefits. They improve the indoor environment through better air flow, and help control moisture and wintertime condensation. For builders, they can reduce callbacks due to moisture problems, odors or air quality complaints.
There are extra costs involved, however, and whole-house ventilation isn't right for every situation. Consider the following before switching to this building technology for your projects:
Use these guidelines when implementing whole-house ventilation systems:
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.2 is the recognized residential standard for ventilation system design and acceptable indoor air quality.