Remembering the “V” in HVAC: Why Ventilation is Important

Here at Polestar Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning we have entered thousands upon thousands of homes in our 32 years (and counting!) of being in business. An often overlooked aspect we have noticed within the homes we’ve entered has been the ventilation systems. In this blog post we want to emphasize how important good home ventilation is, and the various home and health factors that ventilation impacts, while demonstrating what you can do to control the ventilation in your home.

Good home ventilation is important for the simple fact that people spend 90% of their time indoors, with the vast majority of that time typically being at their home or their work. While you can’t always control the ventilation at your work, you most certainly can in your home. Due to the amount of time you spend indoors, indoor air pollution can actually be a bigger threat to your health than outdoor air pollution. Because of this having proper indoor ventilation can help mitigate these health risks, while also increasing the comfort in your home. Up until about 100 years ago homes weren’t ventilated, meaning that the homes themselves were very leaky insulation in the walls, so fresh air could pretty easily enter through all the gaps, cracks, and holes in the building envelope. Now because of advances in home design that air isn’t leaking out, but a new problem has emerged: how to get quality new air in and out of the home. This is where the benefits of having a good ventilation system in your home comes into play.

Benefits of proper home ventilation:

  1. Health benefits
    Pollutants in your home's air can cause poor indoor air quality, potentially causing dizziness and headaches, plus aggravate allergies and asthma. Proper home ventilation can also protect you and your family from unpleasant odors in the home, as well as potentially from harmful gasses such as carbon monoxide and radon.
  2. Stopping humidity in your home
    The influx of water in the air in your home could lead to the growth of mold and rotten surfaces in your home. Ventilation reduces this humidity, while also regulating the temperature and controlling moisture levels in the home. This proper ventilation will prevent the growth of mold and mildew, two byproducts of a build-up of condensation, decreasing the risk of allergic reactions.
  3. Air regulation
    A proper ventilation system means you will have the right amount of fresh air coming in and out of your home. Unless you have a ventilation system in place, you have no control of the air flow in a building. Too much fresh air can mean costly energy bills, while not enough causes a host of other problems (described in #1 and #2). A proper ventilation system in your home eliminates this issue.

Types of ventilation:

  1. Spot ventilation
    Spot ventilation is used for localized pollution sources, especially places where smells are strong, such as a bathroom or kitchen. Spot ventilation may also be used for places such as workshops, garages, or home offices.
  2. General ventilation
    General ventilation dilutes pollutants from sources that exist in many different locations or move from place to place. It mixes fresh outdoor air with the existing indoor air to remove the pollutants in the air. General ventilation typically uses fan that run constantly, so they are a good choice if pets are in the house. An example of a general ventilation product, especially one just as good for the wintertime as the summertime, can be found here.

Hopefully this blog explained why a good home ventilation system is a necessity for your home. If you’re interested in acquiring or updating your home ventilation system, or for more information, click here.