Ventilation systems are becoming increasingly more important as homes are built with tighter and tighter exterior shells. Such tight construction is ideal for saving on energy bills, but with hardly any airflow between the interior and exterior, indoor pollution builds up to unhealthy levels. That’s where the ventilation system comes in.
Energy recovery ventilation replaces stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air while preheating or cooling the incoming air. This prevents you from paying to reheat the incoming air.
As your system is designed, there are eight factors you need to keep in mind for the best ventilation system possible:
- Position the fresh air intake away from the driveway as well as the furnace and laundry exhaust vents. You don’t want your fresh air intake bringing in car exhaust or other harmful gases.
- Install a supply vent in each common area as well as in every room with a door. This ensures the whole home receives an equal distribution of air from the ventilation system.
- Install return outlets in rooms with high pollution and moisture content, including the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room.
- Locate return outlets within 12 inches of the ceiling so moist, polluted air is eliminated as it rises. Make sure these outlets are at least 10 feet away from the cook top in the kitchen so vaporized grease doesn’t enter the ventilation system’s sensitive energy recovery core.
- Install duct runs as straight and direct as possible. The shorter the duct runs, the less energy is lost as the air is transported in and out of your home.
- Use round ductwork to keep airflow at the ideal level.
- Install ductwork insulation in areas where it travels through unheated spaces to help prevent heat loss and gain. Seal all joints with duct mastic or a similar compound as well.
- If necessary, use a condensate drain to carry away excess moisture that is created by the system.
For a professionally installed ventilation system, please contact Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal for your northwest Arkansas home. We’re happy to answer questions or offer our expert advice about ventilation systems.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ventilation systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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