Traditional heating and cooling systems do not include any mechanisms by which fresh air is introduced to your home. Since the same air is circulated over and over, it can become much more polluted than the exterior air. Opening windows can help, but mechanical ventilation systems offer greater comfort and control. Several different types are available.
The most versatile setup exchanges an equal amount of air between the inside and outside of your home. Balanced ventilation systems are suitable for any climate. Many of these will transfer heat from the incoming air to the outgoing air during the summer to reduce the amount your air conditioner will have to work. During the winter, they will do the opposite to reduce the heating load. One common type, “energy recovery” ventilation, will also transfer moisture along with the heat. This lessens the amount your air conditioner has to work dehumidifying air in the summer, and keeps the air in your home from getting too dry in the winter.
An exhaust ventilation system constantly removes air from a home, usually via fans located in bathrooms. Due to condensation concerns, these are best suited for cold climates. They create a low-pressure situation within the house, so exterior air will be drawn in through existing holes or gaps. When warmer exterior air is drawn into a house like this, it can condense on the cooler surfaces and cause moisture problems.
Supply systems bring air into a home via a supply ventilation system routed to your main HVAC return duct. This allows your heating and cooling system to condition the air before it circulates in your home. Supply ventilation systems are not well suited for cold climates because the interior of the home will become pressurized. When air leaves via holes or gaps, it can condense on colder surfaces and cause moisture problems in unconditioned areas such as attics or crawl spaces.
For more information on ventilation systems, please contact us at Cool Power, LLC. We have been serving residents and businesses on Long Island since 1975.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hauppauge, New York and the Long Island area 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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