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So you've just invested in a new heating or cooling unit for your home. That's great, congratulations! If you've purchased a high-efficient model, you are well on you way to receiving cost effective air quality for years to come. However, even the best units on the market can be limited to the mechanical system (ductwork) it has to work with. If your home is not properly ventilated, you may not be receiving all the potential benefits of your new heating or cooling unit.
Proper in-home ventilation is critical to your family's health and comfort. Pollutants caused by everyday activities can get trapped inside your home and create a stale environment. In the past, homes weren't sealed as tightly as they are today and leaks around doors, windows, poorly insulated walls and ceilings could let toxins escape naturally. However, with today's technology, homes are sealed tighter than ever to prevent energy waste. This is a good thing, as long as your ventilation system is properly expelling the stale air from your home.
Below are ventilation types you should ensure are working properly to get the most out of your HVAC system and receive the best quality air.
Most airborne pollutants in your home are created in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. These three rooms naturally produce the most moisture, odour and toxic pollutants through our daily activities. Most kitchens have some form of ventilation, but lots (range hoods and ceiling fans) just circulate the stale air rather than pulling it out of your home through the attic. Kitchen air is greasy and can clog ceiling fans and range hoods, so make sure your kitchen exhaust system is effectively pulling air up though your attic. Regularly cleaning your fan can help performance.
Bathrooms generate huge amounts of moisture and odors. It is critical to have a powerful enough ceiling fan to pull that air out of your home. If you are seeing your bathroom mirror fog up or moisture in the walls or ceilings, you need a more powerful exhaust fan. Like the kitchen exhaust fan, make sure you regularly clean the unit to ensure it can work effectively.
Laundry rooms are also a big offender when it comes to stale air with excessive moisture typically caused by the washing machine and dryer. Ensure your dryer is vented properly outside and seal any leaks. A leaky dryer vent can raise moisture in your basement big time.
A home's attic is where stale air is pulled to via ceiling fans and vents. It is also important that your attic be vented properly and have good upward airflow. If your home's attic is sealed to tightly, or if the vents are blocked, air will have nowhere to escape and condensation can develop. Water will then fall from the upper peak of the attic ceiling and rot the insulation, or even cause water damage to your interior ceiling, walls or flooring. Ensuring that your attic vents are producing sufficient airflow can save all kinds of time and money down the road.
Crawlspaces and basements are typically the areas of the home that carry the most moisture. If your home's foundation is always damp or if you see mildew on the walls or structure, you need better ventilation. It is best to get a contractor to create some proper venting in your basement that is safe and efficient.
With today's homes sealed tighter than ever before for energy savings, it is critical to have proper ventilation. It will keep your interior air quality the best it can be, and enable your heating and cooling systems to run at optimum efficiency.
If you have questions about your home's HVAC system, please call us at (204) 953-5700. We provide free, in-home, no-obligation quotes and can set you up with a unit that fits your home's specs and budget.