Today’s residences are more energy efficient than ever. While this is excellent for keeping your heating and cooling expenses low, it’s not so good for introducing ample fresh air inside.
Newer houses are firmly sealed, which shows they don’t “breathe” like older residences are able to. Consequently, your home might begin to smell stale, feel too humid or have problems with condensation. If you have allergy or asthma sufferers in your family, they may complain of growing issues.
Luckily, it’s not hard to increase the ventilation in your house in the Bay Area. The majority of of the solutions that we’ll talk about in a minute are easy and economical.
1. Open Windows and Screened Doors
This is the easiest method to get fresh air into your home during pleasant weather. But it’s essential to know this typically isn’t a year-round option and can cause problems if you have a family member with seasonal allergies. If this is the case, you don’t want to open windows during the early morning. That’s when the pollen counts are the worst, according to Mayo Clinic. You’ll also want to avoid opening them during dry, windy conditions, since the weather can aggravate allergies.
2. Run Exhaust Fans in Your Kitchen and Bathrooms
Running these fans gets rid of stale air, excess moisture, odors and other indoor contaminants. They’re also inexpensive to run. An exhaust fan costs about $7-$15 each year in electricity if you were to keep it on 24/7, according to the Center for Energy and the Environment (CEE).
If you’re interested in doing this, the CEE advises looking for an ENERGY STAR® ventilation fan that delivers nearly noiseless, continuous operation. These fans usually come with a sensor that will turn them on automatically when there’s too much humidity, so you won’t have to make a note to turn it on or off.
However, it’s essential to know that an exhaust fan can negatively affect your house’s temperature, since it’s getting rid of air that you’ve already heated or cooled.
3. Keep Your Residence’s Humidity Balanced
The best humidity level for your residence is between 30–50%, according to Mayo Clinic. While the right concentration of humidity won’t increase ventilation, it can enhance your house’s indoor air quality and keep your loved ones pleasant at a more energy-efficient temperature.
If the humidity is too low, you can have dry skin, a scratchy throat or itchy eyes. Dry air can also influence wood flooring and furnishings in your residence, causing them to split. On the other hand, humidity that’s too high can make air seem stale or stuffy. It can also lead to mold and mildew growth and aggravate allergies or asthma.
The best approach to keep humidity regulated is with a whole-home solution. We offer humidifiers and dehumidifiers that work with your furnace and air conditioning system. You won’t have to lug an inefficient portable system across your house, spilling water as you walk.
It’s also crucial to realize the correct humidity level can also make air more pleasant at an energy-efficient temp, helping you spend less on heating and cooling costs.
4. Install a Ventilation System
Adding a mechanical ventilation system is one of the best approaches to bring in additional fresh air into your residence throughout the year. There are two different styles—heat recovery ventilation (HRV) and energy recovery ventilation (ERV). These systems continually eliminate stuffy indoor air and replace it with fresh outdoor air.
HRV is ideal for cold climates, since it retains the heat from the indoor air it exhausts. ERV is fantastic for humid areas, since it removes warmth and moisture from your air. Some areas can benefit from both systems, so talk with our Contra Costa Heating & AC ventilation experts about what’s ideal for your the Bay Area home.
If stale or lingering odors are trouble in your home, you can also buy a whole-house air purification system. These systems deliver an extra level of filtration, which can also assist with reducing pet dander, allergens and bacteria in your home.
Our ventilation professionals are here to help you choose the best option for your house. Contact us at 510-343-9841 today for a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. We’ll view your present equipment and learn about your needs before offering our suggestions on the best options to increase ventilation in your house.