Insulate and Ventilate: What You Need to KnowToday’s building techniques result in tight building envelopes. Once a home is insulated and air sealed with spray foam insulation, it’s important to add a proper ventilation system. Ventilation manages indoor air quality and moisture levels, and is critical to maintain a proper indoor environment.
Many factors influence the type of ventilation system that is appropriate for a home. These can include building size, local code requirements, interior home features including types of appliances and more. Here are the four most common ventilation systems:
- Exhaust Only – An exhaust fan is programmed to run continuously or intermittently to remove stale air and moisture. The fan is often placed in a bathroom or kitchen. This type of system is low cost and easy to install. Although an exhaust-only system allows air exchange, it is not the most efficient ventilation system.
- Supply Only – A fan brings fresh air into the home and can include a filter to trap pollen and other outdoor air pollutants before entering the home. With a supply-only system, natural air leaks around the home allow fresh air infiltration.
- Balanced – This system includes exhaust to remove stale, damp indoor air and draw in fresh outdoor air. This controls air exchange on both sides to create an ideal air balance, and is preferred over exhaust-only or supply-only systems.
- Balanced with Heat Recovery – A balanced ventilation system with heat recovery conditions the incoming air prior to entering the home. Heat recovery is a desirable feature during cold weather, preventing cold air from being drawn into and reducing wear and tear on your heating system.
Does your home have a ventilation system? Do you have questions about your home’s insulation, air sealing and ventilation? Contact us with questions.