4 Ways to Improve Ventilation in Your Residence

September 28, 2020

Today’s houses are more energy efficient than ever. While this is ideal for keeping your energy costs small, it’s not so good for getting enough fresh air inside.

Newer homes are firmly sealed, which means they don’t “breathe” like older houses are able to. Consequently, your home can begin to smell stuffy, feel too humid or run into issues with condensation. If you have allergy or asthma sufferers in your household, they may experience increasing problems.

Fortunately, it’s not hard to increase the ventilation in your house in Des Moines. Most of the options that we’ll review in a minute are easy and economical.

1. Open Windows and Screened Doors

This is the fastest method to get fresh air into your residence during pleasant weather. But it’s important to note this usually isn’t a year-round solution and can lead to problems if you have a family member with seasonal allergies. If this is the case, you shouldn’t open windows during the early morning. That’s when the pollen counts are the greatest, according to Mayo Clinic. You also shouldn’t open them during dry, windy conditions, since the weather can irritate allergies.

2. Turn on Exhaust Fans in Your Kitchen and Bathrooms

Operating these fans draws out stale air, extra moisture, odors and other indoor contaminants. They’re also economical to use. An exhaust fan costs about $7-$15 each year in electricity if you were to operate it 24/7, according to the Center for Energy and the Environment (CEE).

If you’re looking into this, the CEE suggests looking for an ENERGY STAR® ventilation fan that delivers quiet, uninterrupted operation. These fans frequently include 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 important to know that an exhaust fan can adversely impact your residence’s temperature, since it’s exhausting air that you’ve already heated or cooled.

3. Keep Your Home’s Humidity Balanced

The ideal humidity level for your residence is between 30–50%, according to Mayo Clinic. While the right percentage of humidity won’t increase ventilation, it can enhance your residence’s indoor air quality and keep your household comfy at a more energy-efficient temp.

If the humidity is too low, you might suffer from dry skin, a scratchy throat or itchy eyes. Dry air can also influence wood flooring and furnishings in your home, causing them to split. In contrast, humidity that’s too great can make air feel stale or stuffy. It can also result in mold and mildew growth and aggravate allergies or asthma.

The best method to keep humidity under control is with a whole-home solution. We sell humidifiers and dehumidifiers that work with your heating and cooling system. There’s no need to carry an inefficient portable system around your home, spilling water as you go.

It’s also critical to note an accurate humidity level can also make air more pleasant at an energy-efficient temperature, helping you pay less on heating and cooling bills.

4. Install a Ventilation System

Installing a mechanical ventilation system is one of the wisest approaches to introduce additional fresh air into your home all year. There are two different types—heat recovery ventilation (HRV) and energy recovery ventilation (ERV). These systems constantly eliminate stale indoor air and replace it with fresh outdoor air.

HRV is ideal for cold climates, since it holds on to the heat from the indoor air it lets out. ERV is great for humid locations, since it pulls out warmth and moisture from your air. Some areas can benefit from both units, so talk with our Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling ventilation pros about what’s ideal for your Des Moines home.

If musty or lingering odors are a problem in your home, you can also get a whole-house air purification system. These systems offer an additional level of filtration, which can also provide support with reducing pet dander, allergens and bacteria in your home.

Our ventilation professionals are here to help you select the ideal solution for your residence. Contact us at 515-207-6569 now for a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. We’ll visually inspect your existing equipment and listen to your needs in advance of delivering our suggestions on the right options to increase ventilation in your residence.