During the winter, excess moisture and trapped pollutants can negatively affect the quality of your air. Excess moisture can cause your walls and ceilings to develop mildew, while trapped pollutants can worsen allergies and even cause minor illnesses. If you’re wondering how to effectively ventilate your home during the winter to avoid these issues, while preventing the loss of heat in your home, this article is for you.
Where Do Air Pollutants Come From?
Understanding the source of a problem can be invaluable to solving it, so it’s important to consider the origin of the air pollutants in your home when figuring out the best solution. Dust and pet dander are the most common indoor air pollutants that affect allergies. Cooking also results in decreased air quality because gases and other substances from the cooked food can linger in the air. Pollutants, such as dust and grime, can be forced from your air ducts and vents when the heater is turned on.
Ventilating Your Home to Get Rid of Indoor Air Pollutants
There are a few different ways to ventilate your home in the winter. The options include creating a cross breeze, exhaust systems, supply ventilation, and a balanced ventilation system.
Natural ventilation simply means cracking open a window or opening a door for a few minutes to create a cross breeze. This allows fresh air in and draws the contaminated air outside. This also helps lower the humidity in your home.
The one drawback to this technique is that warm air does escape your home. To combat this, only open your window or door for a few minutes at a time. The best time to do this is before you go to bed, before you leave the house, or while your heater is off.
These systems are specifically designed to push the indoor air outside of your home to help remove air pollutants and reduce humidity.
Similar to the issue with creating a cross breeze, the main drawback is that the fans of the exhaust system may actually allow colder air to come in from the outside. This becomes a larger problem if windows are not sealed correctly or if there are gaps between your door and the floor that allows air to seep in.
Rather than pushing air outside of the home as with exhaust systems, supply ventilation systems draw fresh air from outside into the home.
While this does help your home have fresher air, it also increases heating costs and can lead to excess moisture, which can lead to mold growth. Our team does not recommend this system due to these issues. These systems typically cause more problems than they solve.
Balanced Ventilation System
Striving to take the best of both worlds, balanced ventilation systems pull out stale air from inside of your home and bring in fresh air from outside. This helps create an even circulation of air in and out of your home, reducing the pollutants in your air and keeping the home comfortable.
As their name suggests, these systems use a heat exchanger to heat the incoming air from outside, raising the temperature of the incoming outdoor air to match the air that is already in your home. This keeps your heater from turning back on to heat the newly introduced air as your home ventilates and improves the energy efficiency of the overall system.
It is the most expensive option on our list, but this is because of the numerous benefits. It is energy-efficient, keeps your home warmer, pushes out contaminants, and keeps moisture levels down. Heat exchange systems come in either whole house units, which are perfect for larger homes, or window units, which are more cost-effective for smaller homes.
Your Heating Experts
Trying to figure out which solution is best for your home might seem like a daunting task. Luckily, our knowledgeable experts at Cote’s Mechanical are ready to defuse the situation. Whether you need to ventilate your home, install a new HVAC system, or anything in between, be sure to give us a call today!