Ventilating your house in the winter can seem like a fool’s errand. Throwing open a window is just losing your warm air to the wintry outside, right? Keeping a window open will definitely undermine your home’s energy efficiency, but that is far from the only way to ventilate your home.
Home ventilation systems can remove the stuffy or smelly air from your home without reducing your energy efficiency by much. Some specially designed systems conserve your heat. Here are your options to ventilate your home in the winter.
Local ventilators are dedicated ventilation systems for the parts of your home that tend to reduce the quality of your home’s air. You might install a local ventilation system in your bathroom to remove excess humidity from showers. Or, you may install one in the kitchen to remove cooking smoke and smells. You might also add a ventilator to your garage, hobby room, or other places that might produce more airborne debris than normal.
You have three general options for local ventilators:
- Exhaust only: These systems use a fan to remove air. New air is drawn in through the windows and doors of the home, but this can draw in soil gases too.
- Supply-only: These systems bring in fresh air, but they don’t remove the poor-quality air in the space.
- Balanced ventilation: These systems supply and exhaust air, so they remove the low-quality air and bring in fresh air at the same time.
You can also get fresher air for your whole home instead of just targeting trouble areas. However, when you are ventilating your whole home, you want to use a heat-recovery ventilation system, or you will lose too much heat. These are balanced ventilation systems, that seek to keep heat in while they exchange air. There are two general options for whole-house ventilators:
- Heat recovery ventilators: These smart systems are our typical recommendation for our climate. They draw out the stale air from your home, but before it releases the air outside, it draws the heat out of the air. It then heats up the incoming air with that reserved heat. You lose very little heat with these systems.
- Energy recovery ventilators: These are similar systems, but they also manage the humidity in the home, removing excess humidity on the incoming air. They are better choices for a more humid climate than ours, but you may need one if humidity levels are a big concern for you.