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Fresh Air

You may own a newer home that is built as energy efficient as possible. If your home is older, you might have added more insulation, better doors and windows that stop air leaks, foamed and sealed voids in your walls, basement and crawlspace, and even replaced your furnace with a high efficiency model. The whole idea is to keep the heated or cooled air inside our home especially when the outside weather becomes severe. A tightly sealed home is a great way to keep our utility bills as low as possible. Sometimes though, we might make our home so tight and energy efficient that the indoor air quality in our home becomes undesirable and un-healthy.

Just like our bodies, our homes must breathe to exhaust out stale air that we create everyday on the inside. When we cook, shower or wash and hang clothes to dry, we are producing a large amount of humidity in the air. If a home is too tightly sealed, the humidity generated becomes trapped. Trapped humidity will sometimes show up as condensation on walls and windows when it is cold outside. Just like humidity, solvents from cleaning products, personal aerosols and detergents that get airborne must be exhausted or they will contaminate the air we breathe. Odors from cooking and pets linger unless we can exhaust them out. So how do we bring in fresh air and exhaust contaminated air if our home has been sealed up as tight as a plastic bag? We might open a window or door but that is not a very controlled or comfortable way to ventilate a tight home.

The best way to bring in fresh air and to exhaust stale air out of your home is with a Heat Recovery Ventilator or HRV. A Heat Recovery Ventilator is installed to your heating and cooling system. Any time your furnace fan is operating, the HRV takes some of the air returning to your furnace and exhausts it to the outdoors. A second pipe brings in fresh air from the outdoors and introduces it back into your furnace system in a controlled manner. What is really amazing is that an HRV actually will transfer about 70% of the energy from the exhausted air back into the fresh air stream.  Because the HRV is installed this way, you are now ventilating your home without creating uncomfortable drafts. The HRV is completely automatic and operates for only pennies a day.