Healthy Air Ventilation
Over the last few years, the American Lung Association (ALA) says the rate of infections has been increasing. Surprisingly, most infections are occurring indoors. The EPA has already reported that the indoor air can be 4 times more polluted that external air. This calls for healthy air ventilation if you are to keep your family safe.
Easier Said than Done
Well, every homeowner understands the need for an effective ventilation system, but very few consider the health benefits. In fact, the Basement Health Association (BHA) says over 86% of homeowners buy these units to keep the indoors fresh and comfy but not to eliminate pollutants. If you are a property owner, you need to buy a balanced ventilation system.
A study published by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) says that any effective system must feature three elements:
- Airflow direction: This should be designed to move from clean to dirty zones in order to keep your home healthy.
- Ventilation rate: It must provide clean outdoor air at the required rate and such inflow must be of high quality which is at the core of healthy air ventilation.
- Airflow distribution: A reliable unit should be able to efficiently distribute the clean air to every nook of your home while also removing pollutants in the same pattern.
Types of Ventilation Modes
The most common forms of ventilation systems used include:
- Natural ventilation: This includes doors, windows, solar chimneys which bring in the air naturally into your home. This is heavily dependent on your geographical location.
- Mechanical ventilation: In areas where the weather is extreme, properties rely solely on fans installed on windows or air ducts. Again, this system is dependent on climate.
- Hybrid systems: This is the ideal solution because the mechanical unit depends on natural driving forces to provide your home with the desired air quality.
Choosing the Ventilation Unit
With increasing awareness on the risk of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) present indoors, many companies have come up with healthy air ventilation solutions. Before choosing one, consider these factors:
- Effectiveness in filtering contaminants: The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating is crucial here because the higher the number from 1-16, the less effective the unit.
- Control features: Always go for systems that make it easier to save energy through automatic controls.
- Moisture transfer efficiency: A good system will transfer heat and moisture to give your home ideal humidity levels.
- Good distribution rates: Every part of your home needs to benefit from quality outdoor air and a reliable ventilation system that distributes it effectively.
- Energy efficiency: According to EPA, your HVAC system accounts for the largest percentage of your utility bills. Always go for an ENERGY STAR unit with verified energy saving capability.
There are other factors to consider including sound, versatility in functioning and cost. In essence, it is always good to use a professional contractor when looking for a healthy air ventilation solution.