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Why Does Your Home Need Fresh Air?

Fresh air ventilation is as necessary for your home as it is for your health and well-being. Learn why homes need fresh air, how much and how to provide it.
Last Updated on March 20, 2022

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To maintain comfort, health and good indoor air quality in your home, you need whole-home mechanical ventilation. Ventilation in your home is crucial for keeping occupants healthy and comfortable. Proper mechanical ventilation keeps air flowing through the home, which in turn eliminates harmful bacteria, moisture buildup and most odors.

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How Much Fresh Air Does Your Home Need?

Without good ventilation, the air in your home quickly becomes stagnant. Stale air means that the many harmful air pollutants remain in your breathing space longer. For most, we don’t think twice about the ventilation in our homes, offices and indoor spaces. You may have no idea if your home needs more ventilation. Some quick factors to watch out for are increased allergies or respiratory symptoms and excessive indoor moisture. But to keep things at bay, how much fresh air does your house really need? 

The answer is of course dependent on the size of the indoor space. The technical breakdown? The ideal air exchange rate for residential spaces is 0.35 air changes per hour or not less than 15 cfm (that’s cubic feet per minute—a measure of the volume of air or gas in a space) per minute per person. This is the rule of thumb. You likely aren’t sure what that means or exactly how to apply it to your space, but just know, it means a lot of fresh air and proper air circulation.

How To Properly Ventilate Your Home

Homes benefit from a combination of both natural and mechanical ventilation. Natural ventilation is an easy fix. This is done simply by opening windows and doors to allow fresh outdoor air to flow into your space. This is easily controlled in the moment. However, it can be difficult to provide proper ventilation during long days spent away from home and throughout the colder weather months.

Mechanical Ventilation

Instead, mechanical ventilation is a solution that’s working in your home’s favor at all times. A mechanical ventilation system is a series of fans and air ducts that work together to force fresh air throughout the space. These systems collect fresh outdoor air, filter the air and then circulate the clean air throughout the entire home. They do this while simultaneously also capturing stale indoor air and moving it outside.

There are different types of mechanical ventilation models with different methods of accomplishing this, such as energy ventilators and heat recovery ventilators. The key takeaway: they are whole-home ventilation systems. It’s wildly beneficial to have a system working directly with your existing HVAC system. 

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You likely already have a couple of small targeted mechanical ventilation systems. The most common localized mechanical ventilation units are in bathrooms and kitchens. You turn the exhaust fans on in bathrooms when taking a hot shower to remove moisture buildup. While cooking, you might run the fan above the stovetop to remove moisture, smoke and food odors.

Whole-home ventilation systems operate within the ductwork of your home to keep air moving, exchanging and fresh. It’s an easy, low-maintenance upgrade.

Ventilation Is Vital for Moisture Control

Moisture build-up is naturally caused by common activities that take place indoors. Showering and cooking are the usual suspects—and intensified by poor ventilation.

Without proper ventilation, moisture will seep into walls and stick to surfaces, causing damage to your home, furniture and valuables. That’s because it creates a habitable environment for mold.

Extended exposure to mold can cause serious health symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • High Fevers
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Immune System Damage
  • Eye and Throat Irritation

Installing a whole-home mechanical ventilation system eliminates moisture build-up in your home and ensures clean air is circulating.

Fill Your Home With Fresh Air

The importance of ventilation cannot be understated. Think of ventilation as breathing. Your home benefits from fresh air for healthy and proper air circulation. Similar to how we rely on lungs, our homes and indoor spaces rely on ventilation. If you think your home is due for a mechanical ventilation upgrade, we can help guide you in the right direction.  

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