The Key to a Healthy Home is Proper Air Ventilation
Proper Ventilation is Key to a Healthy Home
If your home has too much humidity, you could be facing dangerous moisture build-up that can lead to wood rot, peeling paint, mold and mildew growth, and leaks. It is especially important to ventilate new homes, which are usually built to be airtight and heavily insulated in an effort to improve energy efficiency. Nobody wants a drafty home full of cracks and gaps, however, sealing off outside air too well could backfire.
You can improve the indoor air quality of your home and help reduce your home’s air conditioning bills by following these simple tips for proper venting:
Ridge vents are installed along the length of your roof and have a low-slung profile, making them less noticeable at first glance. They are the most effective non-electric ventilating devices available, providing uniform cooling all along your roof deck.
There are two different kinds of ridge vents: filter vents and shingle-over metal or plastic vents. Wind is forced up along the baffle on the ridge vent, creating an area of low air pressure. This area draws up air from your attic or crawlspace, removing heat and humidity. Ridge vents with filters help protect your roof from rain, snow, debris, insects and other pests.
Power vents use electricity to forcibly remove heat and humidity from your attic, even on days without wind. Air goes in through intake vents, usually located under the eaves, and is pulled through and exhausted from the attic using electric fans or blowers.
Power vents with dual-speed controls are an excellent choice for areas with very high temperatures. They come with an adjustable thermostat, providing a low speed for energy efficiency and a high speed for extreme temperatures.
These vents use the natural force of the wind to stimulate airflow and increase ventilation. The spinning turbine is self-lubricating and draws humid air from the attic.
Turbines typically come in two sizes: 12 inches and 14 inches, the larger the turbine, the greater the airflow.
Whole-house fans exchange the air inside your home faster than an air conditioner, which means they can be a fast and efficient way to lower the temperature inside your home. Cooler outdoor air is drawn in through open windows, especially at night and in the early morning. Air circulates throughout the home all day, which can make rooms feel up to 20 degrees cooler.
Moisture in crawlspaces can cause wood rot, mold, mildew, and termite infestation. Foundation vents prevent this moisture buildup in homes with basement crawlspaces or dirt floors by circulating fresh air throughout the area and exhausting stale, moist air.
If your home has a crawlspace or dirt floor basement, be sure to check your foundation vents regularly to ensure they are working properly. If vents do not open or close as they should, be sure to have a professional take a look so you do not run into more serious problems later.