Homeowners often overlook the “V” in HVAC, probably because they get their heating and air conditioning serviced annually, but there isn’t really a comparable service associated with ventilation, in particular. That said, ventilation is of the utmost importance in the average home. If you’re not getting fresh air in and taking the stale air out, you could start to suffer from respiratory and other health issues related to high levels of carbon dioxide, not to mention a build-up of pollutants. And improper ventilation can even lead to the growth of mold and mildew if humidity is a problem in your home. The point is that you need to take pains to ensure that your home is well-ventilated if you want to preserve your structure and your health. Here are a few tips to keep the rooms in your home appropriately ventilated.
If you happen to have central air throughout your home (i.e. in every room), your best bet is to make sure that you also have proper returns and other ventilation options installed in associations with your HVAC system. In some cases, your furnace and/or air conditioning unit is equipped to handle some or all of your ventilation needs. But you might also have to hook up additional ventilation options, such as a heat recovery ventilator, in order to ensure optimum efficiency and proper indoor air quality. Certain areas like the kitchen and bathrooms may require even further options like ceiling vent fans to suck heat and moisture away and vent them outside before they can contribute to the growth of mold, mildew, bacteria, and more.
If, on the other hand, you don’t have central air, you might have to consider alternatives that are less expensive than installing it throughout your home. You could place ductless heating and air conditioning units in rooms (they fit into a hole in the wall and vent outside) to turn on as needed. And there is also the option to add portable humidifiers or dehumidifiers, depending on your climate, to supplement the process and keep interior air cleaner.
You can also go low-tech and open your windows whenever possible. With windows on either end of the house open you could get a nice cross-breeze going (depending on the orientation of your home in the landscape and the placement of windows throughout your structure). You could even install ceiling fans to help circulate air more efficiently. This might end up being far less expensive than other options, not only in terms of up-front costs, but also ongoing expenses like electricity, maintenance, and so on.
Of course, the added bonus of HVAC is that you also get heat and air, so it’s not exactly like the added expense is for nothing. But you will definitely have to follow basic care tips for your air conditioner and heater if you opt to go this route. All in all, there are several options to choose from, and you’ll want to do your homework beforehand to make sure that you find the ventilation option that is right for your home.