Today’s homes are more energy efficient than ever. While this is ideal for keeping your heating and cooling expenses down, it’s not so great for introducing enough fresh air inside.
Recently built homes are firmly sealed, which indicates they don’t “breathe” like older homes can. As a result, your house may appear to smell stale, feel too humid or experience troubles with condensation. If you have allergy or asthma sufferers in your home, they could experience growing problems.
Thankfully, it’s not difficult to increase the ventilation in your residence in Portland. Most of the answers that we’ll go over in a minute are simple and reasonably priced.
1. Open Windows and Screened Doors
This is the easiest way to get fresh air into your residence during mild temperatures. But it’s important to note this typically isn’t a year-round option and can lead to problems if someone in your household has seasonal allergies. If this is the case, you don’t want to open windows during the early morning. That’s when the pollen counts are the worst, according to Mayo Clinic. You also shouldn’t open them during dry, windy days, because the weather can worsen allergies.
2. Use Exhaust Fans in Your Kitchen and Bathrooms
Operating these fans draws out stale air, excess moisture, odors and other things you don’t want in your house. They’re also inexpensive to use. An exhaust fan costs about $7-$15 yearly in electricity if you were to operate it 24/7, according to the Center for Energy and the Environment (CEE).
If you’re looking into this, the CEE recommends looking for an ENERGY STAR® ventilation fan that offers nearly silent, constant operation. These fans typically include a sensor that will switch them on automatically when humidity is too elevated, so you won’t have to remember to turn it on or off.
However, it’s important to know that an exhaust fan can adversely influence your house’s temperature, since it’s exhausting air that you’ve already heated or cooled.
3. Keep Your House’s Humidity in Check
The right humidity level for your house is between 30–50%, according to Mayo Clinic. While the ideal percentage of humidity won’t increase ventilation, it can boost your residence’s indoor air quality and keep your residence pleasant at a more energy-efficient temp.
If humidity isn’t high enough, you can have dry skin, a scratchy throat or itchy eyes. Dry air can also impact wood flooring and furnishings in your home, causing them to crack. On the flip side, humidity that’s too elevated can make air appear stale or stuffy. It can also lead to mold and mildew growth and irritate allergies or asthma.
The smartest way to keep humidity in check is with a whole-home solution. We have humidifiers and dehumidifiers that work with your furnace and air conditioning system. You won’t have to carry an inefficient portable system across your house, spilling water as you walk.
It’s also important to note an accurate humidity level can also make air more comfortable at an energy-efficient setting, helping you spend less on energy bills.
4. Install a Ventilation System
Installing a mechanical ventilation system is one of the top methods to introduce added fresh air into your home throughout the year. There are two different styles—heat recovery ventilation (HRV) and energy recovery ventilation (ERV). These systems constantly remove stuffy indoor air and replace it with fresh outdoor air.
HRV is good for cold climates, since it retains the heat from the indoor air it exhausts. ERV is fantastic for warm areas, because it removes warmth and moisture from your air. Some climates can benefit from both pieces of equipment, so check with our Three Rivers Heating & Cooling ventilation experts about what’s a good fit for your Portland residence.
If stale or persistent odors are an issue in your residence, you can also install a whole-house air purification system. These systems provide an added level of filtration, which can also assist with reducing pet dander, allergens and bacteria in your house.
Our ventilation experts are here to help you select the best option for your house. Contact us at 503-213-4433 today for a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. We’ll visually inspect your current equipment and listen to your needs prior to delivering our advice on the best possibilities to boost ventilation in your house.