Indoor Air Quality: How Exhaust Fans Work to Ventilate Airtight Homes
Creating an airtight home increases comfort and decrease energy consumption. However, the tighter your home is, the more you need to think about ventilation. Without exhaust fans and other ventilating methods, indoor air pollution from cooking, cleaning, showering and even breathing gets trapped inside. Mechanical ventilation, such as bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, provide an easy solution. However, you can’t take for granted that the existing exhaust fans work the way you need them to. Follow these guidelines to ensure your home’s ventilation is up to par:
1. Install exhaust fans
This is the initial step to improving home ventilation. Install fans in every bathroom as well as the kitchen and laundry room. These areas are where the most pollution is generated daily.
2. Check the exhaust location
If the fan is venting to the attic, crawlspace or anywhere other than the exterior, you’ll need to make some alterations. Venting to these areas allows moisture and contaminants to remain within the walls of your home, where they can damage its structural integrity, or get back into the air you breathe.
3. Look for quiet exhaust fans
Unobtrusive fans that run quietly encourage your family to actually use them. Noise level is measured in sones. Many fans are rated at 2 sones or higher, but for the quietest operation, look for 0.5 to 1.5 sones.
4. Give your fans a helping hand
Just because you install exhaust fans doesn’t mean you should produce as much moisture and odor as possible. Do your best to control these pollutants at the source by cooking with lids and taking showers with moderate water temperatures. Make other efforts to keep pollution and moisture levels down by not idling the car in the garage, installing a plastic ground barrier in the unfinished crawlspace, and fixing drainage problems around the foundation.
For more information about getting the most from the exhaust fans in your home, please contact the professionals at Sobieski Services. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: mutrock