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Ventilate for the Best Indoor Air Quality


Air-sealing techniques, including applying caulk, foam and weatherstripping, help with energy efficiency, but they might hamper indoor air quality if a home does not have proper ventilation.

Indoor air quality can affect the health and comfort of building occupants, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Allowing some outdoor air to enter the building helps control pollutants, odors, temperature, humidity and more.

There are three basic ventilation strategies that can help building occupants stay healthy and comfortable with good indoor air quality, according to the EPA.
Natural Ventilation
Uncontrolled air movement through the cracks in a house is natural ventilation. In older homes, air leakage allowed pollutants to escape and actually helped maintain indoor air quality. But when it comes to newer homes, most are sealed tightly for energy efficiency. Once sealed, a home might need supplemental ventilation. Simply opening windows and doors provides some natural ventilation but does not ventilate a house evenly.
Spot Ventilation
Exhaust fans such as kitchen range fans and bathroom fans remove indoor air pollution and moisture at its source. For this type of spot ventilation, ASHRAE, formerly the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, recommends bathroom fans move 20–50 cubic feet per minute and kitchen fans move 100-250 cfm.
Whole-House Ventilation
If natural and spot ventilation are not enough to provide satisfactory indoor air quality, a homeowner might opt for a whole-house ventilation system. Whole-house ventilation systems provide even, controlled ventilation throughout a house with fans and ducts to exhaust stale air and supply fresh air.

Posted: 10/20/2021 11:34:53 AM
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