Having adequate insulation is a vital part of your home’s overall energy efficiency. However, despite its energy-saving benefits, airtight insulation can cause its own set of problems by reducing ventilation inside your home.

When ventilation is restricted, contaminants and excess humidity can become trapped inside your living spaces, dramatically reducing indoor air quality. This in turn can aggravate allergies, bring on asthma attacks, and cause numerous other health problems. Additionally, high indoor humidity levels can cause condensation to form inside the building structure, potentially leading to mold, rot, and structural damage.

To avoid these problems, you need to increase indoor ventilation. In the past, that simply meant opening up a window to let in some fresh air. However, that is not the most energy-efficient solution since it allows heat to escape into the outdoors. Instead, you should consider installing a heat-recovery ventilation system. These systems exchange stale, polluted indoor air for clean, fresh outdoor air, recovering some of the heat from the indoor air in the process. This is accomplished by using a series of two fans. The first fan blows contaminated indoor air out of your home, while the second fan simultaneously draws clean, fresh air in from the outdoors. Both streams of air travel through a series of crimped aluminum channels, where they pass by each other without mixing. As they pass, heat from the indoor air is transferred to the outdoor air, preheating it before it enters your home.

During the summer months, the opposite occurs. The air-conditioned air from inside your home is used to precool the incoming air. This reduces the load on your heating and cooling equipment while still allowing you to enjoy fresh air inside your home.

If you live in the New Jersey area and are interested in learning more about heat-recovery ventilation, contact us at Pipe Works Services Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat recovery ventilation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Pipe Works Services serves Chatham, NJ, and the surrounding areas.

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