The “V” in HVAC stands for ventilation. In the complex process of providing cool comfort your home, ventilation is rarely mentioned. The lion’s share of focus is put on the “AC” (air conditioning) components. It’s true that your air conditioner performs the major functions of transferring heat to the great outdoors and blowing cool air into your house. However, proper ventilation is vital to the overall cooling and breathability of your home and critical when it comes to indoor air quality. If you doubt the importance of ventilation, spend a few minutes in an unventilated space, such as your attic or closed garage, where Phoenix summer temperatures make it unbearably hot and stifling.
What Is Ventilation and How Does It Work?
Ventilation is the circulation of fresh air into, throughout and ultimately exiting your house. Effective ventilation continually refreshes the air inside your home. This removes odors and fumes, helps reduce humidity and dissipates VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which can be harmful and are found in many of today’s products. In Phoenix, with the extreme heat of summer, homeowners find themselves in lockdown with doors and windows shut for months at a time. This keeps the heat out and helps to save on energy costs. However, home ventilation can suffer.
Improvements in Home Insulation Means New Homes Are Almost Airtight
Over the last ten years, advances in home construction and insulation have made it so newer homes are sealed tight. Low-emissivity, double pane windows, home-wrap insulating techniques and improved weather stripping are super sealing homes, which inhibits the free flow of air throughout your house. Your air conditioner recirculates the air inside your home. However, it’s important for your house to be able to breathe and requires fresh air from outside. Homeowners need to ensure their HVAC system has adequate return vents and the duct system is in good working order. Mechanical ventilation is becoming a standard option in newer homes. Here are some of the problems associated with poor ventilation in homes:
It’s easy to observe humidity in bathrooms with no open windows or exhaust fans. Steam forms on the mirror and droplets of water appear on the ceiling and walls. Imagine if your entire house has no outlet for humidity – you may notice a musty smell or feel dampness on your skin. One sure sign you need improved ventilation is the appearance of black mold in your bathroom or on your walls.
Stagnating Kitchen and Cooking Odors
Do you have cooking odors long after dinner is over? The smell of baking brownies filling your home is wonderful. However, prevalent odors from frying meat or cooking fish can be unpleasant. Healthy home ventilation should remove cooking odors within a very short time.
Let’s face it, summers in Phoenix are tough. Living indoors for months at a time can make you restless. Homes with poor ventilation have a tendency to feel stuffy and close. If your home just doesn’t feel right, yet you can’t put your finger on the problem, it may have to do with ventilation.
Does Your Home Need to Take a Deep Breath?
If stagnating odors, excessive humidity or poor indoor air quality are affecting you and your family, call us to schedule a home inspection. Our expert service technicians will check to see if the overall airflow in your house is working to maximum efficiency. With a summer service call, you and your house can take a deep breath of relief. Why not call us today?