What Is Mechanical Ventilation in Charleston, SC?

According to the EPA, the purpose of an HVAC system is to maintain good air quality through ventilation, filtration and thermal control. Most people are familiar with the thermal control elements and possibly even filtration. However, you need to understand the ventilation component and the benefits of closely controlling it in Charleston, SC.

What Is Ventilation?

Ventilation is not simply exhausting air from rooms like your kitchen and bathroom. Rather, it’s the exchange of air between your home and the outside.

The purpose of this exchange is to exhaust old air, which may contain contaminants, excessive amounts of carbon dioxide and more. It then brings in the fresh air with a higher concentration of oxygen.

Most people think they want to seal their home from outside air thinking they’ll protect themselves from pollutants. The EPA estimates your home actually contains between two and five times more pollutants than outside air.

It’s understandable why bringing in fresh air is important. But do you need to include that in your HVAC system, or does it happen naturally?

Difference Between Natural and Mechanical Ventilation

Your home is not airtight, so some ventilation is going to occur naturally. However, natural ventilation may not always be optimal. In older homes, some of this is going to happen through windows, doors and poorly insulated walls.

When you rely on natural ventilation, you give up most of the control of when and how that ventilation occurs. The weather can play a big part in how well your home may vent, preventing you from opening windows. When this happens, you can draw in the amount of fresh air your home needs.

Mechanical ventilation, on the other hand, uses fans to draw and vent air reliably. There are many benefits to having good ventilation built into your HVAC system so you have options for maintaining high air quality.

Better Indoor Air Quality

Using mechanical ventilation gives you better indoor air quality by providing a constant supply of fresh air coming into your home. It also means you are continually venting out the old air and some of the contaminants from within your home.

A well-designed ventilation system also works to filter out more of the pollutants floating around in the air. This improves allergies and reduces asthmatic responses to those pollutants.

More Control

Mechanical ventilation provides more control over where and how the air enters and leaves your home. You are dependent on where the air may be able to come in and the right conditions to encourage it to do so if you rely on natural ventilation.

With mechanical ventilation, you can choose the area from where you will draw fresh air. This allows you to avoid drawing air from near the street or from under your home, both of which can increase pollutants.

It also means that when you draw air in you can run it through a filter before it enters your conditioning system, further reducing contaminants. It also allows you to have more control over the temperature of the air entering your home.

Greater Comfort

With this extra control you gain more consistency over the temperature and humidity of the air in your home. A properly designed ventilation system by a professional HVAC contractor will help maintain optimal humidity levels and reduce any temperature variations in your home.

Improved Energy Efficiency

The control over the air coming into your home provides greater energy efficiency, but it doesn’t stop there. Rather, some ventilators transfer heat so it preconditions the air coming in with the air going out. This isn’t mixing the two air streams but rather transferring heat either to or from the incoming air with the venting air.

Safer Air

There are three ways to reduce the contaminants in the air: filtration, dilution and purification. Mechanical ventilation works on both the filtration and dilution aspects. By drawing in more fresh air and filtering it as it comes, you dilute the concentration of whatever contaminants remain in your home.

Ventilation is just one component of your indoor air quality. Call Myatt & Bates Heating and Air to schedule your indoor air quality consultation today.

Image provided by iStock

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