Well Insulated Homes Bringing Air Quality Challenges

One of the main advantages of a well-insulated and well-sealed building envelope is that it takes less energy to heat and cool the home. An efficient building envelope keeps the conditioned air within the home that needs a smaller furnace and/or air-conditioner that is working less often — and this translates into real savings on the utility bills.

New construction and remodeling standards have been increased, along with new insulation technologies. These higher standards and a desire to keep your energy dollars in your home, and not leaking passed poorly insulated areas., brings a unique set of problem.

When a home is well sealed new problems begin to arise — the home becomes a plastic bag, which means any pollutants, such as dust, that may get in the home “stay” in the home. To solve this particular problem,the home needs to be ventilated, and this is where an HRV — heat recovery ventilator — comes into affect.

In recently renovated homes we have introduced the HRV technology to ensure we are introducing fresh air into the home, while taking the stale re-circulated air out. This vastly improves indoor air quality and overall indoor comfort. HRVs have been around for some time now, but are just recently being adapted.

An HRV pulls in outside air and exhausts the stale air from inside the home, and it does this in an efficient way by using the “exhausted” air to condition — or heat or cool — the incoming fresh air. For example, during the heating season the cold outside air is being tempered with the indoor air via the HRV and, therefore, you’ll be saving a good deal of heated air. The reverse is true in the cooling season. On average about 80% of the exhausted heat is recycled in a heat exchanger to keep the tempered air in.

It is much easier for a customer of a newly renovated home to notice the need for an HRV after the project is complete. It is not typical for contractors to offer this sort of sophisticated comfort techniques. If your home sounds like it may benefit from a system like this please call us today to discuss your particular situation. With each being unique, it is important for us to discuss your needs and desired outcome. Only then can we determine if this sort of a solution would be a good fit for you and your family.

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