It keeps getting hotter this summer near Greensboro, High Point, and Burlington, NC. Keep yourself as cool as you can! At Alamance Insulation and Gutters, we’re qualified to help with all your gutter and insulation needs, many of which will help keep you cool (and dry!). If you have questions about gutters or insulation, contact Alamance Insulation and Gutters. We are happy to help!
At Alamance Insulation and Gutters, we know how important it is to keep your home cool and save money and energy while doing it. Ventilation is one way you might save energy at home. From the Department of Energy, here’s some helpful information on ventilation strategies:
Ventilation is very important in an energy-efficient home. Air sealing techniques can reduce air leakage to the point that contaminants with known health effects such as formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, and radon are sealed into the house. Ventilation also helps control moisture, which can lead to mold growth and structural damage. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has determined that a home’s living area should be ventilated at a CFM rate determined by adding 3% of the conditioned space floor area to 7.5 times the number of bedrooms plus one [formula: vent CFM = 0.03A + 7.5 (# bedrooms + 1)] as published by ASHRAE 62.2 in 2013. In a tight home, mechanical ventilation is necessary to achieve this ventilation rate. ASHRAE Standards are revised every three years.
There are three basic ventilation strategies—natural ventilation, spot ventilation, and whole-house ventilation.
Natural ventilation is the uncontrolled air movement in and out of the cracks and small holes in a home. In the past, this air leakage usually diluted air pollutants enough to maintain adequate indoor air quality. Today, we are sealing those cracks and holes to make our homes more energy-efficient, and after a home is properly air sealed, ventilation is necessary to maintain a healthy and comfortable indoor environment. Opening windows and doors also provides natural ventilation, but many people keep their homes closed up because they use central heating and cooling systems year-round.
Natural ventilation is unpredictable and uncontrollable—you can’t rely on it to ventilate a house uniformly. Natural ventilation depends on a home’s airtightness, outdoor temperatures, wind, and other factors. During mild weather, some homes may lack sufficient natural ventilation for pollutant removal. During windy or extreme weather, a home that hasn’t been air sealed properly will be drafty, uncomfortable, and expensive to heat and cool.
Spot ventilation can improve the effectiveness of natural and whole-house ventilation by removing indoor air pollution and/or moisture at its source. Spot ventilation includes the use of localized exhaust fans, such as those used above kitchen ranges and in bathrooms. ASHRAE recommends intermittent or continuous ventilation rates for bathrooms of 50 or 20 cubic feet per minute and kitchens of 100 or 25 cubic feet per minute, respectively.
The decision to use whole-house ventilation is typically motivated by concerns that natural ventilation won’t provide adequate air quality, even with source control by spot ventilation. Whole-house ventilation systems provide controlled, uniform ventilation throughout a house. These systems use one or more fans and duct systems to exhaust stale air and/or supply fresh air to the house.