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Ventilation for Designing Better Buildings

Another Reason to Get an Energy Audit this Summer: Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Posted by Zehnder America

Aug 16, 2017 3:01:00 PM

Does your air conditioner kick into high gear in the summer? Is all that cool air staying inside or is it leaking out and pulling hot outdoor air in? A summer home energy audit is an excellent way to stay comfortable and identify issues with home energy efficiency.

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An energy audit is also an opportunity to boost indoor air quality since home energy performance and home air health are closely linked. Let’s explore some common home performance issues, the impact on indoor air quality, and solutions for healthier indoor air.

Addressing Air Leaks

A major component of an energy audit is determining the amount of air leakage in a home and locating specific areas of concern. In most homes across the country, hot air from the attic makes its way in and cool, conditioned air is pushed out through the basement or crawlspace.

These air leaks not only cause problems with discomfort (since your home will be hotter) but they also affect energy efficiency and indoor air quality. As hot air from the attic enters, your air conditioner will work overtime trying to keep you cool, resulting in high energy bills. In addition, humidity and contaminants freely enter which can have an impact on your health. Once air leaks are located and solved, not only will your home’s energy efficiency and comfort increase, but its indoor air quality will also be ready for improvements.

Are Your Vent Fans Working Properly?

Particles from cooking, fumes from cleaning supplies, and excess moisture from showers can build up and negatively affect your home’s indoor air quality. If your range hood and exhaust fans aren’t working optimally, contaminants stay trapped inside.

An energy audit can help uncover whether or not these systems are working effectively, so you’ll be able to address any issues right away. For example, some exhaust fans vent air into the attic instead of to the outside, degrading indoor air quality in other parts of the home, and adding potentially mold growing moisture to the attic space. Other exhaust fans are not sized to extract the proper quantity of air, allowing contaminants to be left behind. While some exhaust fans have ducting issues that prevent air from effectively being extracted.

How Oversized Air Conditioners Create Humidity Issues

Did you know that many air conditioners are oversized? Although this might not sound like a problem, it can cause your energy bills to skyrocket and harm your indoor air quality. Oversized units don’t need to run very long to cool the home, but they do not run long enough to control home moisture levels, especially in a moist climate.

An energy audit will discover or not your AC is properly sized for your home. Your auditor will be able to provide you with solutions for increasing energy efficiency, comfort, and indoor air quality with a system that is properly sized.

Addressing Indoor Air Quality Issues with Ventilation Solutions from Zehnder

Only once an energy audit uncovers the reasons behind your home’s energy efficiency, comfort, and air quality problems, will you be able to properly address them. For homes that suffer from poor indoor air quality, one of the most effective solutions is a ventilation system from Zehnder.

Zehnder heat and energy recovery ventilators allow clean, fresh air in while removing stale, polluted indoor air. Both of these ventilation systems work without sacrificing comfort or energy efficiency, so they are perfectly compatible with other recommendations you may receive from your auditor, including air sealing and insulation.

Are you ready to learn more about the solution for healthy indoor air quality at home? Contact us or call (603) 601-8544 today for more information.

Topics: IAQ