Good ventilation has benefits for you, your family, your guests and your home. If you’ve got pets, you know Fido can leave behind that not-so-pleasant “wet dog” smell. When you’re on a cleaning spree, the products you use to wipe away things like soap scum can leave behind lingering toxins. The odors from frying up that tasty tilapia can linger long after the meal is done. For your own comfort, health, and well-being, having continuous low-level air flow and the ability to boost the airflow when you need it—like clearing the humidity after a long hot shower—is important. It’ll keep you more comfortable AND prevent mold and mildew, which can cause lung problems and decrease the value of your home.
If your home feels stuffy and humid, if condensation collects on the windows, the bathroom shows signs of mildew, or smells linger, your home could be under ventilated. If you’re heating and cooling costs seem higher than they should be, if your home feels drafty, you may have too much ventilation or air leakage. When your home is properly sealed and ventilated to the appropriate airflow, you should not experience any of these problems.
Helpful tip! Trust your nose, but not for long! Everyone has experienced “olfactory fatigue”—you notice a strong odor—sometimes pleasant like cooking or baking or perfume—or an unpleasant smell like stale smells left from yesterday’s dinner, smoking, etc, but within several minutes, you are no longer aware of the smell. To test your home, after a vacation or even a long walk, pay special attention to your first reaction when you return. If the home seems fresh—great. If not, you can be sure you need some form of additional air change to maintain a healthful environment. So we say—trust your nose, but not for long.
Keeping your entire home smelling and feeling fresh generally takes a low amount of continuous airflow. There are some factors to consider, like the number of people living in your home, whether you have pets, whether you cook frequently inside, the size of your home and how you use your home (do you entertain? do you smoke?). A qualified HVAC contractor can help you determine the size system you need for this, and the industry calls this “whole house” ventilation.
Your bathrooms are used differently than the rest of your house. One shower can put up to a pint of water into the air, which can cause serious mold and mildew problems, and of course discomfort for you. Bath fans have the power to exhaust that humid air out of your bathroom quickly. The industry sometimes refers to this as “spot” or “zone” ventilation.
In a nutshell, bathroom fans exhaust lots of humid air quickly; whole house ventilation gives you a low volume of continuous fresh air. Both are important for keeping you healthy and comfortable and keeping the air in your home from becoming stale or damp.
Fortunately, you don’t always need two separate systems for these. American Aldes has patented systems that include spot or zone ventilation (for your bathrooms) and whole house ventilation in one system. Check out American Aldes patented VentZone IAQ Continuous Exhaust Ventilation Kits.
Ventilating correctly will save you money on heating and cooling costs. If you simply open a window, at least two things could go awry. First, you can’t control which way the air flows or how fast or slow it flows, or even what exactly comes into your home, such as pollen. Second, the money you’ve already spent to heat or cool the air in your home is going, well, out the window. Ventilation systems put you in control of how much fresh air is coming into your home, how much stale or damp air is leaving your home, and you can filter out things you don’t want coming into your home such as pollen. And, if you choose a heat or energy recovery ventilator, the temperature of the air leaving your home is recovered by the air coming into your home, so the cost to adjust the temperature of fresh outdoor air coming into your home is minimized. Check out American Aldes VentZone Zoned IAQ with Heat and Energy Recovery Kits.
In tightly sealed homes—ones where the windows and doors aren’t drafty and there is good insulation—humidity can build up and cause condensation on the windows if the home isn’t properly ventilated. The average adult emits about 2.5 pints of water by evaporation from the skin and breath every day. During winter you can see the humidity from your breath outdoors—but indoors, that humidity is trapped in tightly sealed homes. Humidity can build up if you’re taking long, hot showers, boiling water on the stove, ironing, emptying the dishwasher, if the neighborhood kids are running around inside your home—generally anything that puts a lot of moisture into the air without a way to exhaust it from your home. A ventilation system is the answer; talk to your contractor about the best system for your home.
I don’t like humidity in the bathroom, and I don’t like turning on the noisy bathroom fan. Can I get rid of the humidity without the noise?
Absolutely. American Aldes has patented Zone Register Terminals (ZRT®) that will do exactly that. when it’s turned on, the powerful yet-silent operation rids your bathroom of humidity but you won’t have to put up with the noise. Even better yet, one unit can be connected to several bathrooms, so you won’t need to buy separate fans for each bathroom. Check out American Aldes VentZone Systems VZ Zoned Bath Exhaust Kits.
Good news, you do NOT need separate bath fans for each bathroom. With American Aldes patented Zone Register Terminals (ZRT®), installers place the fan unit in the ceiling in a location that is somewhat central to all of your bathrooms, so you can turn on the fan from any of your bathrooms and exhaust the humid air. Even better yet, since the unit is designed to be quiet, and it is physically located away from the grille, you won’t have to put up with any bath fan noise. Check out American Aldes VentZone Systems VZ Zoned Bath Exhaust Kits.
If I buy a whole house ventilation system and have it installed, do I have to worry about turning it on and off or can I set it and forget it?
With American Aldes whole house systems, you can enjoy all the benefits of fresh air without lifting a finger. Many of our systems incorporate Constant Airflow Regulators (CAR), which are designed to deliver a continuous amount of airflow. Your installer can set the CARs to deliver the exact amount of airflow that’s just right for your home. American Aldes Ventergy Series Multi-Port Ventilator Kits are a good example of a system utilizing CARs.
My son is allergic to pollen. How can we get fresh air into the house without bringing these allergens inside?
Ventilation systems with filters help trap pollens before they enter your home while delivering fresh air. While no filter can trap every impurity, filters such as the MERV 6 which can be used in Aldes heat and energy recovery ventilators are one way of reducing them from the air you breathe indoors. Check out the VentZone Zone IAQ with Heat Recovery Kits to see how these filters are incorporated into select Aldes products.