Ventilation inside your home is so important that it makes our short list of the top seven steps you need to take to maintain clean, high-quality indoor air.
As it turns out, Ontario agrees and has now mandated that all new residential construction in the GTA must incorporate a heat recovery ventilator for indoor air quality.
The troubling issue at the heart of it all is this: According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average homeowner’s indoor air supply is up to five times as toxic as their local outside air. And the typical Canadian reports spending as little as only five minutes per day outdoors!
So it just makes sense that we are getting sicker, feeling worse and sleeping less than at any other time in human history. When we are continually breathing in toxins in our air supply, we are going to suffer the consequences!
In this post, we take some time to share why we believe a heat recovery ventilator is an essential addition to your home HVAC system.
What Is a Heat Recovery Ventilator?
So what exactly is a heat recovery ventilator? This wonderful appliance has a simple, vital function: it separates out the fresh, incoming air from the stale, outgoing air. The incoming fresh air has its own passageway, as does outgoing stale air.
This means none of the airborne toxins being exhausted out of your home will ever mingle or mix with the fresh, oxygenated incoming air.
As air is being transported into and out of your home, the heat recovery ventilator is also working to reduce the amount of energy required to keep your home seasonally warm or cool. It accomplishes this by moving heat energy to where it is most useful. In winter, heat that would otherwise be wasted is extracted from the outgoing air and used to preheat incoming air. In summer, the exact opposite process occurs.
A heat recovery ventilator can also help to keep your home humidity-balanced to fight off health issues, mould and mildew.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends keeping your indoor humidity levels between 35 and 50 percent to help reduce asthma and allergies. By removing extra seasonal moisture from your indoor air, a heat recovery ventilator can keep your indoor environment more stable and healthy year-round.
The Link Between Indoor Air Quality and Sleep Quality
Canada recently conducted a six-year sleep study to measure trends in sleep quality and duration for adults aged 18 to 72.
The study results were alarming, to put it mildly! More than half of female participants and just under half of male participants reported getting poor sleep and struggling to stay asleep.
Around the same time the sleep study was going on, the International Journal of Indoor Environment and Health published the results of another study, linking poor indoor air quality with poor sleep quality.
When indoor air quality was improved, sleep study subjects slept better, were more alert and performed much better on tests requiring concentration and use of logic.
The Link Between Better Ventilation and Better Health
Canada’s Factsheet on Ventilation and the Indoor Environment highlights the vital importance of indoor air ventilation to safeguard the health of vulnerable populations, including the elderly and the very young, as well as those who are chronically ill.
The Factsheet points out that there are two basic types of ventilation: natural and mechanical.
In past decades, natural ventilation was the default source for refreshing indoor air. The reason for this is that homes were not built to be particularly airtight. Many small natural inlets and outlets existed to permit stale air to exit a home and fresh air to enter.
Today, increasing concern regarding dwindling natural resources and pressure from activist groups to reduce energy use has placed a premium on airtight construction. When homes are designed to keep outdoor air out and indoor air in, air gets stale and toxic quickly.
While it is true airtight homes use less energy, indoor air toxicity is now its own urgent health issue. Without natural ventilation as an option, it is up to mechanical ventilation to do this job.
The heat recovery ventilator is one of several options for introduced mechanical ventilation (other options include exhaust fans and vents and fresh air furnace ducts).
3 Signs You Need Better Indoor Ventilation
There are several signals that can alert you to poor ventilation and stale, toxic indoor air inside your space. These three signs are among the most common and urgent.
Eye irritation, skin itching, mental fogginess, fatigue, allergies, cold or flu symptoms, irritability, coughing or sneezing and fitful sleep can all be signs that your indoor air is stale and oxygen-poor.
If your home smells musty, grassy or damp, especially in closets, bathrooms, laundry rooms or around air registers, this can be a sign of lingering moisture that is starting to colonize mildew or mould.
Many homeowners wonder why their windows seem to “sweat” seasonally. Window condensation on the inside can signal humidity imbalances that can in turn trigger health issues and mould or mildew growth.
Are You Ready to Feel Better, Sleep Better & Stay Healthier?
Today’s heat recovery ventilator systems are designed to readily interface with any central (ducted) HVAC system.
They are easy to install and even easier to maintain, and they go to work instantly to freshen your indoor air, remove toxins, balance indoor humidity levels and save you money on monthly energy use.
We are proud to carry Greentek heat recovery ventilators. These eco-friendly, high-efficiency units are quiet, compact and loaded with options, including a robust set of warranties to protect your investment.
Get in Touch
Are you ready for fresher, cleaner, healthier indoor air? We can help!Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470.