A well-ventilated home can get rid of pollutants and humidity quickly while ensuring that your living areas have a cozy atmosphere. We have researched everything you need to know about how you can achieve a healthier and more comfortable home using a ventilating system.
Your house needs to be properly ventilated to get fresh air inside. There are several ways you can do this, but the most recommended method is by installing a machine called a heat recovery ventilation (HRV). It is designed to let in fresh air while keeping the warmth inside your house.
Other methods include:
- Run bathroom and kitchen fans
- Switch ceiling fans to winter mode
Every home needs a proper ventilation system, especially during the cold winter months. As a homeowner, it is your right to be comfortable in your own house. Luckily, we are here to help and guide you in achieving a good ventilation system.
How To Properly Ventilate Your Home During Winter
Nobody wants stale indoor air, especially during the winter where you can't just open the windows wide to let fresh air inside. You will have trouble enduring cool winter breezes inside your home. There are several ventilation options you can choose from (all are good); however, some of them do not have the capacity to keep your room warm.
The best way to make sure your home is properly ventilated during the winter is by installing a heat recovery ventilator. This device ensures that your home will have a steady supply of fresh outside air.
How does an HRV System Work?
A heat recovery ventilator system extracts moisture and stale air from wet rooms such as bathrooms, utility rooms, and the kitchen. It is also built to supply and maintain fresh filtered air inside your bedrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms. An HRV will make use of the heat from the outgoing stale air to warm the cold outside fresh air.
This device is energy-efficient which can help you save money on electrical bills. Your heat pumps won't operate too hard to keep the warmth inside your house since the HRV is proving to be a lot of help in keeping your indoor temperature warm and cozy.
HRV systems contain filters that keep pollen, dust, and dirt from entering your home. Not only this, but this device also has the ability to reduce condensation; that is why your house is more efficiently heated during the winter. This efficiency contributes to a well ventilated home while it also helps you save money from future heating expenses.
It is important to know that the heat recovery ventilation system works by using two fans. The first fan operates by drawing out the warm, stale, and polluted air from inside your home, and releases it outside.
After this, the second fan blows off a continuous stream of cool and fresh air through the system and disperses it all throughout your house.
During this cycle, the warm stale indoor air passes through the cool fresh air that is being drawn by the second fan. This is where heat is transferred from the outgoing warm air to the incoming fresh. The system is comprised of a series of narrow tubes where the outgoing and incoming air passes through.
Other ways to ventilate your home during winter:
The most common way to let fresh air inside your home is by opening a window. However, what we mean by micro-ventilation is you won't have to open the window all the way, but you just have to crack open one window in each room so that a bit of fresh air may enter.
Run bathroom and kitchen fans
Another method you can do is to use the exhaust fans installed in your kitchen and bathroom. This way, you can avoid excess humidity from building up and changing into mold and mildew in your bathroom. Running fans in the kitchen can be beneficial to your health since it exhausts possibly toxic oven and stove fumes.
Switch ceiling fans to "Winter Mode"
In today's era, most ceiling fans are built with a "winter mode" option. The switch is located on the side of the fan. When switched on, the blade reverses direction. This mode pushes the cold air upwards while pushing the warm air downwards.
Should you run an HRV continuously?
It is recommended to run your heat recovery ventilation system continuously to ensure that your home is well-ventilated while maintaining the warm and cozy temperature inside your house. Several HRV devices are able to work at low, medium, or high speeds.
A universal technique to control your machine is to run the HRV continuously at low or medium speed, and then switch to high speed if a higher ventilation rate is required.
HRVs need energy to run. Airtight homes that have heat recovery ventilation devices will have a lower electric bill per year because these kind of homes have the ability to contain the heat indoors which minimizes the amount of work your furnace and HRV have to do.
How To Clean & Maintain Your Heat Recovery System
It is required to clean and maintain your HRV system so that it could operate at its full potential. Regular maintenance also ensures that your device won't be damaged easily, and it makes sure that your system would definitely lasts longer.
Replace or clean the air filters
Regular cleaning or replacing of your HRV air filters is the most important step in maintaining your HRV system. Having clogged and dirty filters will reduce the machine's efficiency and it will also pollute the air that is cycling back and entering your home.
Before you begin, you have to turn off and unplug your HRV device. Identify where the air filters are located by removing or opening the door on the front of your unit. When you have successfully pinpointed its location, gently remove the filters by sliding them forward from where they are situated inside the unit.
Clean off any large dirt and dust build-up with the use of a vacuum cleaner, and then soak the filters in a mixture of warm water and dish soap. Let it sit for a while then you can rinse it off and let it dry completely before putting it back inside the HRV.
Rememeber to clean the air filters every two months to ensure that they are working at their full potential, and to avoid dust, pollen, and other pollutants from entering your home. It is also recommended to replace your filters once or twice a year if they show major signs of wear and tear.
Clean the outdoor intake and the exhaust hoods
Another important cleaning method you have to do is to make sure that the outside vents of the HRV system are clear. You must remove any blockage such as leaves, waste, or other obstructions to ensure that the airflow is not restricted. By doing this, your unit will function properly.
During the winter, make sure to clear off the area of any snow or frost buildup that may block the vents.
Check the condensate drain
If your HRV has a condensate drain, you will have to check if water flows out freely from the bottom of the unit. Slowly pour at least two liters of warm and clean water into each drain pan. If water is not flowing properly, you have to clean the drain to avoid any mold and mildew from building up.
Clean the heat exchange core
Vacuuming the core and washing it with a mixture of soap and water will help remove dirt and dust build up. To ensure proper maintainance, you can refer to your HRV's owner manual for steps on how to clean the heat exchange core.
Clean the grilles and ductwork
The grilles and ductwork are other components of your HRV you have to clean. Inspect the ductwork leading to and from your HRV at least once a year.
Remove and inspect the covering of the duct ends. You can use a vacuum to clean the inside of the ducts. If a more thorough cleaning is needed, you will have to call your local service technician.
Service the fans
The last thing you have to clean is the fan. Gently brush the blades to remove dirt and dust. After doing this, check if you have an older HVR model. If so, you have to apply a few drops of lubricating oil to ensure that the fan will work to its full potential.
Proper ventilation is needed to keep your living areas comfortable. You can ensure that your heating recovery ventilation system will aid in letting fresh outside air inside without letting the cold breeze affect the warm temperature inside your home.
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