Ventilation refers to the exchange of indoor and outdoor air. Without proper ventilation you could be trapping in harmful pollutants, such as carbon monoxide and moisture that can harm your home and the occupants.
You have certainly heard the phrase from a carpenter – “you don’t want to build too tight.” This was a concept that many people knew and understood in the construction industry for years. We then realized our electric bills were going through the roof. The old way of building was to let a house ‘breath‘ or be ventilated through gaps, cracks, and joints in your thermal envelope (walls and roof). Now that we are building tight efficient homes that don’t ‘leak’ or ‘breath’ we need to bring in fresh air for the purpose of better indoor air quality and dehumidification.
I say it all the time, your home is the most complicated machine you own. One of the main reasons for this statement is your (HVAC) Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Systems. If you have a forced air Heat Pump that is controlling the temperature in your home, you are like most in our area. This is the least expensive option for a system and most often used solution for heating and cooling. Notice I left out the V (ventilation). This is one place where the problems start. If you build a tightly sealed efficient home you need to have a HVAC system that is bringing in fresh air for air quality, dehumidification, and for health. Another place where the wheels fall off of a traditional ducted HVAC system is the supply registers in your rooms. If they are installed properly, you will not see the edges of the metal duct when you take off the register cover as you see in this picture:
If done properly, a duct boot has mastic on it at the sub-floor creating a tight air seal so you will see directly into the duct and will not have air space around the edges:
This proper duct sealing also shows up on the ducts themselves – which you can see here:
These simple steps done during construction could cut your energy use for Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling by 30% monthly. Now that really could add up quick!