Balanced ventilation options

| by Patrick Nielsen
Balanced ventilation options

If you're building a new high-performance home or updating an existing home, you will likely encounter the need for whole-house ventilation. Homes built to tighter standards require balanced ventilation systems. That means intake of fresh air as well as exhausting of stale air. You want to build tight and then ventilate right.

With a balanced system, there's a continuous flow of fresh air to reduce humidity, odors, particulates, VOCs and other potentially harmful substances in the air. Plus the balanced air provides a much more even temperature and comfort level throughout the home. A balanced system is an upgrade from an exhaust-only or supply-only system.

Depending on the HVAC design and the climate where the house is located, a building professional may also include a heat recovery ventilator or an energy recovery ventilator.

For colder climates, the HRV keeps the home supplied with a steady flow of fresh outdoor air. As stale, warm air is expelled, the heat recovery core warms the incoming fresh, colder air before it is distributed throughout the home. This function provides a constant supply of fresh air and helps control humidity.

The ERV is the right choice for warmer climates where it’s necessary to remove humidity from the incoming fresh air. The ERV transfers moisture from the incoming humid air to the stale air being vented outside. ERVs are typically ducted as well, and sized based on the square footage of the home.

Basically, HRVs exchange only heat between the airstreams, while ERVs exchange both heat and moisture.

Depending on the home's age, HVAC system, duct design, budget and other factors there are single point and multipoint ventilation options. Each has pros and cons based on effectiveness, cost, and complexity.

Consult with an HVAC professional to design a balanced system for your next project.

About Broan: With Broan, it’s all about powerful, well-designed home ventilation products. You can count on Broan to combine quality, and engineering excellence to create elegant products that get the job done, effectively and consistently, in addition to complementing your home’s décor.


Topics: Bathroom, Indoor Air Quality, Kitchen, Ventilation


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