Can a home be TOO efficient?
Over the past few weeks, we have been going over winter preparation. Seal your home. Insulate your home. Keep that pesky cold weather outdoors! But, is there such a thing as “too much of a good thing?” Well, there can be if you do not have adequate ventilation.
Now, we are not talking about keeping those air leaks unsealed or opening windows and doors. But, you need to make sure that you have IAQ systems in place that can help improve indoor air quality. If you don’t, this could lead to some problems.
The problems associated with a poorly ventilated home are:
- Poor indoor air quality
- Humidity levels that are TOO high
- Mold growth
Luckily, there are ways that you can avoid these problems without opening a window.
First, make sure your heating and air conditioning equipment is properly sized. This can help you avoid high indoor humidity. While this is mainly a concern during the cooling season, this is an important thing to keep in mind if you are replacing both your indoor and outdoor equipment during the heating season. If you are having new equipment installed in your home, make sure your contractor performs a Manual J load calculation.
Also, invest in indoor air quality products. Whether this is a dehumidifier, whole-home humidifier, whole-home air cleaner, UV light, or something else, it is important that you not just keep your air conditioner and furnace in mind when you go to replace your HVAC equipment. In fact, there are even systems that can help bring in fresh air and introduce it to your HVAC system so that you can avoid stale air. Do your research, ask your HVAC contractor questions and avoid introducing pollutants into your indoor air through open windows and doors.
The goal of sealing your home tight for the hot and cold seasons is to reduce air loss and decrease energy consumption. Make sure you are tackling the problem in the appropriate manner.
What do you do to avoid stale air during the winter? Did you make sure to ask your local HVAC contractor about your IAQ system options when you were purchasing your most recent heating and cooling equipment?