Frequently Asked Questions - VentilationCan’t find the answer you’re looking for? Feel free to get in touch with our team.
- Why does moisture form on the inside of my windows in winter, and how can I minimize the amount of moisture?
Condensation will occur whenever warm air hits a cold surface because warm air holds more water vapor than cold air. If you have single-paned windows, adding storm windows will keep the inner pane of glass warmer and reduce the amount of condensation. Monitoring your indoor humidity and keeping it in the range of 40 – 50% (even less in very cold weather) will also help. You can reduce the humidity level in your home by installing an HRV unit. A dehumidifier may also help. If you purchase a dehumidifier, be sure to purchase an ENERGY STAR model as it will use 15% less energy. Rebates are available on ENERGY STAR® dehumidifiers during Instant Rebate campaigns and high efficiency HRVs year round.
- Will a fan over my range help remove moisture when I’m cooking?
Yes. Kitchen hoods installed directly over the range capture heated air, moisture, smoke, and odors, while a fan exhausts them through ductwork to the outside. An easily removed and cleaned filter traps grease. A kitchen range hood should be at least the same width as the cooking surface it will serve and be mounted directly over it at a height of 18 to 30 inches above the burners.
- How can I reduce high humidity levels and condensation in my home?
The first step is to reduce the humidity level by controlling the amount of water vapor that goes in the air. The following suggestions will reduce the humidity levels in the home:
- Disconnect any humidifiers.
- Cover any earth floors in basements or crawl spaces with a moisture barrier.
- Install a sump pump to remove excessive moisture from the soil under the slab.
- Fix all water leaks into the basement.
- Don’t allow any standing water in the house or against the foundation wall.
- Make sure the ground slopes away from the foundation wall and that there are properly functioning eavestroughs around the house.
- Ventilate kitchens and bathrooms during use by using exhaust fans. Showers, humidity, cooking and people produce large quantities of moisture on a daily basis.
- Use a dehumidifier especially in damp or new basements.
- Install a Heat Recovery Ventilation system and ensure that it is always on.
- Rebates are available on ENERGY STAR® dehumidifiers during Instant Rebate campaigns and high efficiency HRVs year round.
- I’ve heard that you can make a home “too airtight” – should I be concerned about this?
Today’s homes are more energy-efficient because they follow standards mandating better insulation and airtightness. However, without an appropriately designed, installed and maintained ventilation system, homes can be under-ventilated. Air leakage is not ventilation. A lack of controlled ventilation can lead to a build-up of moisture, odors, bacteria, fungi and combustion gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and other pollutants. Ventilation prevents excessive build-up of these and other indoor contaminants that can affect your health and comfort and damage your home.
- What’s the difference between an HRV unit and an air exchanger?
The heat recovery ventilator (HRV) is the proper choice in colder climates where there is excessive humidity during the heating season. An 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. The result is a constant supply of fresh air and and greater home comfort.
An air exchanger just does that – it exchanges the warm stale air in your home with fresh cold air from the outside and there is no heat recovery meaning that when this cold air comes into your home, your heating system will have to work harder to heat it.
- What is controlled ventilation?
Controlled ventilation is the process of supplying a house or room continuously with fresh air. Ventilation reduces excess moisture and unhealthy indoor air pollutants. Properly designed and installed ventilation increases home comfort. The best way to ventilate your home is with a Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) system. This system consists of four basic parts:
- a means of exhausting stale air and excess water vapor
- a means of supplying fresh air
- a way of distributing the fresh air throughout the house
- controls for operating the ventilation system
To maximize the benefits of your HRV, it is strongly recommended to have it properly installed by an HRAI certified installer.