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When you hear the term Fresh Air, it might invoke thoughts of a warm summer breeze, a walk on the beach, or that first smell of spring after a long winter.
When it comes to your home, it is much more than that. Fresh air is a vital part of maintaining Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Bringing fresh air into the home can be as simple as opening doors and windows and letting it happen naturally. The challenge is that opening doors and windows is not always practical. That is where other solutions come into play.
Lets first take a look at why it is important to have fresh air coming into the home. Not to try and scare you, but your home is full of pollutants that are negatively affecting the air you are breathing. Something as simple as you breathing is producing CO2 gas. Add in cooking (especially on a gas range), cleaning or using almost any appliance and the air quality can quickly deteriorate. Brining fresh air in is as simple as exchanging the stale (bad) air in the home with new (fresh) air from outside the home. As builders continue constructing homes “tighter” there is less natural air infiltration coming into the home. While this is good for your heating and cooling, it can cause a negative pressure in your home. That can lead to dangerous conditions like exhaust from your appliances or HVAC system coming back into the home instead of being vented out. This intensifies the need for an alternative solution for outdoor air.
Now back to how to do this. We already talked about windows and doors and the limitations they have. Another option is using what is known as a mechanical solution. With a mechanical solution such as the Air King model QFAM, outdoor air is brought into the home with a fan. There are a large variety of mechanical solutions on the market and they all have their pros and cons. HRV and ERV units are good, but expensive to purchase, install and maintain. Simpler solutions such as small fans that bring air in can work, but the air is not conditioned or filtered. Depending on the location or day, sometimes the air coming in might be worse than the air inside (high pollution areas or days). It is best to look for a solution that provides air filtration (filters that can be easily accessed and changed) as well as some type of humidity and temperature control that doesn’t allow extreme cold, warm, or humid air into your home.
From a homeowner standpoint, do the simple things – open doors and windows when you can, utilize your exhaust fans and range hood. Consult a HVAC expert to walk through the best solutions for your specific home. To learn more about fresh air solutions from Air King visit http://www.airkinglimited.com/page/qfam-fresh-air-machine.html To purchase the Air King QFAM, please visit www.build.com or consult your local electrical or HVAC distributor.