by Lauren Busser The House Designers’ Editorial Director
Energy efficiency has been a concern amongst homeowners and new home builders the last few years. As we are making our homes more efficient, they are becoming more airtight which places a premium on proper ventilation. When homes aren't ventilated adequately indoor air quality may suffer and result in stale air. Ventilation works to move the air so that the air in your home is clean and pure. From adding exhaust fans and range hoods to making a decision to ventilate the whole house, here are a few products that will help you ventilate your home and keep it fresh-smelling and healthy.
Install an Exhaust Fan
Having adequate ventilation in places where heat and humidity rise suddenly and rapidly is very important. One place where ventilation has always been paramount is in the bathroom and shower areas. An exhaust fan will draw the damp air and moisture outdoors making sure that humidity doesn’t take over the home and that stray contaminants and odors in the air are removed promptly.
Add a Range Hood
The kitchen is another room where proper ventilation is important. Heavy use of a range and oven can quickly cause the temperature in the kitchen, and adjoining rooms to rise considerably. Installing a quality vented range hood can help you beat the heat in the kitchen by working the same way as a bathroom exhaust fan and drawing the hot air outdoors.
Don’t Forget an Attic Fan
Properly insulating your attic can help you with your home’s energy efficiency, but making sure your attic is properly vented is even more important. Attic fans draw out the indoor air and replace it with the fresh air outside. Without proper ventilation, hot stagnant air becomes trapped in the attic in summer raising the temperature in upper floors. The trapped air can penetrate the attic floor and affect the entire house. Installing an attic fan is particularly important in this case. In winter, keeping the attic cool is key in preventing ice dams and other damage. Fans, and ridge/gable and soffit vents can alleviate these issues.
Louver and Gable Vents
If you want to supplement your attic fan you can install a louver or gable vent by cutting a frame according to the manufacturer’s directions and mounting it with the brackets provided. Fypon® sells a series of gable vents that are both functioning and decorative. A functioning gable vent is constructed of angled slats that allow airflow while protect your home from the elements, and a corrosion-resistant screen inside keeps insects out.
Properly ventilating your home is essential for keeping both family and home heath in top form. Adding ventilation options in parts of your home that really need it is essential for keeping the air inside your home circulated and fresh, so that you'll breath easy even when the house is tightly sealed from the outdoors.