Improving Indoor Air Quality: Ventilation

ASHRAE reports that improving ventilation in a home is the easiest and most effective way to improve indoor air quality. Modern building construction has focused on energy efficiency, and in doing so, created sealed boxes that trap indoor air pollutants. Because of this, many states have made ventilation a critical item in their building codes. Luckily, there are many options for bringing more fresh air into the home and improving air quality.

Vent Fans or Bath Fans are a simple way to increase the ventilation in your home. New fans with DC motors offer a highly efficient option that allows the fan to operate on a low speed until certain conditions are detected, such as high VOCs, high humidity, or even motion. Some fans can interface with air quality sensors or home automation controls that can signal when a fan should turn on. B-Y stocks fans from Broan and Soler & Palau.

Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRVs) are a more sophisticated way to introduce fresh air into a space, while recovering some of the heat from the space to reduce energy use. HRVs are becoming very popular in colder climates. They utilize a heat exchanger in its core to transfer heat from the outgoing “stale” air to the incoming fresh air, and at the same time the air passes through filters to remove pollen and other contaminants. These units tend to be more efficient than standard vent fans that don’t capture the heat in the outgoing airstream.

Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs) work similarly to HRVs, with the additional capability to recover humidity from the air, and temper incoming fresh air. This helps to prevent homes from becoming too dry in the winter. B-Y stocks HRVs and ERVs from Bryant, Honeywell Home and Renewaire, and has access to units from Broan and Soler & Palau.

Costs and Financing

If you are selling a new system, selling IAQ is even easier. By including IAQ devices as part of a new system, and explaining their benefits to the homeowner, it allows you to create a Good-Better-Best option, while demonstrating to the customer that you are an expert in your field and have their comfort in mind. It also allows you to maximize your labor by installing these items during setup, and not have to return to add these items later. Finally, with many homeowners choosing to finance new HVAC systems, the small added cost to a monthly payment is minimal when compared to the improved comfort they will have in their home.

Talking points for selling improved ventilation:

  • “Do you or any of your family members suffer from allergies?”
    • Improving ventilation helps to exhaust pollen, dander, dust, and other allergens from the home and replace them with fresh air.
  • “Do you have pets in your home?”
    • Improving ventilation can help exhaust pet dander and improve the comfort of those that suffer from pet allergies and sensitivities.
  • “Is saving energy a priority for you?”
    • Installing an ERV or HRV not only improves air quality, but helps recover some of the heat that would typically be lost when using a normal vent fan for ventilation.

For more information on Indoor Air Quality, check out our resource page or contact our product experts at [email protected]