When considering insulation materials, some people are under the misconception that the use of spray foam may actually end up stealing their house too tight. We like to refer to the phrase build tight, ventilate right. The use of polyurethane spray foam will seal your house up pretty tight, but you will likely still experience some air leakage around doors and windows. Ultimately you want your home to be sealed up tight, though it is recommended that you install proper ventilation systems to ensure the efficient exchange of air.
No matter what type of insulation you may be using in your home, it’s always a good idea to have a good functioning ventilation system in your home. This can help protect against mold and improve indoor air quality.
North Idaho Spray Foam Insulation
We always stress the importance of installing a high quality mechanical ventilation system whenever we meet homeowners to talk about using spray foam in their homes. There are two main types of ventilation systems.
- Heat Recovery Ventilators: These work by pumping stale indoor air outside and bringing in fresh air from the outdoors. These systems conserve energy by allowing the that is coming in and out to transfer heat energy to one another without the air ever actually mixing. This ensures that you aren’t blowing your conditioned air from inside right out the window.
- Energy Recovery Ventilators: These systems work in a similar fashion, however they also work to transfer some of the humidity from outgoing air to the incoming air stream. Because of the involvement of water vapor in this exchange process, these systems can only be used in warmer climates, as the unit cannot be exposed to freezing temperatures.
You may choose whether or not to set up either one of these systems in conjunction with your home’s HVAC. Typically, it is recommended that you connect the system to your home’s HVAC return and supply system. You will want to be sure that you have a thorough consultation with an HVAC professional in order to determine what’s best for your specific situation, and how you should configure your system.
Which System is Right for You?
Choosing between either one of these systems will depend on the climate in your area. You will want to use HRV if your house tends to be too humid in the winter. However, conversely, if your home tends to be very dry during the winter months, ERV will help you to keep some of that moisture within your home.
Ultimately, there is no clear-cut answer to this question. It will really all come down to the individual climate in your area, and your individual lifestyle, needs, and budget.
Whatever type of ventilation system you choose, having an airtight home with one of these ventilation systems is a huge improvement in quality when compared to older ventilation systems from last century, which tend to be very leaky. Evergreen Insulation is standing by to for a free quote. We can help you to make your house completely air-tight, and advise you on the best ventilation system available for your needs.