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Ventilation System: Four Types for Your Home

Installing a mechanical ventilation system in your home is a great way to ensure your indoor air environment has plenty of fresh and clean air. Whole-house ventilation systems are designed to provide households with healthy indoor air all year long. When it comes to choosing the right ventilation system for your household, you have the option of selecting from one of four basic types – exhaust, supply, balanced and energy recovery – all available for installation in your home.

  • Exhaust Ventilation. Exhaust systems work best in households with open floor plans where depressurization will not pose a structural durability, safety or health risk. This ventilating system utilizes a fan to push stale indoor air to the outdoors. As the bad air leaves, fresh air replaces it.
  • Supply Ventilation. This type of system is great for households with individuals that are prone to chemical sensitivities and respiratory issues. Supply ventilation systems pull air out of contaminated spaces, filter it, and send it back through your central HVAC system to be heated and cooled before being distributed to your home’s various rooms.
  • Balanced Ventilation. This system – also called heat recovery ventilation – is more expensive than the previous two, but it’s also much more versatile. Balanced ventilation systems exchange air equally between a building’s inside and outside air environments. In doing so, they transfer heat energy to reduce the load on your central HVAC system.
  • Energy Recovery Ventilation. Similar to balanced ventilation systems, this system goes one step further to transfer moisture in addition to heat energy. This helps prevent a home from becoming too humid or dry, depending on the season, while also further reducing the load on your HVAC equipment.

Whichever system you decide to install in your home, select a model based on the following key comfort qualities:

  • Quiet operation with a fan noise rating of below 1 sone.
  • Easy programmable controls.
  • Good, whole-house air distribution system.
  • Easily accessible fans and air filters.

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