V for Ventilation – The “V” in HVAC and Why It’s Important

When it comes to H-V-AC – heating and air conditioning take top billing. In the Valley of the Sun, it’s all about lowering indoor temperatures, staying cool through the long, hot days of summer and keeping warm during the winter nights. “V” stands for ventilation, which is an essential yet underappreciated component in creating a comfortable and healthy environment in your home. If you’ve spent any length of time in the attic, a windowless tool shed or enclosed garage on a summer’s day, you know just how stifling and unpleasant an unventilated environment can be. Though unseen and largely unnoticed, proper ventilation improves indoor air quality, which is essential to your quality of life.

What Is Ventilation?

Most homeowners equate ventilation with opening a window or door and letting the fresh air in. Of course, in Arizona, that’s not advisable during the summer season when temperatures routinely climb into the 90s and above. In terms of properly installed HVAC, ventilation is the movement and circulation of air in, throughout and ultimately exiting your home. The goal is to constantly refresh the air inside your home. This helps to eliminate problems associated with stagnation, removes odors, fumes and VOCs and reduces unhealthy levels of humidity.

Humidity and Ventilation

Imagine a bathroom with no working windows and a broken exhaust fan. Within a few minutes of turning on the shower, there’s steam on the mirror and water droplets collecting on the ceiling, walls and tiles. Without exhaust or ventilation, the humidity builds, the temperature rises, and the bathroom becomes extremely uncomfortable. Within a few days or weeks, the increased humidity can lead to the growth of mold on the walls and tiles, which can be hazardous to your health. If you have visible mold anywhere in your home that generally indicates the indoor relative humidity is too high, and your home could benefit from improved ventilation.

Are Advancements in Insulation Impeding Home Ventilation?

The push for more energy efficient designs means builders place more emphasis on sealing homes through installing double-pane low-emissivity windows, improved insulating techniques, increased weather stripping, and super sealing homes. In older houses, a fair amount of ventilation was achieved through the less than perfect construction methods (little or no insulation, loose fittings, etc.) and the standard living room fireplace, which enabled a house to “breathe.” Today’s homes are built and wrapped nearly airtight. The good news is, advancements in sealing and insulation make your home more energy efficient, which helps lower your monthly utility bill. The bad news is, indoor air quality has become an issue. Now, more than ever, homeowners need to ensure their HVAC system has adequate return vents and the duct system is in good working order.

We Put the “V” in Ventilation Visitation

Before things really heat up in Phoenix for the summer, why not grant us visitation rights with your air conditioning system? When you schedule a spring tune up, we’ll drop by for a visit to inspect your entire system and provide you with a full evaluation. This summer, head into triple digit weather with peace of mind and improved indoor air quality. Our friendly and experienced service technicians are ready to serve you.