Proper Home Ventilation Helps Head Off Major Problems
With proper home ventilation systems in place, homeowners in Florida’s humid climate avoid significant moisture problems. With moisture present in the home, health problems ensue from issues like mold and mildew buildup, which can also cause damage to the home’s structure and materials inside.
Home building codes used to place emphasis on protecting the home from moisture accumulation based on the properties of how thermal energy moved, deducing that the flow of moisture operated similarly. However, discovery of air movement’s contribution to moisture migration changed home ventilation practices. Now, to ensure effective protection against moisture accumulation, both home ventilation and a vapor retarder are necessary.
Because moisture migrates with the movement of air and travels from areas of high concentrations toward lower concentrations, homeowners must use a two-fold strategy:
- Install a vapor retarder. Choose an efficient material that ensures less than 1.0 grains of permeability per hour for every square foot of pressure difference, or 1.0 perms. In humid climates like that of Florida, the vapor retarder should be installed on the exterior of home insulation. This system reduces moisture migration into the home.
- Use effective home ventilation. For moisture that gains access to the home through air infiltration, it’s necessary to install proper ventilation systems, particularly in the attic space. Effective systems include using ridge and soffit vents, ensuring a measured amount of supply and exhaust air at the eaves and ridge, as well as using an attic fan, which assists the air circulation by forcing more air out of the space. Additionally, homeowners using mechanical ventilation in kitchens and bathrooms, where moisture is created, boost moisture removal. Throughout the interior of the home, whole-house mechanical ventilation systems, like an energy recovery ventilator (ERV), remove moisture in the living spaces. The ERV circulates air, drawing moist air out while supplying incoming air, with the unit effectively removing moisture from incoming and outgoing air.
Ensure that your home ventilation systems work for moisture protection, not against it. For expert advice, contact Symbiont Service Corp. today. We’ve proudly worked with residential homeowners and commercial entities across Florida since the 1980s.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Englewood, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ventilation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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