Having fresh and clean air to breathe is vital to our good health. Typically we think of fresh air as being outdoors at the beach or in a forest but that is not always the case. Since we spend about 90% of our time indoors, having fresh air inside is certainly an important goal.
Our homes and places of work may not always supply the clean air we need. Common indoor air pollutants include VOCs, molds, pollen, fumes, and smog. These contaminants can be found both indoors and outdoors. Breathing these contaminants can be harmful to our health, particularly for people with chronic medical conditions or compromised immune systems. Effects can include anything from headaches and runny nose to mental fogginess and slower cognitive function. There are also pollutants that we don’t think about on a daily basis, like wildfire smoke. Many Californians live in high fire risk areas. You may be living in the mountains with plenty of “fresh air” but this air is not always clean. Each year there are many wildfires, which cause extremely poor air quality for long periods of time, this can be deadly. Having the ability to filter this air before it comes into your home or workplace is an enormous benefit.
Paul Davis Architects is always interested in ways that we can help build healthier and more energy efficient homes and businesses. This is where HRV (heat recovery ventilation) systems can come in handy. How do they work? The HRV (heat recovery ventilation) equipment runs continuously to extract moist air from rooms like the bathroom and kitchen and supplies HEPA-level filtered, clean air to the bedrooms, living and dining areas. The heat exchanger keeps about 90% of the heat (or cool) in the extracted air, which is then used to heat (or cool) the incoming fresh air. Depending on the season, the exchange mechanism pre-conditions the overly warm or cool outside air so it closely matches the desired indoor air temperature. Less energy-intensive heating or air conditioning is required. In short, the system helps heat or cool your home by the temperature exchange between the incoming & outgoing air. This makes for a very efficient and cost-effective way to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. And think about reducing your energy costs by as much as 50%!
Internationally-renowned Swiss company Zehnder is the most established maker of HRV systems. Licensed contractors can install the systems in new construction or retrofit/renovation applications. Paul Davis Architects is happy to help you build a healthy and energy efficient home!