What’s the Best Way to Control Indoor-Air Quality and Humidity in a House?
Choosing the right whole-house ventilator
The tighter the house, the greater the need for whole-house ventilation. Few energy efficient builders would bother arguing the point.
Among the best options are heat-recovery and energy-recovery ventilators, similar but not identical devices that are both designed to reduce the energy penalty of bringing fresh air inside. ERVs are typically recommended for hot and humid climates where air conditioning is a must, but is that always the case?
That question is the focus of this week’s Q&A Spotlight. Donald Lintner is building a super-insulated house in upper Michigan. He won’t be installing central air conditioning, but he does want whole-house ventilation and hears conflicting advice on whether an HRV or an ERV is the best choice.
Either will work, GBA senior editor Martin Holladay tells him, but ERVs are essentially useless when it comes to lowering indoor humidity. Not so, a poster replies. You’ve got it all wrong.