Because of the long, cold winters and hot and humid summers, the efficiency of my household is always a concern.
- We depend on the gas furnace for six to eight months, and it carries a very demanding workload.
The outside temperature typically remains below 32 degrees, and negative readings are not unheard of. Sometimes, I still need to run the furnace at night during the month of May. By late June, however, the temperature normally has climbed into the mid eighties, and it’s necessary to start up the air conditioner. If I’m lucky, there’s a day or two here and there where I can open the windows, welcome in a breeze and freshen up the house. For the majority of the year, the house is sealed tight to prevent energy waste. I need to keep the heated and cooled air inside and prevent outside air from coming in. I’ve upgraded to Energy Star rated windows and meticulously caulked around them. I installed new exterior doors and weatherstripped beneath them. I’ve added to insulation levels in the walls, ceiling and attic, and carefully insulated around all outlet boxes and water pipes. I’ve even added ceiling fans to help push the heated air down toward the floor in the winter and encourage the heat up and out during the summer. I’ve significantly reduced my heating and cooling costs but also created some issues with indoor air quality. Without essential ventilation, the same air is trapped inside. There’s no way to get rid of contaminants. Since there’s sources of pollution in every room in the house, the air becomes dirty, stale and a health threat. Everything from pesticides and pets to personal hygiene products and cooking contribute to the problems. After consulting with a licensed HVAC contractor, I invested in the installation of a ventilation system. The ventilator runs 2/7, bringing in a steady supply of fresh air without energy waste. It has helped to trim utility costs by combating humidity in the summer and using the stale air to preheat incoming air in the winter.