Green building makes it a point to use sustainable, environmentally-friendly components and materials whenever possible. An emphasis on sustainability means not just building the home in a green way, but making sure it uses fewer natural resources to operate.
Green building construction in Williamsburg, VA includes evaluating and improving the indoor air quality, which includes local exhaust, radiation protection, moisture control and ventilation. Most green buildings use a combination of methods, like whole-house fans, exhaust fans and energy recovery ventilation, to achieve these construction goals.
Why fresh air is so important
Did you know that the indoor air quality in your home is often worse than the air quality outdoors? That’s often due to poor ventilation, and can make your indoor air two to five times worse than what you’d breathe outdoors.
However, you don’t want to just let the outdoor air in without proper filtration (especially during extreme weather conditions), and there needs to be a way to circulate the air throughout your home. That’s where ventilation strategy comes in, including energy recovery ventilators.
How energy recovery ventilators work
Energy recovery ventilators are sort of like a vent fan and exhaust pipe in a single device—they bring in fresh air from outdoors and help push out the stale indoor air. However, they have additional components designed to maintain a certain level of humidity and prevent heat transfer. In other words, if it’s sticky, hot and humid outdoors, the energy recovery ventilator will bring in the fresh air without the additional heat and humidity. This keeps air circulating throughout your home, without forcing your HVAC system to work overtime to make up for hot and cold air.
In some areas, you might opt for a heat recovery ventilator instead—these ventilators only deal with heat transfer. However, since the East Coast tends to be a humid area, you’re better off installing an energy recovery ventilator when planning green building construction in Williamsburg, VA.
Panasonic Energy Recovery Ventilators and Trane Clean Air Effects
At Healthy Communities, we utilize energy recovery ventilators in our green building projects—specifically, the Panasonic Energy Recovery Ventilator series and Trane Clear Air Effects. Both Panasonic and Trane offer three different models of energy recovery ventilators, and deal with heat transfer as well as moisture control for both single- and multi-family units. The Trane models come with a comprehensive 10-year warranty, while the Panasonic models are Energy Star approved and offer a six-year warranty on the motor, with a three-year warranty on all other parts.
The type of energy recovery ventilator that’s right for you will depend on your home’s construction and other environmental factors. Are you interested in building a home with an energy recovery ventilator, or thinking about installing one to make your existing construction more green? Get in touch with Healthy Communities to learn more about our green building construction methods in Williamsburg, VA today. We specialize in custom green homes at affordable prices, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!