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Why Is Ventilation Such An Important HVAC Request This Year?

Why Is ventilation so important during cold and flu season?

Why Is Ventilation Such An Important HVAC Request This Year?

Preparing for a winter in Canada is a learned skill, especially in our northern Muskoka region. Living so far north, winters here present unique challenges that our southern neighbors know nothing about.

This year, however, Gravenhurst shares one big challenge in common with others all around the world - the need for indoor air quality!

At Gravenhurst Plumbing, Heating and electric, we want your indoor air quality to be the best it can possibly be. 

Why? Because indoor air quality is one of the keys to helping us avoid COVID-19, as well as cold and flu germs. And the key to improving your indoor air quality begins with that "V" word everyone is talking about this year - VENTILATION.

Learn air quality tips from our experienced HVAC technicians at Gravenhurst Plumbing, Heating and Electric! We provide you with the best practices for improving your ventilation at home and at work so you can stay healthier and safer this winter.


What Is Ventilation?

At its core, ventilation is a simple air exchange. Specifically, ventilation occurs when existing air mixes with fresh air.

In your lungs, this happens when you inhale and then exhale. The exchange happens when your lungs draw in new fresh air and push out stale air.

In your home or workplace, this happens when you add new fresh air to the existing air inside your space. Read on to learn the most common ways to make this happen.


How Much Does It Cost to Add Better Indoor Ventilation?

Along with an end to COVID-19, cleaner indoor air has been at the top of many people's holiday wish lists this year.

The worldwide pandemic has also had a noticeable impact on our budgets however, leaving many of our Gravenhurst customers feeling like they are helpless against the threat of the coronavirus.

Even if now isn't the right time to add the gold standard ventilation equipment recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we want you to know that there are still ways to improve your ventilation at home and at work. 

We are going to list out these ventilation improvement tips with a note about the cost (if any) for each so you can find the one that suits your present situation.


Indoor Ventilation Aids to Suit Any Budget

These indoor ventilation aids can be used on their own or together for a greater impact.

1. Open a window or door!

Cost: FREE

As long as the weather outside is bearable, opening a window or door is by far the simplest and cheapest way to naturally ventilate any space.

Of course, this is only possible in rooms that have windows and doors, which means you will face some limitations from the start. The more you can allow the incoming air to flow from one room to the next, however, the more benefit your whole space will receive.

2. Turn on a ceiling or floor fan.

Cost: $1 in energy costs per month (7 hours per day of use).

Provided you own either, running a ceiling or floor fan is an extremely economical way to lower your heating and cooling bills while also improving your indoor air ventilation.

Even if you don't have a fan, often thrift stores will have secondhand fans you can pick up for a few dollars. And they cost next to nothing to run!

3. Add houseplants to each room.

Cost: $10 to $15 per plant.

You may already have houseplants inside your home. In this case, you won't have to invest anything and you are already getting the benefits.

You may also be able to take cuttings from a neighbor's plant or bring some plants indoors that can survive in a brightly-lit indoor space.

The reason houseplants are so effective at adding ventilation is because they "inhale" carbon dioxide and "exhale" oxygen.

Consider this: a single tree can respire enough oxygen to keep two adults well supplied for a year. So imagine how much oxygen you can add back into your indoor space by adding a single houseplant in each room of your home!

4. Turn on your exhaust fans.

Cost: $1 to $20 per year depending on daily usage time.

Running your home's exhaust fans - typically located in the kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms - is not energy-expensive.

It may, however, end up being expensive in terms of wear and tear, which is something to consider, especially if you own an older home. And it will only help improve ventilation in the rooms where the exhaust fans are located.

5. Use your HVAC fan on a continuous cycle.

Cost: $500+ per year.

This is hands-down the most expensive option to add back ventilation both in terms of energy costs and wear and tear on your HVAC equipment.

For this reason, it is really only a viable option for very short-term ventilation needs.

6. Install a heat recovery ventilator.

Cost: $1,000 - $5,000 (includes HRV + installation).

Energy savings: Pays for itself in 5 to 10 years.

While this option may appear to be the most costly choice in the short-term, installing a heat recovery ventilator becomes surprisingly affordable once you look at energy savings projected over the long term.

Not only is installing a heat recovery ventilator the gold standard when it comes to whole-space ventilation, but the HRV can trim anywhere from 60 to 80 percent off your annual heating and cooling bills, meaning it can easily pay for itself in a handful of years.


Get in Touch With Gravenhurst Plumbing, Heating and Electrical

Do you need help upgrading your in-home or workplace indoor air quality with effective ventilation aids and equipment?

Our friendly, highly skilled service technicians at Gravenhurst Plumbing, Heating and Electric are standing by ready to help keep you safe, healthy and warm this winter.

We now offer safe contactless service, payment and invoicing options. Contact our qualified technicians online or give us a call at 877-885-3403. We service the Muskoka region - including Gravenhurst, Perry Sound, Orillia and Haliburton!

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