Air Cleaners
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Exhaust Fans
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Grading Of Property

Exhaust fans play a major role in your home's ventilation system.  They are designed to remove odours and moisture from the areas in the house most likely to create indoor air quality problems.  Any area in the home where moisture is created can cause damage to building materials (drywall, wood etc.) leading to costly repairs along with possible mould growth without proper ventilation.

If your washroom is not equipped with an exhaust fan, it must have a window in order to pass Canadian building codes.  A window, however, does not provide negative pressure to draw out the moist air and makes bathing and showering a 'chilly' experience in cooler months.  If you are noticing discolouration on the walls or ceiling of the washroom, there may be a blockage in the exhaust duct, a malfunction of the existing fan, inadequate suction for your family's needs or lack of a fan entirely.  An electronic timer is useful, as most people turn the lights off in the washroom before all of the moisture is exhausted.  Running the fan for 15 - 30 minutes after a shower will help keep the room dry. 
Kitchen exhaust systems will normally have its fan in the exhaust hood above the stove.  This is also something required as per Canadian building codes to be present in all kitchens (both primary and secondary).  Some hood fans, however, just circulate the air and do not vent anywhere but back into the kitchen.  Galvanized steel is best for the ducting with a range hood in case of a grease fire

The main problem with any exhaust fan that is in working condition is the exterior exhaust.  All ventilation installed to remove warm and moist air from the home should be vented directly outdoors.  Many homes, however, have their fans exhaust into the attic.  This can cause major problems for the integrity of the attic and roof, as it can lead to the deterioration of building materials and possibly grow mould

Fans create static electricity, causing dust and debris to be drawn into them.  Have a professional clean your exhaust fans yearly (Jackie - Services, duct cleaning) to avoid blockages, which can hinder efficiency as well as become a possible fire hazard.  Ensure all exterior vents are free of debris and snow from the outside and that the flaps open properly during use.

Another option for adequate ventilation as well as an avenue to bring in 'fresh' air from outside is a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV).  It is a self-contained ventilation system designed to provide a balanced intake and exhaust to and from your home and can be ducted to various rooms in the home (especially kitchens and washrooms).  It is usually installed in the basement with intake and exhaust openings made to the outdoors by a professional into the home's foundation.  This not only removes the moist air that a regular exhaust fan does, but also brings in fresh air from outdoors.  It is like having your windows open 24 hours a day without all of the heat / cooling loss (saves on energy bills) and although more expensive than some indoor air quality products, is by far one of the most important. 
For more information on improving the ventilation in your home, call Home Heroes today!
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