Installing an Air Exchanger in the Attic: Is This a Good Idea?

The purpose of an air exchanger is to purify the air in a house. Thanks to a mechanical ventilation system, it refreshes the ambient air and provides a more pleasant atmosphere to the occupants. Do you want to install an air exchanger in the attic of your home? Are you wondering if this is a good idea? Here, we invite you to discover the advantages and disadvantages of such an installation.

Disadvantages of installing an air exchanger in the attic

Generally speaking, installing an air exchanger in the attic is strongly discouraged in Canada. When a house is well insulated, its attic stays cold in the winter. If you decide to do the work yourself and you leave the ducts connected to the air exchanger in an unheated space, you run the risk of having your ducts freeze. The air exchanger causes condensation due to the meeting of the warm air from inside the house and the cold air from outside and the attic. This condensation can then freeze and break your equipment.

If you want to install an air exchanger in your attic, it’s essential to place your ducts in the walls or the floors so that they are somewhat insulated from the cold; this requires advanced DIY skills. But freezing isn’t the only problem related to an air exchanger placed in the attic! The condensation creates droplets that may turn into mould and fungi if the ducts aren’t regularly cleaned. In this type of case, the air that circulates is dirty, it deteriorates over time, and the inhabitants breathe contaminated air. This can lead to respiratory diseases and many other ailments.

Advantages of installing an air exchanger in the attic

Air exchangers can be noisy, and they usually take up a lot of room. By placing it in the attic, the inhabitants aren’t bothered by the noise of the fan and can take full advantage of the benefits of such an installation.

It is forbidden to install an air exchanger in a garage, because the contaminants that it contains could spread throughout the house. It is also not recommended to install an air exchanger in living rooms or walk-in closets (for noise and moisture reasons).

The attic may therefore be an attractive option for people who don’t have a basement. However, they’ll need to call on professionals to install the system according to the rules. Otherwise, they’ll probably have to buy another air exchanger if it doesn’t survive the winter.

Installing an air exchanger in the basement

Installing an air exchanger in the basement can be an excellent solution for people who have enough space and whose attic is unheated. Thanks to this ingenious system, they’ll be able to take full advantage of the clean air brought in by the exchanger.

However, it’s not necessary to use an air exchanger if the humidity level in your house is lower than 40%. Indeed, you run the risk of drying out the air in your home and suffering from breathing problems.

For best results, don’t hesitate to outfit your home with an HRV system (an exchanger with heat recovery); this will help you keep your heating bill down. Finally, consider using CMV (controlled mechanical ventilation) systems in your most humid rooms, especially the bathroom. Air out your house regularly and check the air quality in your home from time to time.

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