a bathroom fan being installed showing two hands holding it up

There are many different options to consider when it comes to home ventilation, and they can vary significantly in terms of how energy efficient they are.

Each type of ventilation has its pros and cons, and you’ll want to know about these before choosing the right ventilation system for your home.

One of the most energy-efficient home ventilation methods is mechanical ventilation. This type of system uses fans to bring fresh air into the home or remove stale air from the inside. Other energy-efficient options include energy recovery ventilation systems and self-propelled ventilation.

This blog post will explore some of the most energy-efficient home ventilation options available.

From whole-house fans to MEVs, there are many ways to make your home more energy efficient. So, read on to learn more about your options.

If you’re interested in other ideas to make your home more energy efficient, read our article that goes into detail on the topic, here.

What Is Ventilation, and Why Is It Important?

Young girl sitting on a rug with a green fan blowing air at her.
A simple desk fan can help with ventilation, but installing a whole-house system often yields better results.

Ventilation is the process of moving air into and out of space to improve indoor air quality.

The ventilation rate measures how much air is forced in and out of a space in a given period.

The higher the ventilation rate, the more air that is moved.The purpose of ventilation is to remove contaminants from the air, provide occupants with fresh air, and control temperature and humidity.

Many factors contribute to the efficiency of a ventilation system, including the type of system, the location of the system, the climate, and the number of occupants.

Ventilation helps control temperature, humidity, and other factors that affect indoor air quality.

There are many different ways to ventilate a home, and each has its benefits and drawbacks.

The most important thing is to choose a system that will work well for your home and your family’s needs.

The most energy-efficient option will vary depending on the climate, the home type, and the occupants’ needs.

Ventilation and Energy Efficiency

Ventilation is crucial in every home to prevent the build-up of moisture and eliminate smells from cooking, pets, or tobacco smoke.

Exhaust fans can help to remove these odors from the home quickly and efficiently. However, when shopping for a new exhaust fan, it is essential to consider the unit’s energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency is vital in ventilation for two reasons.

First, heating and cooling account for a large percentage of a home’s energy use, so any energy savings will significantly impact your energy bill.

Second, reducing your energy use also reduces your carbon footprint and helps to protect the environment.

A high-efficiency ventilator will use up to 30% less electricity than other models on the market.

An energy-efficient model also lasts longer because it does not get clogged as easily as cheaper models.

Consider purchasing an insulated, high-efficiency ventilator with external temperature control for your home today!

The Best Energy Efficient Options for Ventilation

A ceiling vent in a white ceiling.
Mechanical ventilation systems use strategically placed vents to direct air through the house.

If you want an efficient ventilation system, you can choose from the options listed below.

Energy Recovery Ventilation System

There are several different types of energy-efficient home ventilation systems, but the most common is an Energy Recovery Ventilation System (ERV).

An ERV system recovers some of the heat lost through traditional ventilation methods and uses it to heat or cool the incoming air.

ERV systems can reduce your energy use by up to 30%.

ERV systems also effectively remove humidity from the air, improve indoor air quality, and make your home more comfortable.

Self-Propelled Ventilation System

A self-propelled ventilation system is an excellent option for those looking for an energy-efficient way to ventilate their home.

This type of system uses a fan to draw air from outside and circulate it through the house.

It is also one of the most energy-efficient ways to ventilate a home, as it does not require any ductwork or additional energy to operate.

Mechanical Extract Ventilation

Mechanical extract ventilation is a method of home ventilation that uses a fan to draw air out of the house.

This type of ventilation is often combined with other methods, such as natural ventilation or forced-air heating and cooling.

Mechanical extract ventilation can control humidity, remove pollutants, and exchange fresh air.

When used correctly, it can be an effective and energy-efficient way to improve indoor air quality.

Whole House Mechanical Ventilation With Heat Recovery

Whole House Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (WHMV-HR) systems are becoming increasingly popular in new homes and retrofit projects.

WHMV-HR systems provide fresh air to a home while also recovering heat from the outgoing air.This helps to improve indoor air quality while also reducing energy costs.

Whole house mechanical ventilation helps remove stale and polluted air from your home and replaces it with fresh, clean air.

The heat recovery part of the system helps keep the temperature inside your home consistent, saving money on your energy bills.

If you’re interested in improving the air quality in your home and saving money on your energy bills, whole-house mechanical ventilation with heat recovery may be a good option.

Natural Ventilation

Window with black frame and net curtains hanging inside.
Opening a window is sometimes all you need to get some ventilation in your home. But there are more efficient ways to get fresh air into your house.

Natural ventilation is the process of supplying fresh air into a space through openings in the building envelope.

Opening a window, in other words!

It is a passive system that uses forces like wind and pressure differences to work.

The most significant benefit to natural ventilation is that it doesn’t require any mechanical or electrical energy to operate, making it very energy efficient.

In fact, studies have shown that properly designed natural ventilation can be just as effective as mechanical systems at reducing indoor pollutants while using far less energy.

How To Improve Energy Efficiency of Your Current Ventilation System

You can improve the efficiency of your ventilation system if you know how.

Here are measures you can take towards a more efficient ventilation system.

Improve Household Insulation

Scraping surplus spray foam from around the crack where the floor meets the wall.
Spray foam can be used to fill small cracks and gaps to make a good air seal.

One of the best ways to improve the energy efficiency of your current ventilation system, and your home overall, is to improve the insulation in your home.

This will help keep warm air in during winter and cool air in during summer, making your home more comfortable and saving you money on your energy bills.

Here are some tips for improving the insulation in your home:

  • Check for air leaks around doors and windows and seal them with weatherstripping or caulk.
  • Add or upgrade insulation in your attic, walls, and floors.
  • Install energy efficient storm doors and windows.
  • Use awnings, sunshades, or curtains on south- and west-facing windows during summer.

For a deep dive into home insulation, take a look at our article, entitled, “The Ultimate Guide To Home Insulation & Your Health.”

Change Filters Occasionally

A woman wearing a face mask holding up a dirty air filter from a home ventilation HVAC system.
Changing your filters might not be the most pleasant job, but it will ensure your system continues to operate efficiently.

To keep your ventilation system working as efficiently as possible, you must change the filters occasionally.

Depending on your filter type, you may need to change it every few months or so. Check your manufacturer’s instructions to be sure.

In addition to changing your filters, you can also clean them regularly with a vacuum cleaner attachment.

Don’t Let Heat Build Up

Hot air rises, so if you have a vent at the top of your home, it will help draw the hot air out.

If you have a chimney, opening the damper will also help to draw hot air out of your home.

Sealing cracks or gaps around doors and windows will prevent warm air from coming in and cool air from escaping.

Adding insulation to your attic will also help to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

You can also install solar-powered vents or a fan to circulate air in your home.

Place Ventilation in Bathrooms, Attic, and Basement

No matter what type of HVAC system you have, there are ways to make it more energy efficient.

One way is to place vents in strategic locations, such as the bathroom, attic, and basement.

This will help improve the airflow in your home and make your HVAC system work less to circulate air.

If your current ventilation system is outdated, consider upgrading to a more efficient model. You may see a significant reduction in your energy bills.

Minimize Air Leaks and Improve Air Tightness

Check for air leaks and seal them up to improve the air tightness of your home.

This will help minimize the amount of outside air that comes in and thus decrease the amount of work your system has to do.

Air tightness can be improved by adding weatherstripping or caulking around doors and windows.

Also, ensure that your ventilation system is adequately sized for your home; an oversized system will cost more to operate than one that’s just big enough.

Limit the Number of People in Your House

Limiting the number of people in your house is not always possible, but reducing the number of people in your home will reduce the heat and moisture that needs to be removed from the air.

Reduce the Number of Vents in Use

Closing off some vents can help to concentrate the airflow and make the system more efficient.

Keep Interior Doors Open

Interior doors can create pressure imbalances that make your HVAC system work harder than necessary.

By keeping them open, you can help equalize the pressure and improve the efficiency of your system.

You should also ensure that furniture or other objects do not block your vents and registers.

In addition, regular maintenance of your HVAC system will help it run more efficiently.


There are a few different types of home ventilation systems that can be used to help improve indoor air quality and make your home more energy efficient.

Some popular options include energy recovery ventilation systems, whole-house ventilation systems, and self-propelled fans.

Each type of system has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, and which one is right for you depends on your home and specific circumstances.

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