How Winter Affects Your Ventilation System

Ventilation is critical at any time of year, but winter is particularly challenging. You probably spend more time indoors hiding from the chill so opening a window isn’t an option. Between the flu season, regular allergies, and just the need to breathe fresh air, ventilation is hyper critical during winter. Here are six considerations for your ventilation system at this time of year.

How Winter Affects Your Ventilation System

Cold and Flu Season

Because winter is nearly synonymous with sniffles and sneezes, ventilation plays a major role in keeping your family healthy during this time. Recirculated air keeps the germs inside, spreads it to everyone and reduces your body’s ability to fight it off. You might get away with a less than robust system in the summer when you can open windows, but winter illness requires better ventilation.

Temperature of Outside Air

Depending on where you live, the fresh air coming in could range from chilly to Arctic cold. This air needs to be heated, of course, so the place where it enters your house matters. If your ventilation system consists of exhaust fans and infiltration through your home’s construction, you’ll have to endure these lower temperatures to get the fresh air you need.


When outdoor air is heated without the addition of moisture, the relative humidity drops. This, in turn, dries out your indoor air further. High humidity issues are well known, but low humidity has its own problems. You’ll experience dry mucus membranes (increasing susceptibility to colds and flus), static buildup, and possible damage to electronics.

Energy Consumption

Outdoor air requires energy to heat and humidify. The energy consumed is highest for air that’s directly heated, whether ducted to your furnace or entering through construction gaps. Energy recovery allows you to reap the benefits of fresh air without the cost of excessive energy consumption.

Vulnerable Family Members

If you’re concerned about energy costs, then aim for an energy recovery system rather than attempt to avoid ventilation, altogether. It may be tempting to keep exhaust fans off and find ways to prevent or minimize ventilation, but you’ll pay for it in other ways, especially if you have family members with allergies or who are prone to illness at this time of year.


You might think of dust as a summer problem for your ventilation, but particulates can cause problems during winter as well. Ensure that you have the right filtration in place for your ventilation system and maintain it. Change filters regularly and monitor the source of your outside air. If you need help with your home’s ventilation system this winter, give us a call and we can help you keep your air clear.

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