How many times have you turned on the vent fan in your bathroom and thought 'why must I send out my heated and air-conditioned air to ventilate this room'? It seems wasteful to pay for central heat and air, only to push it outside at 200 cubic feet a minute.
For the past two decades we have been told that we need to tighten up our homes. They have us replacing windows and even taking off switch covers and putting little foam seals under them. Those are good things to do for your home, but it just seems backwards to start up a vent fan that is the equivalent of opening a window bigger than your front door to the open air.
In a tiny or small home ventilation is crucial. Many folks in tiny homes are finding mold on their bathroom walls. A smaller space can magnify this issue.
No matter how you look at it, mold on the walls is bad. It comes from too much humidity in the air. The problem gets worse in the winter as it gets cold outside. Your walls cool down like a glass of iced tea, you know, when the glass sweats. The first sign that you have too much humidity shows up as condensation on the lower half of your windows.
That does not necessarily mean you have a bad window if the water is small droplets on the inside that wipes off. (If you have fogging in between the layers of glass, that is a bad window.)
Humidity in your home comes from showering, cooking, and from us just living there.
When you shower you must use the vent fan in the bathroom. After your shower, let it run for five or more minutes. That will take most of the humidity out. That also takes out a lot of heat or air conditioning with it, so you don't want it to run any longer than necessary. We like to put a timer on that switch so that you don't have to remember to shut it off.
In a small space it is imperative that the left over humidity gets removed over the next couple of hours. However, you don't want to run a vent fan for that long.
We install an ERV to balance the air in the home. An ERV is a wonderful thing. As it ventilates the home, it recovers most of the heat or air conditioning thereby not wasting it. At the same time, it brings in fresh air to rebalance the humidity levels.
It gets better. It has a filter on it so it removes allergens while it works.
It sips such a small amount of electricity that it runs 24 hours a day keeping your house fresh and humidity balanced. And it's so quiet you can barely tell it's running. Think of an ERV as atmosphere control inside your house. Sounds a little bit like science fiction, something you'd see in a movie, but it's really here.
Randy Marmet, CEO
Transcend Tiny Homes