I live in the northern part of the country, where the weather is severe just about all year round. In the summer, the temperature often climbs into the nineties, with extremely high humidity levels. During the winter, we live with sub zero temperatures, vicious wind chill, and tons of snow. The spring and fall are typically chilly and damp, so we usually need to run the furnace. With either the heating or cooling system running for most of the year, there’s no chance of opening the windows. To conserve energy, I’ve tightened up the house as much as possible. I’ve replaced windows, added insulation, caulked and weatherstripped. I’ve worked really hard to eliminate every crack, hole or leak which might allow my heated or cooled air to escape. This has made a huge difference in my monthly energy bills and greatly improved the comfort of my home. Unfortunately this traps all sorts of contaminants in the house. There’s no influx of fresh air, and no chance for dust, pollen, dander, or unpleasant odors to escape. There’s concerns with indoor air quality, which can lead to health problems. After consulting with a local HVAC contractor, I invested in a heat recovery ventilation system. The ventilator brings fresh, outside air into the house and extracts the stale, stuffy air. Plus, it uses the outgoing air to preheat the incoming air in the winter. The ventilator also helps to combat excess humidity during the summer months. Installing the ventilation system has saved me quite a bit of money in energy bills, while also improving the health, cleanliness and overall enjoyment of my home.