Home breathing environment: Recirculated air

To recirculate or not is the question.

There has been some discussion in the news as of late about the riding environment inside the automobile and how placing the atmospheric control to the “recirculate” setting, can result in marked improvement in interior air quality (when windows are in the fully closed position) compared to switching the said atmospheric control to the “fresh air” setting, which allows air from outside to enter the vehicle’s cabin.

So, I’m thinking: If this feature is available on motor vehicles, is it not also available with regard to the home?

If you live in an area that is known to have a problem with outdoor air pollution, the last thing I think one would want or should have to deal with is that pollution which is outside, also coming inside.

It is common to have devices (exhaust fans) located throughout the home for the purpose of venting, let’s call them fumes, from the bathroom and kitchen, especially, to the outside air.

So, in a motor vehicle, when I think about the atmospheric control set to the “fresh air” position, this provision in essence is doing what an exhaust fan inside the home is doing in reverse. When I drive, I never set said atmospheric control to the “fresh air” position for this very reason.

So, why would I want such a feature for my home? I wouldn’t.

However, when using the air conditioning (cooling) and heating systems during the times of the year when needed, depending upon the system design, outside air could be drawn indoors during said systems use.

The previous combined cooling and heating system at my residence did just that. It was only after the system, which was in the home for perhaps twenty years, went kaput that it needed to be replaced. The system was supplanted with one whereby outside air is not drawn indoors when in use. This has really made a positive difference.

In fact, on a printed circuit board that I once had to have changed out when the prior system was in use, interestingly, there was a filter attached to the board itself. This filter had become so blackened from air that passed through it, that, my guess, it was no longer effective at doing whatever it was that it was initially designed to do. In areas where dirty air isn’t a problem using a system designed this way might not be so much an issue. But, in regions like mine where pollution in the air is a regular occurrence, to me, putting in this type of system makes little sense. Yet, this was the system that was installed in this tract home when originally built. The presumption is: this was the standard model used in homes within the same tract built by the same home builder/developer.

The point I’m trying to make here is that if there is a feature/provision available on said heating and/or cooling systems to seal off the outside air, stopping such from coming inside, especially during times when air pollution is at a heightened concentration, this would be most welcome.

I mean, if this is available in the motor vehicle domain, logic would have it that such a feature/provision would also be available to the home if this is not the case already.

Seems like a no-brainer if you ask me.

Image above: U.S. National Institutes of Health: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

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