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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Question Inadequate ventilation?

    I'm a bit concerned that my home office may not be getting adequate ventilation. The office has two doors, and I'd say there is a 7/8" gap under a 24"-wide door, and a 5/8" gap under a 30"-wide door. The ceiling vent does not blow much air into the office. I turn the house fan on sometimes, but the room can still get hot and stuffy. The RH in the room gets up to 68% in the afternoons.

    (I bought a portable AC unit to help with the temperature. You can read a related post I made about that here.)

    My first question is: how can I tell if the room is getting adequate ventilation?

    If I'm not getting adequate ventilation, what would you recommend? A contractor suggested adding a wall vent between the office and the living room. The downstairs air return is in the living room. He thought improving the ventilation would help reduce the humidity levels.

    Another option would be to have the duct inspected. The room is on the first floor, and is directly below a bedroom, so inspecting the duct won't be easy. I'm getting bamboo flooring in the bedroom in a few weeks, so maybe an HVAC contractor could pull up some of the plywood and inspect the duct while that is happening.

    I haven't checked the duct damper, yet.

    I'll throw a curveball here. I have four children who can get noisy, and I'm concerned about sound. Ideally, I'd put door sweeps under the doors to isolate the office from the sound. That would likely make ventilation much worse, I know. I'm a little worried that a room vent will let in too much noise, even with a sound baffle in it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
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    Most homes get enough fresh air during windy weather. Most home do not get enough fresh air during moderate temps and calm winds (-5 mph).
    To check the amount of fresh air that infiltrates your home monitor the outdoor dew point verses the indoor dew point or monitor the C02 levels in your home when occupied. There are calculations that relate to the number of occupants and the amount of fresh air passing through the home.
    The indoor dew points verses the outdoor dew point also indicates the amount of fresh air passing through a home. An example is the effect on the low winter outdoor dew point dries out the home even though moisture is being added inside the home. During the summer adequately ventilated home tend to require more dehumidification to maintain low indoor humidity. From actual measurements, the amount air change can be calculated.
    If in doubt measure CO2.
    The new Netatmo weather station includes CO2 and indoor/outdoor %RH which makes the amount of fresh air passing through a home easy to determine.
    For < a couple hundred, you can monitor this.

    I just gave you access to my Netatmo Weather Station "Madison WI 2,100 sqft ranch/1,700 Bsmnt, 2 occupants 80 cfm fresh air 24/7, Ultra-Aire 70H Dehu" so you can check weather and air quality in real time.

    You will be able to access a test home's measurements directly from your iPhone, iPad, Android or Computer, with this invitation:

    After activating the hot line, enter a email address and simple pass word.
    High lighting the readings show graphs and history data.
    It impressive for a little cost and available at apple and amozon.
    Keep us posted.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Thread Starter
    Thank you so much for the guest access! I'll take a look at it. It seems like a very handy app to have, if I have the hardware for it. I looked the system up on Amazon, and it's under $200.

    As I read through your response, it occurred to me that I was probably confusing ventilation with air circulation. I'm not sure what the ventilation of my home is, but I'm pretty sure the air--whether it's fresh or not--is not getting circulated through the room very well.

    I decided to move the office upstairs, where it's quieter. The new office gets less stuffy, too. The ventilation in the old room may still be an issue, as I moved my sons' bedroom in there. Temperatures won't be as big an issue for them. I'm still a little concerned about the air circulation.

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