Everything you should know about house ventilation

When people ask, “How to ventilate a house?” They also want to understand why this is so important. Isn’t the house already ventilated naturally? You simply open the windows and let fresh air go inside. Well, this option is not a perfect solution for all situations. If the humidity level in rooms like the bathroom or kitchen is higher than average, you should improve your ventilation and make sure fresh and clean air comes inside, replacing stale air.

So, how to make ventilation at home? Is installing additional ventilation systems necessary, and why could they be advantageous? Keep reading, as we will get all the questions answered.

Is natural ventilation effective?

First, let’s say a few words about natural ventilation. This method, also called passive ventilation, supplies fresh air between rooms in buildings passively using the wind speed or the pressure difference. If it sounds unconvincing and you think natural ventilation is ineffective, it’s not true. Natural ventilation has several advantages:

  • Carbon emissions reduction.
  • Cheap installation and maintenance compared to fully mechanical systems.
  • Free night cooling: daytime temperature is reduced, which is extremely impactful during the summer.

People choose natural ventilation systems because they are cheap to install and easy to maintain. It’s also a low risk of breakage, meaning you won’t face repairs after a few weeks after installation. If the passive ventilation system is installed correctly, everything will be fine. Moreover, it’s an energy-saving mechanism that starts working from the moment it is installed.

Other types of home ventilation

Natural ventilation is good, but it’s not the only method to control the air quality and get rid of all air pollutants. If you search for ideas on how to make ventilation at home, it’s reasonable to compare all the available options and evaluate their advantages. Let’s have a look at other options you can use to ventilate your house properly.

Spot ventilation

In this method, air movement control is controlled by localised exhaust fans, quickly removing pollutants from the covered area. A typical example of spot ventilation is a range hood over a stove and exhaust fans in a bathroom. Such a ventilation method is usually combined with natural ventilation to achieve better effectiveness and have clear air in a dwelling. However, sometimes combining these two ventilating methods is impossible because they don’t match the house’s needs. In such a case, using a whole-house ventilation method is reasonable.

Whole-house ventilation

This type of ventilation combines the usage of fans and duct tape to allow air to move from and inside the building effectively. The whole-house method gives owners controlled air exchange. Such systems could be exhaust-only when everything is based on the fresh air leakage into the building and supply-only when the ventilation relies on air leakage from the building to exhaust fresh air. A third option is a balanced system that includes both intake components.

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House ventilation tips you may not know about

Why do people try to avoid moist air inside their properties? When such air contacts a colder surface, it turns into a liquid and causes negative effects on the microclimate inside your house. This can be avoided by creating proper ventilation in your house. So what can you do except installing a high-quality ventilation system? Let’s go through simple but effective house ventilation tips you may use.

Ensure you don’t have any air leaks. Uncontrolled air is one of the main reasons why home moisture happens. Warm air comes into contact with the cold surface, which causes condensation. What could be done to prevent such cases? Seal all paths between rooms and parts of the property that remain unventilated (basements, crawl spaces, etc.).

Provide proper water control. Water usually comes inside the house through the roof, so ensure you keep it in good condition. Also, check windows, doors, tubs, and showers to ensure the caulking and flashing in these areas is in proper condition. The roof gutter should also be cleaned to keep moisture away from the building.

Ventilate rooms. People living in the house generate moisture when they cook, wash dishes or clothes, or shower. Did you know that a regular family adds around three gallons of water to the air by only breathing and perspiring? If the ventilating system doesn’t work properly, there’s a risk that the moisture will enter the living rooms and cause damage. How to avoid that?

First, ensure that kitchen and bathroom vents lead outside and should never be vented into the attic because it may cause serious health issues in the future. Second, add a controlled ventilation system to prevent stale air from concentrating and let fresh air come inside. Modern air-to-air heat exchangers will be very effective in these cases because they heat the incoming air to the needed temperature, which positively affects the indoor micro-climate.

Also, you should do regular checks and ensure your vent fans remain in the proper condition. If they are damaged or you see the quality of ventilation is very low, consider replacing them.

Energy recovery ventilation systems – a truly innovative solution

These systems allow users to have controlled ventilation of the whole facility and avoid energy loss. Transferring heat from the warm inside air to the fresh, cold outside supply air reduces the cost of heating ventilated air. The energy-recovery system has two types: heat-recovery ventilation (HRV) and energy-recovery ventilation (ERV). There is a heat exchanger in both types, fans to push the air through the construction, and a controller to run the machine.

The difference between energy-recovery and heat-recovery ventilation is how heat exchanger works. In the ERV, the mechanism transfers an amount of water vapor with heat energy, while the HRV only transfers heat. As ERV transfers some moisture to the incoming air in the winter, the humidity level inside the house will remain more constant. Such a thing also helps keep the heat exchanger core warmer, so there’s only a chance it will have problems.

During summer, ERV helps to control the humidity level in the house by transferring the vapor air to the incoming air. This helps to dry the air that comes from the house. Still, some controversial thoughts exist about using ventilation systems during hot summer weather. Some experts say it’s better to turn the system off during the humid weather so the indoor humidity level will remain low.

Today, there are lots of methods to deal with poor ventilation in house. You just need to find a system that matches your house’s ventilation needs and implement it.

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