Air quality should be a top priority for all homeowners. Ensure you and your family are living and breathing inside a healthy home environment by learning all about ventilation below.

What is Ventilation and Why is it Important?

Ventilation is an important process that removes polluted, stale, and moist air and replaces it with fresh outdoor air. People who live in homes that are poorly ventilated are exposed to health risks such as fatigue, headaches, allergies, nausea, Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), and more. Therefore, ventilation is a necessity for all homes, especially those with a tight thermal envelope.

What is a Thermal Envelope?

The surfaces of a building that divide the outside from the inside make up the thermal envelope. This includes exterior-facing walls, the roof, the foundation, windows, and doors. These surfaces prevent heat from escaping during the winter, and keep cool air inside during the summer.

Understanding Tightness & Looseness

Most houses built 100 years ago have a “loose” or “leaky” thermal envelope. Without insulation in the walls, fresh air can easily enter through all the cracks and holes, thus naturally ventilating the home. Nowadays, homes are built to be well-insulated and super-efficient. However, this also means they have a “tight” thermal envelope which limits air exchange. Therefore, mechanical ventilation is required.

Natural Ventilation vs. Mechanical Ventilation

Natural ventilation uses the wind and naturally occurring pressure differences to create air flow and move fresh air into your home. As for mechanical ventilation, there are many different types. Most use a combination of fans and vents to distribute fresh air flow throughout the home.

How Much Ventilation is Necessary?

For residential buildings, it is generally expected that the indoor air is completely replaced with outdoor air approximately once every three hours.

In Conclusion

Overall, there is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to ventilation, which is why it’s important to ask an expert. If you’re buying or selling, our thorough home inspections detect issues of poor ventilation early on. As for homeowners, our Indoor Air Quality Evaluations ensure your home is clean, healthy, and receiving adequate ventilation.