Guide to exhaust fans and more
Home ventilation systems are engineered to improve indoor air quality and ensure all parts of your house are properly ventilated. Most mechanical ventilation systems are comprised of two parts: an air exchanger that swaps stale indoor air for fresh outdoor air, and an air purifier that removes particles, impurities and pollutants from the fresh air.
While ventilation systems have much in common with air filtration systems, they are usually much more elaborate and service the entire home rather than just a couple of heavily used rooms.
An Overview of Ventilation Systems
A typical home ventilation system uses several steps to bring fresher, purer air into your home:
- Outdoor air is drawn into the system, run through a network of filters and purifiers, and sent through the system's heat exchange mechanism by ventilation fans.
- The temperature-altered fresh air is distributed throughout the rooms in your home through either specially installed ducts or your home's existing duct network.
- Exhaust fans and ducts are used to suck in stale air at the same rate that the system is drawing fresh air from the outdoors. This stale air is forced into the heat exchange mechanism.
- Once the stale air has been used in the heat exchange process, it is forced outdoors.
You may also encounter the term "extractor fans" as you do further research into the various ventilation systems on the market. Extractor fans are used to collect polluted or impure air and force it out of a room. The fan mounted over your kitchen stove is a common example of an extractor fan; it is designed to suck up and expel impurities and odors that result from frying and cooking.
Advantages of Home Ventilation Systems
The primary advantage of ventilation systems is that they ensure the air you breathe while in your home is always of the highest quality. This can prevent the onset of numerous respiratory conditions, including asthma, emphysema and other forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Ventilation systems can also be used to combat high humidity levels in your basement which, over time, can save you thousands of dollars. Humidity levels that are too high can lead to significant structural damage. Similarly, systems that promote attic ventilation are available. These are necessary to ensure that the goods stored in your attic are not damaged by stagnant deposits of thick, hot, stale air. Also, because hot air rises, it can cause structural damage to your home if your attic is not adequately ventilated. If you tally up all the benefits of ventilation systems, there's a good chance you'll find that the investment pays for itself over time in the form of improved health and structural soundness.