When buildings become personal: Ventilation plays a key role in transforming a house into a home. Panasonic exhaust fans can help
Think of your building's envelope as the foundation for a successful ventilation strategy.
A tight enclosure that minimizes moisture and air leakage lays the groundwork for a good ventilation system also provides better energy performance overall.
This creates a healthy, durable, energy-conscious space.
However, a tight envelope also means that providing fresh air exchange is even more important. Codes and standards, building materials, climate zone, aesthetics, and occupant behavior all place demands on ventilation.
Competing with these demands are your customers' goals for indoor air quality, energy performance, and durability.
Mechanical ventilation draws out pollutants and draws in make up air in a controlled manner. Controlled ventilation strategies divide into three main categories: exhaust, supply, and balanced ventilation systems.
Exhaust ventilation removes pollutants at the source
An inexpensive and simple approach to ventilating a home, exhaust-only ventilation works by forcing air out of the home to depressurize the interior and gain make up air through passive vents. Because this ventilation system only actively exhausts air, it is not recommended in hot or humid climates.
Since any make up air is gained passively, that air may be very humid, contain pollutants, or be too cold, leading to energy penalties for the home.
Powerful exhaust systems, such as commercial-capacity range hoods, should be used cautiously with combustion appliances, as they can cause back drafting.
Supply ventilation dilutes pollutants
Supply ventilation, another simple and inexpensive approach, uses a fan to pressurize a home, actively bringing outdoor air inside while squeezing out indoor air.
Supply systems offer better control over incoming pollutants, as they only obtain outdoor air through specified vents. Pressurizing the house more readily forces out combustion gases and other pollutants.
However, supply systems struggle with conditioning or removing moisture from incoming air, and can raise heating or cooling costs.
Balanced ventilation is best
Balanced ventilation works by both actively exhausting polluted indoor air and actively drawing in fresh, outdoor air in a balanced, controlled ratio. Because the system uses more fans and ducts than either the supply or exhaust approaches, it is more costly.
However, balanced ventilation is appropriate for all climate zones. By coupling a balanced approach with an energy recovery or heat recovery ventilator (ERV or HRV), incoming air can be conditioned and dehumidified, saving on heating and cooling expenses for the home. A tight enclosure guards the interior of the home and guarantees that air is properly enclosed and controlled.
Mechanical ventilation can take the benefits of a healthy home one step further by providing a controlled source of treated fresh air that balances indoor air quality with energy savings.