When contemplating home ventilation products we should be vigilant and plan ahead before we are at the building stage or if retrofitting home ventilation products we can use the resources that we have and add on to further enhance what is available.
It would be desirable to strategically design effective ventilation systems into the design of your new home, however retrofitting home ventilation products in an established home can be an ongoing cost effective saving on our ever increasing energy costs, passive ventilation and site orientation can make a major difference to home cooling and heating.
Let’s start with the windows – if you are building a new home it is easy to incorporate louvre windows into the build, these can be placed to take advantage of prevailing breezes. With louvre windows you will be able to create breezeways that you can control. Security can be a problem with louvre windows depending on where you live, however there are security measures it depends on the window manufacturer. If you are building new you can always design the louvres to be higher up. Louvres can also be retrofitted to the double hung windows that you most likely have in your established home and it’s likely that most window companies will retrofit louvres to most window types.
Whether you have double hung windows, louvre windows or any other type of window, in summer you should only have them open in the cooler hours. In winter you should leave windows slightly ajar to allow enough ventilation to keep control of condensation.
HOMES OF YESTERYEAR TOOK HOME VENTILATION PRODUCTS SERIOUSLY
If we looked at homes from yesteryear we would see that ventilation was a very important part of the build, however due to the sealing up and over insulation of homes today we have seen an increase in SBS and condensation problems. For example – brick vents were very prominent both for the sub-floor and the walls. To keep the sub-floor dry and the wall vents allowed fresh air exchange alleviating the problems of mould and condensation. The loss of the wall vents now makes it necessary to have windows at least ajar during winter. There was a reason for everything that was done for the ventilation of older homes – the bathroom and toilet windows always had a gap at the top to allow steam and gases to evacuate, also just outside the bathroom and toilet a duct in the ceiling about 200 round evacuating through the roof to the outside atmosphere. This ceiling duct allowed most of what would escape the bathroom and toilet to evacuate before reaching other living areas, so you see ventilation home products were seen as serious accessories to the homes of yesteryear.
HOME VENTILATION PRODUCTS ARE A NECESSITY IN TODAYS HOMES TO ALLEVIATE THE CONDENSATION, MOULD AND INHERENT SBS PROBLEMS
We have looked at windows as the only natural ventilation to the interior of our home due to the sealing up of todays’ homes to keep them cool in summer and warm in winter.
As there is no sub-floor in todays’ homes we do not need to do anything here, however you will still have a cavity between your outer and inner walls. This cavity is there for a reason to allow airflow between the walls for natural ventilation to both cool and warm and also to protect the inner wall from contact with the outer wall. By filling this cavity with loose fil insulation which some do, will only eventually cause problems and you will lose a very effective home ventilation system – see BLOG on this site – “Cavity Wall Insulation”.
If you have an existing home you may have a sub-floor do not block your cavity with loose fill insulation, you see the cavity allows air currents to pass from the sub-floor through the cavity to the roofspace and evacuate through the roofspace ventilation system, this is a complete home ventilation system.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST EFFECTIVE ROOF VENTILATION IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT HOME VENTILATION PRODUCT FOR BOTH NEW AND EXISTING HOMES
We are not talking about whole house systems that use the foul air from the roofspace and duct it into the home. No, we are talking about roof ventilator systems that remove the foul air from the roofspace and replace it with fresh ambient air.
If you have a sub-floor that is moist you can increase the amount of ventilators in the sub-floor. However, home ventilation can be summed up as increasing airflow with windows possibly planning louvres strategically placed for effective cross flow in a new build or retrofitting double hungs with louvres. In winter leave windows slightly ajar to control mould and condensation without concern for what type of window you have and for summer where security allows leave wide open only during the cooler hours. Keep that wall cavity clear and protusions through the ceiling to the roofspace are a no no.
AN EFFECTIVE ROOF VENTILATION SYSTEM IS POSSIBLY THE BEST HOME VENTILATION PRODUCT FOR A NEW BUILD OR EXISTING HOME
See BLOG on this site – “Warning! Read Before You Design Your Next Housing Project”.