A breath of fresh air

a breath of fresh air

Effective and regular ventilation plays an important part in keeping your home fresh and healthy. Open windows daily to let fresh air circulate and replace stale, damp air that can cause mould and moisture this winter. Or you could opt for a home ventilation system that works 24/7.

With effective insulation and homes being built or renovated with improved air tightness, they are becoming easier to heat – but this also means that more stale, moist air is trapped inside, making adequate ventilation even more important.

You should ventilate your home daily. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to simply open doors and windows regularly to let in the fresh air and get rid of stale air. You can easily create a cross-draught by opening windows and doors in different areas throughout your home.

Your kitchen, bathroom and laundry require good ventilation. These ‘wet areas’ in your home can cause big problems with mould and excessive moisture if they’re not ventilated properly. Your kitchen should have an externally vented extractor fan (or range hood), as should your bathroom. Your laundry dryer should be exhausted to the outside of your house and if possible, you should leave the laundry window or door open while the dryer is on. Leaving your bathroom window open while showering will help improve the extractor fan’s capability, and leave it turned on for a few minutes after you’ve finished in the shower. Don’t forget to clean any extractor fans throughout your house regularly to maintain their productiveness.

home ventilation systems

If you want to have the benefit of additional ventilation (or for reasons of security, temperature, work, etc you just don’t open your doors and windows regularly enough), you can install a home ventilation system. These systems use fans to filter and move air into the house. Considerations are the type of system you choose, how well it is installed, your particular kind of house and the climate you are living in. Before you purchase any type of home ventilation system though, it’s vital that your house is properly insulated.

Ask your supplier for independent test performance reports for the system they are proposing. You should also get a ‘no questions asked’ guarantee of performance that includes removal of the system if it doesn’t work and repair of all damage to your home (e.g., holes in ceilings should be fixed to prevent undue air leakage).

There are two types of home ventilation systems commonly available in New Zealand:

  1. Positive pressure/roof cavity heat transfer ventilation systems

These systems are the most common systems marketed. This system uses a fan which forces filtered air from the roof cavity into the house through vents in the ceiling. This pushes air inside the house out through gaps around doors and windows and other leakage areas.

  1. Balanced pressure heat recovery ventilation systems

For air-tight homes in colder areas of the country that already have effective heating systems, balanced pressure heat recovery ventilation systems are particularly suitable. These systems have two fans for two separate air streams. One fan supplies fresh outdoor air into the house through several ceiling vents, while the exhaust fan extracts an equal volume of air from inside the house and discharges it to the outside.

Why ventilation is important for your family

  • it removes moisture from your home, ensuring that your home stays drier and discouraging mould and mildew to grow
  • it removes everyday fumes from cooking, cigarette smoke, vehicle pollution (from internal access garaging) etc
  • it removes stale, dusty air that can contribute to asthma and allergies
  • fresh air helps you sleep better and feel better
  • it removes condensation which will make your home damp and mouldy
  • homes that are aired regularly
    are healthier and drier, which means less illness for your family over winter
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