Pratley & Partners

What are The Different Types of Ventilation?

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Depending on your building and its supply of natural air, different types of ventilation will be needed to provide a healthy breathing environment for inhabitants. In some cases, notably in relation to commercial and public buildings, an operational ventilation system is actually required by law.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to know some of the different types of ventilation systems before making an investment.

Natural Ventilation

Drawing an ongoing supply of clean air from natural sources is the ideal source of ventilation. However, as modern day homes are sealed to become energy efficient, it pays to incorporate a natural ventilation solution so an ongoing supply of oxygen can be harvested.

You can achieve this via window controls, designed to utilise outdoor air pressure generated by the building and its surroundings. Electric controls are especially useful in public buildings as they can feature smart technology able to recognise weather patterns and fire alarms, opening or closing as necessary.

Mechanised Fans

In some cases, a natural ventilation solution isn’t possible due to the design and location of building. Therefore, mechanised systems are required to inject clean air and expel stale oxygen.

Mechanised fans are typically installed directly into windows or air ducts. Internal air is extracted via the fan in a controlled manner, adjustable to the required climate if desired. For example, infiltration of particles needs to be reduced in humid conditions, whilst exfiltration needs to be prevented during colder periods to minimise condensation.

Exhaust Ventilation

Exhaust ventilation systems operate by depressurising the building, reducing the inside air pressure so it’s below outdoor air pressure. The stale air is sucked out via the exhaust mechanism and through a ducting system outside. It‘s then replaced by fresh air from a different source, usually another air vent.

They are most commonly found within the bathroom, kitchen or utility room to ensure a build-up of steam and humidity doesn’t become too prevalent. It’s most effective to position them in localised spaces near to where steam builds up, although larger rooms may require additional systems.

Supply Ventilation

Conversely, supply ventilation works bypressurising the building, forcing external oxygen particles inside via a fan. Air will then escape via cracks in the building, doors and windows, or purpose-built ducts and vents.

Commonly found within living rooms and bedrooms, their design allows a better quality of air into the house, filtering out dust and other pollutants. However, if not correctly installed, they can also cause excessive moisture in colder temperatures.

Balanced Ventilation

To counter the potential cons of exhaust and supply ventilation, more balanced designs can be implemented that neither pressurise or depressurise the building. Instead, they seek toinject and exhume the same level of air by positioning at least two fans and two duct systems in the mosteffective positions around the room.

Smoke Ventilation

In relation to public buildings in particular, it is necessary by law to provide smoke ventilation in the event of fire. Doing so helps in the removal of thick, condensed smoke – the biggest killer when a fire breaks out – and provides a clearer escape route for trapped inhabitants. This is something we can implement at LJ Pratley, along with a wide range of other natural ventilation systems as noted above.

Get in touch with our experts today to discuss your ventilation needs.

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